Former Bowling Green Hot Rods second baseman Kean Wong went 3-for-4 with a grand slam and a double to lead the Durham Bulls to a 5-3 win over the Memphis Redbirds in this year’s Triple-A National Championship Game.
Wong provided an unexpected source of power at the plate for Durham, considering he has only 13 home runs in 488 career regular-season minor-league games. His more-expected contributions in the game came in the form of a pair of defensive gems, both made in the late innings.
The Bulls are a Tampa Bay Rays affiliate, as are the Hot Rods. Wong played for Bowling Green in 2014, batting .306 with 2 HR, 24 RBI and 13 SB in 106 games. His batting average was second in the Midwest League that year, behind MWL MVP Wynton Bernard, who hit .323 for the West Michigan Whitecaps.
Wong batted .265 with 5 HR, 44 RBI and 14 SB in 105 games with the Bulls during the 2017 regular season. Bernard played in Triple-A this year, too, batting .254 with 2 HR, 14 RBI and 13 SB in 82 games with the Sacramento River Cats, a San Francisco Giants affiliate.
The Redbirds are a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate. Wong is the younger brother of Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong, who played in the Midwest League in 2011. The older Wong batted .335 with 5 HR, 25 RBI and 9 SB in 47 regular-season games with the Quad Cities River Bandits, and was still with the team when it won the MWL championship title that year.