The El Paso Chihuahuas led most of the game against Nashville on Thursday, but the Dogs’ bullpen gave away the lead away, allowing six runs in three innings, ending in a 7-5 loss.
El Paso got on the board first in the third inning after Allen Craig walked and Shane Peterson singled to get on base. Chihuahuas catcher Brett Nicholas came up after and knocked a home run to center field, El Paso 3-0.
The Dogs followed in the fourth inning with another two runs – thanks in part to a little baseball magic.
Franchy Cordero singled and stole second base. Wil Meyers came up and hit a ball to center field that was so high, Cordero had time to run to third base turn back to second as the Sounds center fielder looked like he had it.
And then the magic: Cordero noticed the Sounds outfielder asking for help and waving his arms as if he had lost the ball. He quickly turned around and scored standing up as Meyers got to second base. Luis Urias doubled into right field to score Myers, El Paso 5-1.
El Paso starter Brett Kennedy (3.0 ERA) went five innings and only gave up one run in the fourth. And then, the bullpen came in. Reliever Jesse Scholtens pitched his way through the seventh inning and allowed two runs, El Paso 5-3.
And then the magic just ended for the Chihuahuas in the eighth inning. The wind began to blow hard and some rain fell at University Park. El Paso’s Trey Wingenter started the inning with a walk to Sounds infielder Franklin Barrento and a single to Sheldon Neuse. Wingenter loaded the bases by walking Sounds DH Steve Lombardozzi.
A sacrifice fly scored another run and that was all Chihuahuas manager Rod Barajas had to see to go to the bullpen, El Paso still led 5-4.
The Chihuahuas hopes to contain the Sounds the eighth inning fell on the shoulders of reliever Tyler Webb (2.55 ERA). With the wind blowing and a light drizzle falling, Webb warmed up and took the mound.
A couple of rain drops later, Nashville first baseman Nick Martini drives the ball through the blowing wind and over the right field wall, Nashville 7-5.
The winning pitcher was Sounds reliever Ryan Dull (1.50 ERA) and the losing pitcher was Wingenter (4.94 ERA). Josh Lucas got the save.
Nashville 7 El Paso 5 – Thursday
WP: Dull (1-0) | LP: Wingenter (3-3) | S: Lucas (3) | Time: 3:17 | Attn: 7,084
Box Score | Team Records: Nashville (31-33), El Paso (33-34)
Next Game: Friday, 7:05 pm at Southwest University Park. Nashville LHP Eric Jokisch (1-7, 4.95) vs. El Paso LHP Dillon Overton (3-2, 2.50). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Words by Larry Monarrez | Photos by Alicia Renteria and Ace Acosta – El Paso Herald-Post