Two dozen former Emeralds helped the South Bend Cubs (A-Full) claim their first Midwest League title in since 2005 on Saturday night as the Chicago Cubs' Single A-Full affiliate defeated the Clinton LumberKings, 5-0, to win the Midwest League Championship Series three-games-to-none.
Boasting fifteen (15) players from this year's Ems team and twenty-four (24) players from last season's squad - including nineteen (19) players that were a part of Eugene's 2018 NWL postseason run - the Cubs completed an impressive yet improbable run to the MWL title, going unbeaten (7-0) in postseason play to win their first league title since becoming a Cubs affiliate in 2015, coincidentally the same year that the Emeralds also became a Cubs affiliate.
Last season, the Emeralds completed one of the most unlikely championship runs in modern sports memory, going from worst-to-first to make the Northwest League playoffs where the team then went unbeaten (5-0), capped by a walk-off balk in Game Three of the Northwest League Championship Series to give the Ems their second league championship in three seasons.
South Bend's championship win is the fourth league title that Cubs affiliates have claimed over the past four seasons (AZL Cubs: 2017 | Eugene Emeralds: 2016, 2018 | South Bend Cubs: 2019).
A number of former Emeralds played key roles helping South Bend hoist the George H. Spelius Championship Trophy last night, highlighted by 2019 Emerald Nelson Maldonado who led the Cubs in postseason RBI (10) and 2018 Emerald Riley Thompson who fired five scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts as the starting pitcher for Game Three of the MWL Championship Series. Standout performers:
||1-0, 0.00 ERA, 9 K (0 BB), 5.0 IP
||5-for-22 (.273), 1 double, 1 HR, 6 runs
||10-for-29 (.345), 1 double, 1 HR, 10 RBI
||9-for-26 (.346), 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 5 runs
||1-0, 2.89 ERA, 13 K (0 BB), 9.1 IP
||9-for-30 (.300), 2 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBI
||YEAR(S) W/ EMS
The Emeralds organization congratulates the South Bend Cubs and all of the former Emeralds players on winning the 2019 Midwest League Championship.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.