The San Antonio Missions, the AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres, are heading to the Texas League championship series.
If you enjoy good, old-fashioned baseball, then Sunday afternoon in Corpus Christi was your type of ballgame. The San Antonio Missions faced off against the Corpus Christi Hooks in a winner-take-all game five series, with the victor moving to the Texas League championship series. The San Diego Padres AA affiliate proved victorious, after grinding out a big win, 8-1.
The star of the show was San Antonio starting pitcher Chris Huffman. The former 14th-round pick of the Padres in the 2014 MLB draft spent much of the season with the El Paso Chihuahuas but struggled to a 3-5 record and 6.91 ERA (40/32 K/BB ratio). He was sent back down to San Antonio on July 17th, finding success as a relief pitcher during the second half of the season (2.86 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .202 average against).
Returning to the mound as a starter, in a do-or-die game, Huffman cruised through seven innings, giving up just one run (HR) on four hits, walking one and striking out three.
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Of the 13 hits compiled by the Missions, 12 of them were singles. Michael Gettys was the only San Antonio hitter to record an extra-base hit, knocking in a run with a double. Josh Naylor, Kyle Overstreet, Hudson Potts, Webster Rivas, and Matthew Batten all recorded two hits each.
Austin Allen was the only one in the lineup not to record a hit, however, he did reach base twice via walk.
San Antonio completed an improbable comeback after falling behind two games to none at home. They will now turn their attention to winning a Texas League title after advancing to the championship series for the first time since 2013. Their opponent will be the Tulsa Drillers, the AA affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Two big names to watch out for on the Tulsa roster are starting pitcher Dustin May (122 strikeouts between A+ and AA) and infielder Gavin Lux (15 HR, .324/.399/.514 slash line between A+ and AA). They are the fourth and sixth top-ranked prospects in the Los Angeles Dodgers system, respectively.
Game one is scheduled to begin Tuesday night in Tulsa. As of Monday morning, neither team has a probable pitcher listed.