MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The Memphis Redbirds (3-1) scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to walk-off on the Oklahoma City Dodgers (1-3) and win the American Conference Championship Series. The Redbirds have now advanced to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series for the second-consecutive season.
The Redbirds trailed 1-0 until the seventh inning of the contest. Because of last night’s postponement, the game was slated to be just seven innings. With one out and a runner on third, infielder Tommy Edmanskied a sacrifice fly to score the game-tying run and send the game to extras.
Trailing by two entering the bottom of the 10th inning, the Redbirds got to work. Justin Williams walked to lead off, moved to third on Edman’s double, and scored on a wild pitch. The next two batters struck out before Alex Mejia came to the plate and continued his hot-hitting. Mejia worked a six-pitch at-bat before looping a single over the second baseman to score the tying run. Lane Thomas worked a walk, and Oklahoma City chose to intentionally walk Max Schrock to load the bases and bring up the pitcher’s spot.
Right-hander Giovanny Gallegos came to the plate with just one career at-bat in his seven years of professional baseball. He was behind 0-2 in the count before singling home the winning run with a line drive to left field. As he was the last pitcher to appear in the game for Memphis, he also earned the win, moving to 2-0 in the playoffs.
Memphis collected 11 hits in the game. Edman and Mejia led the way, going 2-for-4 and 3-for-5, respectively. All but one Memphis starter notched a hit in the game. Memphis won the series, despite not hitting a single home run. In the four-game thriller, Memphis collected 40 total hits, and only six went for extra-bases (all doubles).
Five Memphis pitchers threw in the game. Pitcher Mike Mayers got the spot-start on Major League rehab and threw one inning. Jake Woodford then threw four innings of one-run ball, striking out four.Tommy Layne threw two innings of shutout ball, and Conner Greene threw 2.2 innings of one-run ball. He struck out five in the outing before giving way to Gallegos, who threw the final third of an inning.
It is the second time in franchise history that Memphis has advanced to the PCL Championship Series in consecutive seasons, the other being 2009-2010. If El Paso wins their series with Fresno, it will be a rematch of the 2017 PCL Championship Series. If El Paso were to win, it would be the first Championship Series rematch since 1975-1976 when Hawaii and Salt Lake battled it out.
Memphis will now travel to either El Paso or Fresno for the PCL Championship Series. The Redbirds will play the first two games of the series on the road before returning to AutoZone Park for a guaranteed game three this Friday, and games four and five, if necessary, on Saturday and Sunday. Redbirds playoff tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.memphisredbirds.com/playoffs.