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Chihuahuas score seven unanswered runs in victory against Las Vegas

Angel Ulloa

A wild pitch that changed the night—Case McElroy darted off the third base plate to home after Las Vegas pitcher Chasen Bradford threw a pitch that popped off the catcher’s glove. McElroy slid home and the throw by the 51s’ catcher was not there in time, resulting in the Chihuahuas’ 7-6 walk-off victory over Las Vegas in the 10th inning.


“To be honest, when the ball popped up, I didn’t see it immediately; I just heard (Rod) Barajas yell ‘go,’” McElroy said. “I got a little bit of a late break, but luckily they (Las Vegas) fumbled it at the end.”


This was both the first walk-off win of the year and also the first extra-inning game of the season for the Chihuahuas. After trailing 0-6 after six innings, the Chihuahuas sparked a comeback in both the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings to tie the game at six with the Las Vegas 51s.


“We have great hitters,” club manager Rod Barajas said. “You look at our stats and where we are offensively—we can do a lot of things at the plate. Fifth-sixth inning, we’re down, and I’m not too worried. We always have that capability of breaking out at any time.”


Currently the Chihuahuas are the best hitting team in all of baseball and this is the sixth come-from-behind mission they have accomplished this season.


“We’re never out of any ball game,” Barajas said. “All we need is opportunity. Our bullpen shutting them down and our offense coming up big—I like my chances of doing something well.”


In front of 7,760 fans, the Chihuahuas did what they are notorious for doing—flaring a come-from-behind victory. They dropped two games to the 51s before winning back-to-back games in comeback fashion.


“When you’re down 0-2 in a four-game series, to leave this way is awesome,” Barajas said. “We were in a hole these last two games and we could have very well lost this series, but the way we ended up here, we are going into this next series feeling pretty good.”


Hunter Renfroe instigated the comeback with a two-run home run at the bottom of the sixth inning. Then in the seventh inning, McElroy hit a sacrifice RBI to drive Carlos Asuaje home to cut the 51s’ lead to one. It was Jose Pirela who hit the tying RBI single that sent Manuel Margot home. Despite the tied score, the Chihuahuas were outhitting the 51s (9-6) at the bottom of the seventh.


“We’re swinging the bat well right now and playing good ball,” Renfroe said. “Even when we get down in the first few innings, we overcome that a lot. We got our bats going in the middle of the game.”


At the top of the ninth inning, things looked bleak for the Chihuahuas’ pitching staff. With one batter on first base, pitcher Leonel Campos threw what looked like a strike; but the umpire ruled it a ball, which resulted in a walk. Pitching coach Bronswell Patrick was livid with the call and was ejected from the game. Campos was taken out of the game and left-handed reliever Frank Garces was left to escape the inning with two runners on first and second. With eight pitches and a strikeout, Garces was able to retire the side with two runners in scoring position.


The Chihuahuas could not convert on offense, thus sending the game into extra innings.


At the top of the 10th, pitcher Derek Eitel forced three outs in the span of seven pitches. Then, McElroy had a leadoff double, followed by Pirela’s bunt single. Hoping that he would get a chance at hitting a walk-off RBI, Renfroe was up to bat; but his hopes died with the wild pitch that drove in McElroy.


“I’ve never had a walk-off, but the way we win, it doesn’t matter to me, just as long as we get the W,” Renfroe said. “Happy for the team and especially for McElroy getting in. Pitching came through in the end.”


The Chihuahuas (12-14) will start their next four-game series against Fresno at Southwest University Park starting on Friday, May 6 at 7:05 p.m.


“I think it’s weird—we’re splitting all the series we’ve been playing,” Renfroe said. “I’m hoping for a series win. Anytime you can come back from two games, that’s pretty special. I think we are going to do that—battle back and at least get two games. At the end of the day, those wins matter.”


Adrian Broaddus may be reached at [email protected]



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About the Contributor
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
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Chihuahuas score seven unanswered runs in victory against Las Vegas