Wednesday Journal is following former area ballplayers as they try to make it to the majors. Every week the Watch has been keeping readers updated on their progress. Stats are through Monday.

Tim Dennehy earned the start in the rubber match of the Gulf Coast League Yankees’ best-of-three championship series against the Dodgers on Thursday, and he responded with his longest outing of the season, pitching his team to the GCL title with six innings of one-run ball in an 8-1 victory.

“My approach today was just to force contact and let the defense make the plays behind me, just like they’ve been doing all year,” Dennehy told MLB.com. “This being the playoffs, there was more adrenaline than usual. I wanted to win this game not only for myself but for my teammates. We worked so hard to get here and I didn’t want to let anyone down.”

Dennehy allowed baserunners in every inning (two on errors) but navigated through by allowing just five hits and striking out three. He finished the regular season at 5-1 with a 3.71 ERA.

Gulf Coast League Pirates second baseman Caleb Fields closed the regular season 0-for-2 on Aug. 27, finishing the season at .270 with a .337 on-base percentage.

Vasili Spanos missed Double A Midland’s final 11 games with a shoulder injury. He last appeared on Aug. 25, when he went 0-for-2 before being lifted for a pinch hitter.

Rookie league Orem’s Derek Schlecker did not pitch last week and hasn’t worked since Aug. 18.

-Daniel Heim

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