Mavericks go out in style with California League championship

High Desert claims title with three-game sweep over Visalia

Mavericks go out in style with California League championship

Knowing that their franchise would cease to exist with the completion of the 2016 season, the Class A Advanced High Desert Mavericks made sure to go out in style.

The Mavericks captured the California League title on Saturday night, defeating Visalia, 7-4, to complete a three-game sweep of the Rawhide in the best-of-five series.

The Mavericks loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning but pushed across just one run, with leadoff man Scott Heineman scoring on a ground-ball double play to give High Desert an early lead.

But Visalia responded with two runs in the top of the second, both coming on a two-out double by Joey Armstrong, and then tacked on another run on Victor Reyes' solo home run in the fifth. The D-backs' No. 20 prospect's two home runs were the only ones hit by Visalia in the postseason.

The Rawhide maintained a 3-1 lead until the bottom of the sixth inning, when High Desert sent 10 hitters to the plate en route to scoring five times on four hits and three walks.

Jose Cardona and Jairo Beras opened the frame with back-to-back singles to force Visalia starter Markus Solbach from the game. Things unraveled from there, as a pair of Rawhide relievers issued three straight walks to even the score, 3-3. After a popout in foul territory by Heineman, Luke Tendler gave High Desert the lead on a groundout to first base, and Juremi Profar followed with a two-run single.

Tendler delivered once more in the eighth inning, this time hitting a solo home run to extend High Desert's lead, 7-3. The 25-year-old outfielder collected a team-best three hits in the game and batted .371 in the postseason.

Visalia attempted to mount a comeback by loading the bases with no outs in their final at-bat, but a run-scoring ground-ball double play quickly squashed the potential rally before Reyes grounded out to end the game.

Josh Morgan (Rangers' No. 13), Beras (Rangers' No. 12) and Jose Trevino (Rangers' No. 21) all notched a pair of singles for the Mavericks, with Morgan and Beras also scoring a run in the contest.

Beras, 21, paced all California League hitters in the postseason with a .483 average (14-for-29) in seven games. The 21-year-old outfielder's performance was a continuation of an outstanding second half that saw him bat .283/.332/.580 with 17 doubles and 14 of his career-high 22 home runs in 56 games.

Like Beras, Trevino also swung a hot bat in the postseason, posting a .375 average with a team-leading nine RBIs in seven games, while Morgan scored six times while batting .321.

Colin Wiles tossed five solid innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, to pace the Mavericks on the mound. The 22-year-old right-hander struck out two without issuing a walk and recorded another six outs on the ground. Left-hander Felix Carvallo took over for Wiles in the sixth and tossed two perfect frames with three strikeouts to record the win, his first of the postseason.

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