Triple A Round Rock is headed back to the postseason for the first time since 2011. The Express clinched the Pacific Coast League’s American Southern Division with a win Wednesday.
The Express will play the Oklahoma City Dodgers in the best-of-five first-round PCL playoffs series, with Games 1 and 2 scheduled for Dell Diamond in Round Rock on Wednesday and Thursday.
The final three games, if necessary, will be at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City on Sept. 11-13.
Round Rock is 5-11 against the Dodgers this season. This is the third postseason for the Express since joining the PCL in 2005. They also advanced in 2006 and ’11. The winner advances to play the Pacific series champion in the PCL championship.
Playoff tickets are on sale at RoundRockExpress.com, by phone at 512-255-2255, or at the Dell Diamond ticket office.
Ryan Rua is finishing the year strong. The outfielder who earned a starting role for the Rangers out of spring training before an ankle injury sidelined him for two months has found his batting stroke in Round Rock.
He raised his average 51 points to .191 in the past 10 days. He has 12 hits and 10 RBI during the stretch, including three homers, one of which was a grand slam. Rua will play in the Arizona Fall League at the request of the Rangers, but his late-season surge could be proving the extra at-bats unnecessary.
Clark earns All-Star
Spokane outfielder LeDarious Clark was named to the Northwest League’s Year-End All-Star team after hitting .281 with 26 extra-base hits, 24 RBI, 45 runs scored and 29 stolen bases in 63 games. Clark was a 12th-round pick in June’s first-year player draft.
Rangers first-round pick (No. 4 overall) Dillon Tate has allowed one run on three hits and three walks in nine pro innings this summer, the last seven coming with Low A Hickory. The right-hander last pitched Wednesday, allowing no runs on one hit in two innings with a strikeout. He has eight strikeouts overall, including five in seven innings with Hickory.
Hickory pitching coach Oscar Marin was named to the South Atlantic League postseason All-Star team. Marin, 32, has guided the Crawdads’ staff to a 3.16 ERA, which is second in the league.
Infielder Travis Demeritte, a first-round draft pick in 2013, returned to the field after serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.
He is 1 for 12 with seven strikeouts in his first three games back with Spokane. He was hitting .241 with 18 extra-base hits for Hickory before the suspension.