(Photo: Wilmington Blue Rocks)
The Wilmington Blue Rocks are the new kings of the Carolina League, as the team defeated the Fayetteville Woodpeckers 2-0 in the fifth game of the Championship Series on Saturday at Segra Stadium. The Rocks hoisted the Mills Cup proud tonight as this team fought their way to this moment.
This is the fifth time, the Rocks have won the Carolina Championship title but it is the first time since 1999.
Just like the Salem series, the Blue Rocks were down early in this series with the Woodpeckers leading two games to one over them. The resilient Rocks did what they have been doing all along in the playoffs which is winning when everything is on the line. Rocks won game four and game five of this championship series to become the 2019 Carolina League Champs.
MJ Melendez was named the 2019 Mills Cup Series MVP by the Carolina League.
The RBIs in the game came from third baseman Dennicher Carrasco (1) and first baseman Nick Pratto (1).
Two Blue Rocks players had runs in the win and they were Carrasco (1) and catcher MJ Melendez (1).
Four Wilmington hitters gained a hit in the win and they were center fielder Kyle Isbel (2), Carrasco (1), Melendez (1) and Pratto (2).
The Wilmington Blue Rocks were zero for two with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.
Dennicher Carrasco recorded a solo home run in the win.
On the pitching side, Rito Lugo came out throwing like a champion, as he went six innings, six hits, six strikeouts and earned the win ( first win in the playoffs).
Collin Snider would come into the game to relieve Lugo, as he went 1.2 innings, one hit, three strikeouts and earned the hold ( first hold of the playoffs).
Josh Dye would be the next man up for the Rocks, as he went 0.1 innings, one hit, one strikeout and earned the hold ( second of the playoffs).
Tad Ratliff would be the man in charge of closing out the championship win which he did just that, as he went one inning, one hit and earned the save ( third save of the playoffs).
Carrasco’s Home Run Gets Rocks On The Board In Fourth Inning
In the first three innings, the dominance of the two team’s pitching showed as neither team could sneak a run on the board.
The Rocks would break the silence on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning when Dennicher Carrasco hit a two-out home run to right field to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Rocks Ride Pitching to Final Out To Earn Championship Title
Rocks starting pitcher Rito Lugo threw six scoreless innings before he exited the game. The young lefty pitcher went six innings, six hits, six strikeouts and earned the win.
Collin Snider would come into the game to relieve Lugo, as he went 1.2 innings, one hit, three strikeouts and earned the hold.
Snider would come out of the game, after striking out two batters in the eighth inning.
It was then Josh Dye’s turn as he went 0.1 innings, one hit, one strikeout and earned the hold.
The Rocks would add an insurance run to their lead in the top of the ninth inning when Nick Pratto hit a ground ball double to right field which scored MJ Melendez to give their team a 2-0 lead.
At the bottom of the ninth inning, it was all up to Tad Ratliff to close this championship win for the Rocks out. Ratliff did his job as in three batters he gave up a single, groundout and turned a double play to seal the Rocks as the 2019 CAROLINA LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!!