GCL Pirates Win First Gulf Coast League Championship in Franchise History

The GCL Pirates defeated the GCL Red Sox 5-2 today, winning their first ever Gulf Coast League Championship since the Pirates joined the Gulf Coast League in 1968. The Pirates were led by Tyler Glasnow, who threw four shutout innings, and Luis Urena, who hit a three run homer in the fourth inning for the eventual go-ahead run.

Glasnow has been impressive this year, and had another great start today. The 2011 fifth round pick threw four shutout innings, giving up one hit, walking two, and striking out seven. Glasnow finished the 2012 season on a hot streak, giving up two earned runs in 25.2 innings over his final eight appearances, with a 32:12 K/BB ratio. The 6′ 7″, 195 pound right hander, who turned 19 last week, combined for eight no-hit innings in two starts on August 11th and August 18th. His outing today was just a continuation of what we’ve seen this year, with Glasnow putting up a 2.10 ERA in 34.1 innings, along with a 40:16 K/BB ratio.

Glasnow was done after four innings, and finished his work with the score tied 0-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth.  Luis Urena changed that with a three run blast, putting the Pirates on the board. Eric Wood led off with a single, and Edwin Espinal hit a one-out single two batters later to put two on for Urena. Urena homered to left-field, hitting his first of the playoffs. He had five during the regular season in 145 at-bats, and showed some power with a .207 ISO during the season. Urena is a tall, athletic outfielder, and is a sleeper in the Pirates’ system, but for now he strikes out too much and isn’t hitting for average, which makes him a five-tool player who is more potential than results.

The Pirates added two more runs in the fifth inning. Jin-De Jhang led off with a single, then stole second base. The 5′ 11″, 220 pound catcher has displayed some surprising speed this year, with three triples during the regular season. Two batters later he scored on a sacrifice fly by Harold Ramirez. Eric Wood, who got on with a double, scored the second run when Edwin Espinal doubled him home with one out.

The Red Sox got on the board in the sixth inning thanks to errors. With Australian left-hander Wilson Lee on the mound, a runner reached on an error by third baseman Eric Wood, putting runners at first and second with one out. A two out single scored the first run, and a wild pitch by Lee brought in the second run. Lee was able to get a fly out to end the inning.

Bryton Trepagnier, taken in the 41st round of the 2010 draft, came on to throw two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out two. The 6′ 5″, 180 pound right hander had a 3.21 ERA in 28 innings this year in the GCL, with a 22:9 K/BB ratio and an impressive 2.69 GO/AO ratio.

The Pirates kept the score at 5-2 heading in to the ninth inning. Mexican right-hander Roberto Espinosa came on for the save. Espinosa had a 3.65 ERA in 24.2 innings this year, with a 19:13 K/BB ratio. Prior to that, the 20-year-old spent three seasons in the Venezuelan Summer League. Espinosa gave up a two out hit, but ended the game with a strikeout, giving the GCL Pirates the championship.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • SweetNick

    I wonder if Stetson Allie has wondered back to the mound yet. Noticed that he hadn’t played for several games and did not appear in the championshup series. Don’t think there is much there if it’s not on the mound.

    • SweetNick

      Oh, and congratulations to the GCL team. The talent level in both this and the Dominican League team seems to be top notch and have plenty of potential. It was almost as if you could count on a win with both teams nearly every day (at least Dominican Team #1)

  • buccotime57

    Congrats..winning promotes winning

  • domaug

    last year, the Curve won it all. this year, the GCL Pirates won it all. i’m excited to see how Indy and the Pirates do now. :D

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