Fayetteville falls in Mills Cup

September 15th, 2019

Here’s a look at the top performances of the past week by Astros prospects in the Minor Leagues:

Saturday, Sept. 14: Fayetteville falls short
Luis Garcia, the Astros’ No. 29 prospect, was dominant on the mound, but it wasn’t enough as Class A Advanced Fayetteville lost, 2-0, to Wilmington in Game 5 of the Mills Cup.

Garcia, who posted four double-digit strikeout performances with Fayetteville during the regular season, threw 72 of his 99 pitches for strikes as he twirled 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball. The 22-year-old gave up a solo homer, but didn’t issue a single walk and also struck out 11.

While Garcia certainly did his part, the Woodpeckers’ offense struggled to get anything going against the Blue Rocks and was shut out in both Games Nos. 4 and 5. Saturday's prospect stats »

Friday, Sept. 13: Fayetteville faces winner-take-all Game 5
Jojanse Torres fired six innings of one-run ball for Class A Advanced Fayetteville, but the offense did him no favors as the Woodpeckers dropped Game 4 of the Mills Cup Finals, 2-0, to Wilmington.

The 24-year-old right-hander threw 62 of his 96 pitches for strikes and gave up just three hits. The strong outing was the perfect cap on a strong first full season for Torres, who pitched to a 1.71 ERA across two levels and struck out 107 batters over 94 2/3 innings.

Since the Woodpeckers were unable to clinch the title Friday night, the series has been pushed to a winner-take-all Game 5, scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. ET in Fayetteville.

Triple-A Round Rock’s season came to a close Friday night as it lost, 7-5, to Sacramento in Game 3 of the Pacific Coast League Championship.

Taylor Jones, the Astros’ No. 28 prospect, put together a solid performance in the game, finishing 2-for-4 with a double, homer and a trio of RBIs. Jones gave Round Rock an early lead with an RBI double in the first and then added to his night with a two-run homer in the fourth. Friday's prospect stats »

Thursday, Sept. 12: Fayetteville takes 2-1 lead in finals
Nivaldo Rodriguez, the Astros’ No. 26 prospect, helped lead Class A Advanced Fayetteville to a big 2-1 win in Game 3 of the best-of-five Carolina League Championship. The Woodpeckers now hold a 2-1 series lead and are scheduled to host both Games 4 and 5.

The Blue Rocks struck first with a run in the top of the second, but Fayetteville bounced back in the sixth via a two-run double from David Hensley.

Rodriguez, who pitched to a 2.40 ERA across two levels this season, threw 55 of his 82 pitches for strikes across six innings of one-run ball. The 22-year-old right-hander also struck out seven and yielded just a trio of hits. Thursday's prospect stats »

Wednesday, Sept. 11: Express and Woodpeckers both drop Game 2
No. 17 prospect Ronnie Dawson launched a solo home run for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday, but the Express couldn’t put together much else at the plate and fell, 4-2, to Sacramento in Game 2 of their Pacific Coast League Championship Series. The home run was Dawson's only hit of the game. The 24-year-old spent most of his season with Double-A Corpus Christi, where he hit .212 with 17 homers in 103 games. He joined the Express for a 10-game stretch prior to the playoffs and didn't fare well, but now has three postseason homers in six games.

Round Rock scored its other run on a Nick Tanielu double in the sixth inning, but was held to just six hits in total. The Express now have their backs up against the wall, down 0-2 in the best-of-five series. After an off-day on Thursday, the series flips back to Round Rock on Friday for the remaining games, and Round Rock will need to win all three.

The Class A Advanced Fayetteville Woodpeckers dropped Game 2 of their Carolina League Championship Series on Wednesday, 5-4, to Wilmington. Fayetteville managed to push four runs across on just six hits, including a go-ahead solo homer from catcher Scott Manaea in the second inning. The Woodpeckers took a two-run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, but surrendered three runs on a pair of singles. Fayetteville’s loss ties their best-of-five championship series at one game apiece. The series now shifts back home for the remaining games, beginning with Game 3 on Thursday. Wednesday's prospect stats »

Tuesday, Sept. 10: Fayetteville wins Game 1
Riding the momentum of their Game 5 victory in the Carolina League semifinals, Class A Advanced Fayetteville made easy work of Wilmington on Tuesday, defeating the Blue Rocks, 3-1, in Game 1 of the best-of-five championship series.

The Woodpeckers allowed a run in the third inning but bounced back to take the lead in the following frame on David Hensley’s two-run home run. In the ninth, Marty Costes delivered an RBI single to provide Fayetteville with a late insurance run.

Hensley, a 23-year-old third baseman, went 3-for-5 to pace the Woodpeckers’ offense, and leadoff man Jeremy Pena, Houston’s No. 9 prospect, scored a run and hit a pair of doubles as part of a 2-for-5 performance.

Ronnie Dawson, the Astros’ No. 17 prospect, came up clutch with a game-tying solo shot in the top of the ninth in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series. However, Triple-A Round Rock ultimately lost Game 1, 8-7, to Sacramento in the bottom half of the frame. The hit was the only one for Dawson on Tuesday as he finished the night 1-for-3. Tuesday's prospect stats »

Sunday, Sept. 8: Express advance to finals
Triple-A Round Rock clinched a spot in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series on Sunday with a 10-5 win over Iowa in the fifth and deciding game of its semifinals. Round Rock got it done with the long ball on a three-run homer by Alex De Goti, a two-run homer by Drew Ferguson and a solo shot from Chas McCormick to add some insurance late. No. 28 prospect Taylor Jones also added a pair of singles in a 2-for-4 day. Round Rock fell behind early, 3-0, but broke out for seven runs in the third inning and controlled the game the rest of the way. The League Championship Series is scheduled to open on Sept. 10.

Class A Advanced Fayetteville also advanced to the championship series of the Carolina League on Sunday with a 6-3 win over Down East in Game 5 of its semifinals. No. 9 prospect Jeremy Pena reached base three times for the Woodpeckers, finishing the day 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk. Sunday's prospect stats »