In what would normally be a Friday night made for the bright lights of high school football and a UTEP game, the El Paso Chihuahuas stole the spotlight while escaping playoff elimination against the Memphis Redbirds in the Pacific Coast League championship series.
Walker Lockett pitched seven scoreless innings for the Chihuahuas handing over a 3-0 lead to Trey Wingenter, but it was Franchy Cordero’s solo home run in the fifth inning that would give El Paso the momentum.
Cordero would again drive in another run in the seventh inning when he hit one deep into center field allowing Jose Rondon to score followed by another RBI by Chase D’Arnaud to give the Chihuahuas the definitive 3-0 lead.
The Redbirds came into El Paso with a 2-0 series lead, but more impressively a minor-league best 96-52 overall record.
The Chihuahuas won eight of their past 10 regular-season games to secure their third consecutive division title and are now two wins away from returning to the Minor League National Championship.
El Paso would get three runs on nine hits while only allowing six hits in the shoutout. The Redbirds are still just one win away from winning their third PCL championship in team history.
Despite dozens of high school football games being played across the city and the UTEP Miners hosting the Arizona Wildcats, a crowd of 5,723 witnessed the Chihuahuas extend the championship series, if only for one more night.
The Chihuahuas remain undefeated at home in the month of September, but the Redbirds will look to change that as game four will be played Saturday at 7:05 p.m. MDT.
Box Score | Team Records: Memphis (2-1), El Paso (1-2)
El Paso 3 Memphis 0 – Friday
WP: Lockett (1-0)
LP: Helsley (0-1)
S: Quackenbush (1)