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River Cats repeat as PCL champs09/14/2008 6:03 PM ET
By Paige Schector / MLB.com
Another year, another championship for the Sacramento River Cats.
Sacramento edged the Oklahoma RedHawks, 4-2, on Sunday at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Game 4 to again snare the Pacific Coast League crown -- the River Cats' fourth championship in six years.
"It's so much fun," said the game's offensive hero, Carlos Gonzalez, who plated all four Sacramento runs. "It's the best feeling ever. You don't win a championship every day.
"It doesn't matter if the champagne stings (your eyes). You can spray whatever you want at me after something like this. It feels great."
While it was a repeat for Oakland's Triple-A affiliate, it was Todd Steverson's first managerial championship as successor to Tony DeFrancesco.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," Steverson said. "To go from April 1 to Sept. 14 and be able to come out on top after playing all these great teams in the league is a great feeling."
Now the River Cats will try to successfully defend another title as reigning champions of the Bricktown Showdown. On Tuesday night, the River Cats will meet the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, winners of the International League's Governors' Cup. The Triple-A franchises have never met in their history.
"We're really excited waiting for that game," Gonzalez said. "We're going to be playing for the title in the whole Triple-A. We're just going to play our game and let's see what they have."
Gonzalez got Sacramento on the road to the PCL repeat with a three-run homer in the third inning. He hit .406 in the playoffs with two homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored.
"He's a phenomenal player," Steverson said. "When he puts it all together, we're going to have a great player in the big leagues. He's got all the tools.
"With Major League players, you have to do it every day, it's a grind. He's got the talent, he just needs to work on his consistency."
Justin Knoedler opened the third with a double. Chris Denorfia walked and, one batter later, Gonzalez launched a line drive over the right-field fence.
In the fifth, Travis Buck doubled to center field and Gonzalez followed with a line-drive single to center to account for all the River Cats' scoring.
"I put four runs on the board for us, it felt great," Gonzalez said. "I just wanted to try to make our ballclub win the ballgame. I have a great chance to play, and I take advantage of it. I'm really excited. It's the best feeling."
Brett Anderson (2-0) held the fort on the mound, retiring 12 of the first 13 before weathering a RedHawks' sixth-inning storm to pick up the victory. He went seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks.
Major League veteran Bret Prinz set down the side in order in the ninth to pick up his second postseason save.
"We put together a positive atmosphere for these guys to come to work every day," Steverson said. "They were happy to come to work. That speaks volumes."
Oklahoma's Brian Gordon (0-2) was tagged for four runs on five hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings.
The River Cats swept the New Orleans Zephyrs last season before topping the Richmond Braves, 7-1, in the Bricktown Showdown.
"We have already won, but now we're representing our whole league, and that's a big honor," Steverson said. "We're going to go out there just like we did in the PCL Championship, like we intend on winning."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.