Denton leads Johnson City to Appy League championship

Cardinals' No. 23 prospect drives in five to clinch sweep of series

Denton leads Johnson City to Appy League championship

Bryce Denton helped lead the Rookie-level Johnson City Cardinals to their fourth Appalachian League championship in the past seven years with a career-high five RBIs on Wednesday night.

The Cardinals topped Burlington, 11-4, sweeping the three-game championship series.

After going 0-for-4 in Game 1 of the series, Denton -- the Cardinals' No. 23 prospect -- found his stroke in Game 2.

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Burlington took a 2-0 lead in the first, but Johnson City came from behind four times in Game 1, proving an early deficit wasn't going to deter them.

"It wouldn't be a Johnson City Cardinals game if we didn't go down a couple of runs in the beginning," manager Chris Swauger told

Sure enough, Denton tied the game with a two-run double to left in the second. Two batters later, he crossed the plate, giving Johnson City a lead it would not relinquish.

Burlington tied the game in the top of the seventh, but the Cardinals put the game away in the bottom half of the frame.

Johnson City scored a pair of runs to start the inning and then Denton delivered the decisive blow with a two-out, three-run homer.

"Every day since I signed my contract last year, it's like a dream come true," Denton told "I have been still learning. It has been a grind, figuring things out for myself."

The 19-year-old, whom the Cardinals selected in the second round of the 2015 draft, had four homers and 26 RBIs in 54 games during the regular season.

It was the second Minor League championship of the day for the Cardinals organization, as the Gulf Coast League Cardinals beat the GCL Phillies, 4-2, to win their respective title earlier on Wednesday.

William Boor is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.