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DeMark helps Reno to “National Championship,” was winning pitcher in Triple-A title game

The respective champions of the International League and Pacific Coast League meet yearly in a final one-game playoff, to determine Triple-A baseball’s “National Champion.”  This year, Pawtucket (Red Sox) from the IL took on Reno (Diamondbacks) from the PCL.  The host was Durham (Rays), as the site of the game is moved around different Triple-A ballparks.

Reno of course has former Revs reliever Mike DeMark on their club, and he got into the game which was broadcast on NBC Sports Network.  DeMark was excellent in the game, as he entered with two out in the fifth, his team already up 8-1 but with the bases loaded, and nailed down a swinging strikeout to escape the jam and preserve the big lead.  In all, DeMark fired  one and a third scoreless innings, with three strikeouts to earn the winning decision.

Reno, who was the home team because the PCL won this year’s all-star game between the two leagues, beat Pawtucket by a 10-3 final.  While the game is little more than an exhibition, Reno will be recognized as the Triple-A National Champion.  But both Reno and Pawtucket are the champions of their respective leagues, with all the t-shirts, rings and trophies to show for it.

This caps a fine season for DeMark, spending all of it at Triple-A after splitting last year between York and Double-A Mobile, before being moved up to Reno for just two games at the end of the season.  Hopefully DeMark sticks with the D-Backs and an MLB call-up is in his future.  He certainly looked on top of his game last night, blowing away three hitters swinging on national TV.

-Paul Braverman


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