Dellin Betances helps Trenton Thunder to fourth Eastern League Championship

The Trenton Thunder won their fourth Eastern League Championship on Friday after defeating Bowie 5-2.

The Trenton Thunder captured the Eastern League Championship on Friday night in Bowie, Md., after a 5-2 win over the Bowie Baysox in Game 4 of the ELCS giving them a 3-1 series victory and another trophy to add to the case at the New York Yankees' Player Development Complex.
Trenton staked themselves to an early 3-0 lead, plating three runs in the second inning on a Kellin Deglan home run, Rashad Crawford single, and Zack Zehner ground-rule double. Chris Gittens' solo homer in the third made it 4-1 and Isiah Gilliam's RBI single added an insurance run in the seventh, but Thunder pitching made sure that's all those last two tallies were.
Rony Garcia started and retired 15 of the 16 batters he faced over five no-hit innings, striking out six and leaving a third-inning walk issued to Mason McCoy as the only blemish on his line.
Dellin Betances, making what will end up being his final official rehab appearance, relieved Garcia in the sixth and allowed one run on two hits in the frame. Betances got two quick outs before Cedric Mullins - who was Baltimore's opening day center fielder - took him deep for Bowie's first hit of the game; Anderson Feliz singled on the next pitch, but Betances rallied to strike out Yusniel Diaz to end the frame.
The final tally was 16 pitches and 10 strikes for Betances, who sat in the low-90s but touched 95 with his fastball, according to scouts' reports and the Thunder broadcast.
Following Betances, Greg Weissert and Trevor Lane each pitched perfect innings to set up Thunder closer Daniel Alvarez, who could not get a save but did get the final outs. In the final frame, Alvarez yielded a solo homer to Feliz and a Carlos Perez's two-out single off shortstop Kyle Holder's glove, but two pitches after that single, Alvarez got Jesmuel Valentin to pop out to second base to end the game, the series, and the season for the Eastern League champions.
The title is the Thunder's fourth overall and first since 2013, and they finish 6-1 overall in a postseason that saw five major-leaguers - Betances, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Stephen Tarpley, and Thairo Estrada - make at least one rehab appearance on their run to the Eastern League crown.
The championship also ends the Yankees' minor-league slate for 2019 and leaves the future of Betances in limbo; Estrada and Tarpley have already returned to the Majors, with Montgomery (Sunday) and Severino (Tuesday) due back within the next week, but the Yankees have not yet revealed their plans for their 6-foot-8 fireballer.
Following Betances' previous outing, a one-inning stint in ELCS Game 1 on Tuesday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the righty had taken "another step forward," praising better fastball command and quipping that "we'll continue to build him up.