RoughRiders win Texas League Championship

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By Heath

The Frisco RoughRiders are the 2022 Texas League Champions! They fought hard and came out on top against the Wichita Wind Surge, winning 7-5 in a 10-inning thriller. This is their first Championship title since 2004.

The RoughRiders swept each of the Texas League South Division Series and then the Texas League Championship Series. Each was a best-of-three series.

In this Championship Series the RoughRiders scored 18 runs on 21 hits. They went 21-for-71 (.296) with 2 home runs (both hit by Kapers in game one) and 18 RBI.

For Rangers fans that are looking for some optimism, this Frisco team is a great example of what the future holds. In just a year or two, things are going to be a little brighter in Arlington.

The RoughRiders had two hits in the top of the 1st but ran into outs on the bases. Jonathan Ornelas was picked off and Evan Carter was caught stealing.

Jack Leiter got the start for the RoughRiders but once again had command issues. He was pulled in the 2nd inning after walking the bases-loaded.

The Wind Surge scored two runs in the 1st inning from a hard-hit double and a ground out. As the game went on, that small 2-0 almost seemed to be a insurmountable as the RoughRiders line-up had a hard time getting anything going.

The RoughRiders were held scoreless until the top of the 8th inning. Luisangel Acuña worked a one-out walk. Kellen Strahm came up to bat and with a 3-2 count hit a double to score Acuña. Kellen advanced to 3rd on error and scored on a sac-fly by Trevor Hauver to tie the game at 2-2.

The RoughRiders bullpen came in clutch, shutting down the Wind Surge from the 2nd inning onwards.

Out of the pen

Triston Polley replaced Leiter in the 2nd inning and quickly got a swinging strikeout to strand the bases loaded.

Owen White, who was just reinstated from the IL in the Division Series was key in this game. He delivered two scoreless innings (4th & 5th), striking out all six batters he faced. Owen White just may be the Rangers best pitching prospect.

Ricky Vanasco pitched two innings. He was replaced in the bottom of the 8th by Grant Wolfram with two runners on, one of which later scored. Wichita took back the lead 3-2.

Thomas Saggese and Evan Carter deliver late in the game.

That lead didn’t last long as the RoughRiders tied it up at 3-3 in top of the 9th thanks to a RBI-single off the bat of Thomas Saggese.

Luisangel Acuña was the ghost runner for the RoughRiders in the 10th. He was moved over to 3rd on a groundout by Kellen Strahm.

Frainyer Chavez hit a single scoring Acuña to give the RoughRiders a 4-3 lead.

Jonathan Ornelas, who set the tone for the RoughRiders the entire season hit an RBI-single a couple of batters later. Evan Carter then hit a 2-run single to give the RoughRiders the 7-3 lead.

Nick Starr closes it out

Entering the game in the bottom of the 10th, the RoughRiders leading 7-3, Nick Starr was looking to close out the win. But on only his second pitch, the batter sent a 2-run homer over right center field to narrow the lead to just 7-5.

Fortunately for Starr and the RoughRiders, that would be all the runs scored and they hung on for the victory.

The 2022 Frisco RoughRiders are the Texas League Champions

Frisco is the first Rangers affiliate to win a league championship since the AZL Rangers won in 2019.

Congratulations to the Frisco RoughRiders on winning the 2022 Texas League Championship!