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Former Rivets Hargrove, Cronin lose in league finals

The first professional baseball seasons for former Rockford Rivets Hunter Hargrove and David Cronin ended in losses in short-season league finals. Hargrove’s Vermont Lake Monsters were swept in two games in the short-season Class A New York-Penn League championship series. Cronin’s Great Falls Voyagers went the distance in the Advanced Rookie-level Pioneer League finals, but lost the deciding third game.

Thanks to a Saturday rainout, the Voyagers had to play a doubleheader against Ogden on Sunday to complete the Pioneer finals. The Chicago White Sox affiliate blew out the Ogden Raptors, 15-3, in Sunday’s opener. Cronin was 2-for-4 with a home run, the first of his professional career, in the first inning and a three-run triple in the fourth. Cronin was 1-for-2 with a walk in the nightcap, an 8-3 Ogden win that gave the Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate a two-game-to-one series victory.

Cronin, a second baseman who led the Rivets in hitting last year, was drafted out of the University of Illinois-Chicago by the White Sox in the 20th round in June. He hit .286 with 18 RBI in 39 professional games this summer.

Oakland affiliate Vermont was shut out, 6-0, last Thursday at Mahoning Valley as the Indians farm club completed a championship sweep. Hargrove was 0-for-3, but hit .400 in limited postseason action. The A’s took Hargrove, who was Rockford’s home run and RBI leader in 2016, in the 25th round of this year’s draft. Hargrove, who won Big 12 Conference Co-Player of the Year honors this spring as a Texas Tech senior, hit .266 with a home run and 20 RBI in 37 regular-season pro games this summer.