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France, Gomber Shine, Honored with Weekly Awards

April 22, 2019 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) News Release

Memphis Redbirds LHP Austin Gomber
Memphis Redbirds LHP Austin Gomber
(Memphis Redbirds, Credit: Memphis Redbirds)

ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Pacific Coast League has selected El Paso Chihuahuas IF Ty France and Memphis Redbirds LHP Austin Gomber its Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of April 15-21, 2019, the League office announced Monday.

France's otherworldly week was highlighted by three multi-home run games, one of which was capped with a walk-off home run. In seven games, France led all professional baseball (Minor and Major League players) with 16 hits, 13 runs, 42 total bases, 17 RBI, a 1.500 slugging percentage and a 2.136 OPS. His seven home runs led Minor League Baseball and was second in professional baseball, trailing only the reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich's weekly total of eight. Additionally, France hit .571 (16-for-28), with 11 of his hits going for extra bases (seven home runs, three doubles, one triple). France is the first PCL player to collect at least seven home runs and 40 total bases in a single week since Franmil Reyes, also of the Chihuahuas, who had eight home runs and 44 total bases for the period of April 30-May 6, 2018.

The Padres farmhand had back-to-back two-homer games, April 16-17, in a pair of wins against Tacoma. In the second of those games, France hit two-run homers in the eight and ninth innings, the second of which won the game, capping an El Paso comeback, 11-10. The 24-year-old followed that up with a four-hit, two-RBI game in the series finale against the Rainiers. France's efforts helped El Paso also win a series against Reno. On April 20, France collected three more hits and four RBI. The next day, the California native added two more homers to his weekly barrage in a 10-2 El Paso win.

The San Diego State product is in his fifth year in the Padres organization and has spent parts of the last two years in El Paso. In 18 games this season, France has hit .440 (33-for-75) with nine home runs and 28 RBI, totals that both lead the PCL. France has also paced the League in hits, slugging percentage (.920) and OPS (1.431). In 476 career professional games, France has batted .282 (490-for-1736) with 51 home runs and 291 RBI.

In Gomber's only start of the week, he tossed the PCL's first complete game and shutout of the season. In the second game of a doubleheader on April 20 against Round Rock, a scheduled seven-inning contest, Gomber went the distance, allowing three hits, one walk and striking out six. The southpaw worked out of a bases loaded jam in the second inning and finished by retiring the final nine hitters he faced. The 25-year-old induced five groundball outs and threw 55 of his 87 pitches for strikes.

The Florida native has spent his entire six-year career in the Cardinals organization. In 22.1 innings on the season, over four starts, Gomber has allowed eight runs and struck out 22, against only five walks. He made both his Triple-A and Major League debuts in 2018. Gomber went 7-3 with a 3.42 ERA (68.1 IP, 26 ER) in Memphis, twice being honored as the PCL Pitcher of the Week. He was recognized for the periods of April 23-29 and May 21-27; the former of those weeks, he struck out 16 in a start at Iowa, matching the franchise single-game mark. Gomber was selected out of Florida Atlantic University in the fourth round in 2014.

Images from this story

El Paso Chihuahuas IF Ty France
El Paso Chihuahuas IF Ty France

(El Paso Chihuahuas)
Memphis Redbirds LHP Austin Gomber
Memphis Redbirds LHP Austin Gomber

(Memphis Redbirds)

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Pacific Coast League Stories from April 22, 2019

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