Express swept by River Cats in PCL Championship


Round Rock's successful season came to a sudden end on Friday night.

Despite a seventh-inning rally, the Express were swept in the best-of-five PCL Championship after losing 7-5 to the Sacramento River Cats at Dell Diamond in Game 3 of the PCL Championships.

The Express made the playoffs for the first time in four seasons this year, winning the American Southern Division and finishing with the best record in the Pacific Coast League for the first time in franchise history. They needed five games to beat the Iowa Cubs in the PCL Semifinals, winning 10-5 last Sunday to clinch the series.

Round Rock pitcher Carson LaRue took the final loss of the season on Friday, surrounding two runs on two hits over 4.2 innings of work. Starter Rogelio Armenteros gave up four runs on six hits over 2.2 innings.

In a rehab appearance, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa finished 1-for-2 with a single and two walks, one of which was intentional.

Taylor Jones drove in a run in the first inning to give Round Rock an early lead on Friday, but Sacramento answered with two runs to take the lead in the top of the second inning.

Drew Ferguson smashed a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game.

The Express and River Cats each scored two runs in the third inning. Jones hit his second home run of the game for Round Rock with a two-run shot and drove in Mayfield to keep the game tied.

Mayfield drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh inning to give the Express a one-run lead. But the River Cats singled with the bases loaded in the eighth to win the game and clinch the series.

The Express last won the Double-A Texas League title in their first year of existence in 2000, and this season was the fifth time the team has lost in the league finals since then.

The 21st season in team history and second as the affiliate of the Houston Astros will begin with a five-game series starting on Thursday, April 9 against the PCL newest team, the yet-to-be-named Wichita club.

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