It was a long game for the El Paso Chihuahuas and their fans alike, as they faced the Sacramento River Cats on Thursday and lost 7-3.
For eight straight innings the Dogs were held to a single hit.
Sacramento pitcher Conner Menez (3.27 ERA) pitched seven innings and struck out eight hitters and only walked one. El Paso starter Miguel Diaz (7.00 ERA) pitched three innings and faced 15 batters: struck out two, walked two and gave up four earned runs.
The Dogs could not get anything going against Sacramento until the bottom of the 9th. Outfielder Nick Schulz lead off the inning and blasted the ball to deep center field and ended up at second base. Leadoff man Auston Bousfield walked.
Then the crowd of 6,804 started to anticipate another come-from-behind win as the meat of the Chihuahuas lineup came up.
Unfortunately, there was enough meat for a light snack. Top prospect Luis Urias (.266 BA) hit a sacrifice fly to right and moved Schulz to third. Shortstop Carlos Asuaje lined out to third base, now there’s two outs.
And just as the crowd’s hopes were almost dashed, catcher Brett Nicholas singled on a blooper into left field that Sacramento’s Hunter Pence could not get under and scores Schulz — avoiding the shutout. More excitement filled the stands as pinch hitter Shane Peterson (.242 BA) slammed a ball into left field over Pence’s glove and scored two runs on the double.
Then it was infielder Javy Guerra’s turn. But Guerra, who won last night’s game for the Dogs with a walkoff hit, struck out swinging.
The Chihuahuas are now 27-28 this season. The winning pitcher was Menez (1-1). The losing pitcher was Diaz (0-1).
Box Score | Team Records: Sacramento (26-29), El Paso (27-28)
Next Game: Friday, 7:05 pm at Southwest University Park. Sacramento RHP Tyler Beede (2-5, 6.23) vs. El Paso RHP Chris Huffman (2-3, 6.07). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Sacramento 7 El Paso 3 – Thursday
WP: Menez (1-1) LP: Diaz (0-1) S: None Time: 2:48 Attn: 6,804
By Larry Monarrez – El Paso Herald-Post