The primary reason the Oklahoma City RedHawks most likely will qualify for the Pacific Coast League playoffs is they've been dominant at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Heading into Sunday night's game vs. Albuquerque at The Brick, the RedHawks were riding a 14-game home winning streak that began with a mind-boggling 12-0 homestand earlier this month.
Oklahoma City is 18 games over .500 at home, two games below .500 on the road. The RedHawks' home hot streak has helped them build a five-game lead over Albuquerque with 16 games left in the regular season.
“During the last homestand we played a lot of small ball,” said first baseman Jon Singleton. “Our bats started to slowly come around and then we started hitting more home runs. Both parts of the game can work for us.”
The RedHawks have had numerous players promoted to the majors this season. Regardless of who has been on the roster there's been one constant.
During the 12-0 homestand OKC used that speed to manufacture runs. Bunts moved runners and became base hits. Stolen bases set up sacrifice flies.
“This park plays both ways,” said RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco. “If you get a pitch middle-in you can go to the bleachers down the left-field line. If you hit into the right-field corner, who knows what could happen? It works both ways.”
Home-field advantage is evident in every sport at every level.
There are many variables why teams fare better at home. Crowd noise, i.e. fan support, tops the list. Other factors include knowing the field/court better than the opponent and feeling more comfortable at home. Coaches call it “sleeping in your own bed.”
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