Tony Decker slammed a home run in the eighth inning to lift El Paso to a 5-4 win over the Oklahoma City RedHawks on Friday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The Chihuahuas broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth on Decker’s solo homer. The game ended with El Paso right fielder Alex Castellanos catching pinch-hitter long Andrw Aplin’s long blast at the top of the right-field wall.
Shortstop Jonathan Villar had two RBIs for the RedHawks, both on groundouts. Catcher Max Stassi had two hits, including his eighth homer of the season in the fifth. Preston Tucker also had an RBI and has 90 for the season.
When the San Diego Padres announced last year they were moving their Triple-A affiliate from Tucson to El Paso, the team allowed fans to determine the nickname.
After months of voting, last October, El Paso officials said Chihuahuas received more votes than Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Desert Gators and Sun Dogs.
REDHAWKS TO HONOR POLICEMAN
As part of the “Home Run For Life” program sponsored by INTEGRIS Health, the RedHawks will honor Matt Grice at Saturday’s game. An Oklahoma City police officer and UFC fighter, Grice suffered life-threatening injuries in a 2013 car accident.
In September 2013, Grice, from Harrah, was going home from a training session when a driver slammed into the back of his Jeep, which was sitting at a traffic light. Doctors had to remove part of his skull. When he woke up Grice was unable to recognize his wife or children.
“I didn’t remember being married,” Grice said. “I didn’t remember having kids. It really shook me up. A brain injury doesn’t just affect the person, it impacts the entire family. It’s been a long journey, but together we’re making it.”
In the final game of a four-game series, the RedHawks will start right-hander Nick Tropeano (8-5, 3.12 ERA). El Paso will start right-hander Donn Roach (4-6, 5.43). The RedHawks begin the final home series of the season Sunday night against Albuquerque, a four-game series that continues through Wednesday night.