The El Paso Chihuahuas might not have played the cleanest game on Sunday against the Round Rock Express, but they cranked a 4-1 victory out in dramatic fashion.
The Dogs’ win let them keep pace with the Salt Lake Bees – who also won Sunday – in the race for the PCL Pacific Southern Division title. El Paso is in first place, while the Bees trail by two and a half games.
The Express starter, Adrian Sampson (4.33 ERA), was a tough opponent for seven innings and limited El Paso to one run in the third inning. The run was scored by DH Francisco Mejia (.382 BA), who went 3-for-4, after catcher Raffy Lopez singled him home from second base, El Paso 1-0.
And it stayed like that until the seventh inning because of several brilliant defensive plays by the Dogs’ middle infield: second baseman Luis Urias and shortstop Javy Guerra. The duo was robbing the Express of hits showing MLB-caliber instinct and speed.
But not even Guerra and Urias were able to stop those game-tying back-to-back doubles by the Express.
The game was tied all the way to the ninth inning when the Chihuahuas got a couple of men on base with only one out. It was the bottom of the lineup though – statistically speaking, the odds were against the Dogs. There was about an 80-percent chance of failure. And so it went, the No. 8 batter flies out to left field – now there was two men on with two outs and third baseman Dusty Coleman (.181 BA) comes up.
With the crowd of 9,226 chanting “we want a hit,” Coleman hit one of the highest homeruns this season. It was so high, the crowd grew silent as the Express left fielder tracked the ball to the wall and watched it barely sail over him, El Paso 4-1.
The winning pitcher was Kyle McGrath (4-2) and the losing pitcher was Ricardo Rodriguez (1-2).
El Paso 4 Round Rock 1 – Sunday
WP: McGrath (4-2) | LP: Rodriguez (1-2) | S: None | Time: 2:47 | Attn: 9,226
Box Score | Team Records: Round Rock (52-61), El Paso (63-49)
Next Game: Monday, 7:05 pm at Southwest University Park. Round Rock RHP Tyler Wagner (1-4, 4.44) vs. El Paso RHP Brett Kennedy (10-0, 2.72). The game will air on 600 ESPN El Paso and www.epchihuahuas.com.
Words: Larry Monarrez – Special to the Herald-Post