Dennicher Carrasco homered, and starter Rito Lugo combined with 3 relievers on a shutout as the Wilmington Blue Rocks defeated Fayatteville 2-0 to win the 2019 Mills Cup Championship of the Carolina League.
Playing in their 5th elimination game of the postseason, the Rocks got a gem from Lugo, who threw 6 shutout innings while striking out 6 Woodpeckers.
Lugo would get all the offense he needed in the 4th, when Carrasco took a pitch and slammed it over the wall in right field for a 1-0 lead.
Collin Snider and Josh Dye combined to get the Blue Rocks through the 7th and 8th inning, including leaving the potential tying run stranded at 3rd base in the 8th.
Nick Pratto then provided the insurance run as he doubled to right, bringing in MJ Melendez with a 2-out run to make it 2-0.
Tad Ratliff then came in for the 9th, and after giving up a lead-off single to bring the tying run to the plate, he forced a flyout and a 5-4-3 double play to end the ball game, and give the Blue Rocks their first title this century.
Wilmington last claimed the Carolina League's championship in 1999 when they shared the title with Myrtle Beach due to a Hurricane approaching during the time of the series. Their last win on the field came in 1997.
Among the championship Blue Rocks is Delaware Military Academy's Tyler Hill, who joined the team in mid-season and batted .403 in 21 games down the stretch.
The Blue Rocks won the title despite needing to win 3 straight games in the Northern Division Championship Series against Salem after being down 2-0, and then taking the last 2 in the Mills Cup after trailing Fayatteville 2-1.