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Chihuahuas historic season comes to a close

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In an underwhelming finish to the season, the Fresno Grizzlies beat out the El Paso Chihuahuas 10-1 on Sunday night to win the Pacific Conference title.

Fresno took the first two games of the series at  Southwest University Park before the Chihuahuas won the next two games to force a game five on the  road. But in Sunday’s highly anticipated game five match up, the Grizzlies took over early and did not allow El Paso to catch up after scoring 10 unanswered runs. The Grizzlies will now advance to play the Memphis Redbirds in the PCL Championship Series.

Interestingly enough, with the win, Fresno became the first team in the series to win a home game. Sunday’s game was also the only game that wasn’t decided by two runs or less in the series.

El Paso is now 14-12 all-time in postseason games, as it’s the second year in a row where El Paso fell in a game five situation. Still, 82-57 is the best record in franchise history by the Dogs.

Instead of mourning the loss, the Chihuahuas should hold their heads up high. El Paso fans are spoiled. They have a winner–a PCL Southern Divisional title winner to be exact–four of the five years in club history. They’ve seen some of the current Padres start their careers in the Sun City, and seen some of the major’s best play against the Chihuahuas at Southwest University Park, like Madison Bumgarner, Carlos Correa and Evan Longoria, to name a few.

They have extended the novelty among the city and have captured El Paso as the city’s true team.

Through the first couple seasons in El Paso, the Chihuahuas were able to snatch some significant wins, make some playoff runs and scrap together a nice bunch of players with a couple MLB prospects on their lineup. Nowadays, El Paso is becoming the top grooming spot for the Padres organization, seeing its premier talent start on the Triple-A and then later be sent to San Diego.

The Padres organization is ranked as the best farm system in baseball, according to Baseball America, and its MLB roster reflects just that through the past years.

Before outfielder Hunter Renfroe started his tenure with the Padres, he lit up a storm in El Paso and was named the PCL Rookie of the Year in 2016. Padres outfielder Manuel Margot, second baseman Carlos Asuaje (who is with El Paso, but is likely to be called back up in the next few days) and catcher Austin Hedges were all a part of the 2016 squad that won the Pacific Coast League title, and now are each making a significant impact to the Padres organization.

In 2017, outfielder Travis Jankowski, and infielders Jose Pirela and Cory Spangenberg each got their call-up to the Padres and are still helping the team in any way possible.

This year alone saw former Chihuahuas leave El Paso and breakthrough on the scene for San Diego, like outfielder Franmil Reyes, who was a fan favorite this year with the Chihuahuas, infielder Luis Urias, and catcher Francisco Mejia. Urias and Mejia were called up a few weeks ago and are already each showing out in the majors.

And pitchers, we can’t forget pitchers. Almost every pitcher on the active roster for San Diego has spent some time in El Paso, but lets name a few significant ones that had special stints with the club: Brett Kennedy (10-0 with El Paso in 2018), Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi (who made his Padres debut before his first Triple-A start), Jacob Nix, Luis Perdomo, Robert Stock, Rowan Wick, and Trey Wingenter.

For these last few weeks, Chihuahuas pitchers like Logan Allen, Cal Quantrill, and Walter Lockett could each get a phone call from San Diego to join the club and test the waters. If two of those three pitchers aren’t with San Diego by the start of 2019, it would be a shocker.  

So Chihuahuas fans, I call on you to watch a Padres game in these final weeks of baseball. No, they aren’t by any means going to impress you 30-games behind first place, but they show flashes of greatness and flashes of hope for a young, developing organization.

Watch a Padres game. You’ll get a sense of familiarity when you see Lauer starting for the club, or get to see tough defense by Urias, or get to see Reyes hit another dinger out of Petco Park. It’s like watching an old friend of yours during his internship get hired at a full-time job and seeing him succeed.

To the Chihuahuas organization, you have exceeded expectations in your first five years. April of 2019 will be just around the corner, with new prospects and new stars. Now, we as a city are left to wait in anticipation for what’s next.

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 historic season comes to a close