REDBIRDS 4, REDHAWKS 3
Before a big opening night crowd of 9,021, Oklahoma City rallied with two runs in the ninth on a 2-RBI double by shortstop Angel Sanchez but couldn't score with the bases loaded and no outs.
Clinging to a 4-3 lead, Memphis reliever Eduardo Sanchez fanned first baseman Mike Hessman and then induced third baseman Brett Wallace to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game. The RedHawks hit into three double plays in the game. Wallace stranded a team-high 10 runners.
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
Before Hessman struck out in the ninth, he just missed winning the game with a line drive down the left field line that barely landed foul. He gave the RedHawks a 1-0 lead with a solo homer in the second inning.
AT THE PLATE
Hessman had two hits in the game while Oklahoma City outfielder Fernando Martinez went 3-for-4, including a double. Memphis second baseman Pete Kozma, an Owasso High School product, went 3-for-4 for the Redbirds with two runs scored and an RBI.
ON THE MOUND
Right-hander Paul Clemens took the loss for the RedHawks but only allowed two earned runs in six innings pitched. Right-hander Brandon Dickson picked up the win for Memphis, allowing just one run in 5-1/3 innings.
The RedHawks play Memphis in the second game of the four-game series Friday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Probable starters are right-hander Aneury Rodriguez for the RedHawks and right-hander Brian Broderick for the Redbirds.