Fresno Squares PCL Championship 1-1 Thanks to Thornton's Gem, 3 Homers
The Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Conference Champions) earned a huge Game 2 win on Wednesday in the PCL Championship Series, defeating the Memphis Redbirds (American Conference Champions) 10-1 to even the series at a game apiece. It was the final contest at Downtown Fresno's Chukchansi Park in 2018, as the remainder of the best-of-five series shifts to AutoZone Park in Downtown Memphis over the weekend.
Fresno jumped in front 2-0 in the second inning, on a Drew Ferguson (2-for-5, 3 RBI) blast to left field. Nick Tanielu's single preceded the homer. The Grizzlies were 65-17 during the regular season when scoring first (30-5 at home), a stat that would hold on this night, as Fresno blew the game wide-open with a 12-batter frame. Myles Straw one-hopped a double into the right field seats, scoring Taylor Jones (2-for-4) from second base after he and Jamie Ritchiesingled. Kyle Tucker (2-for-5, 3 RBI) then cleared the bases by destroying a pitch to right, his first home run of the postseason. The three-run bomb made the score 6-0, with the four runs driven in by Straw and Tucker coming with two out.
Memphis starter Tyler Lyons (0-2 playoffs) was chased after just five outs. The six runs against the left-hander were earned, on seven hits.
The Redbirds were on the board in the third, on a Max Schrock sac fly. But the Grizz lead was restored to six runs in the fourth, on a towering Jack Mayfield (2-for-5, 2 RBI) solo homer to left, his first of the postseason as well.
Grizz starter Trent Thornton (2-0 playoffs) spun a quality start and then some, scattering six hits over six innings. His lone run allowed was earned, notching five strikeouts.
Leading 7-1 in the seventh, Fresno tacked on another after Tanielu (3-for-5) led off with a double into the left field corner, and trotted home on a Ferguson RBI single. Ahead 8-1 in the eighth, the Grizzlies put the finishing touches on the victory, when Straw led off with a walk and moved to third on a Tucker single. Straw scored on a Mayfield RBI groundout, before Tucker came home too on an AJ Reed RBI single for the 10-1 final score.
Tucker has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games dating back to the regular season and including the playoffs, and is batting .411 in that time (30-for-73), with eight homers, 24 RBI and 18 runs scored (12 walks, five steals).
The PCL Championship Series will continue with Game 3 in Memphis on Friday. RHP Rogelio Armenteros (0-1, 3.00) will start for the Grizzlies, opposite RHP Chris Ellis (0-0, 5.40) of the Redbirds. First pitch at AutoZone Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT, a 5:05 p.m. start time along the Pacific.
Games 4 and 5 (if necessary) will be Saturday and Sunday.
• Discuss this story on the Pacific Coast League message board...
Pacific Coast League Stories from September 13, 2018
- Tacoma Rainiers and Seattle Mariners Announce Four-Year Extension of Player Development Contract - Tacoma Rainiers
- Fresno Squares PCL Championship 1-1 Thanks to Thornton's Gem, 3 Homers - Fresno Grizzlies
- Redbirds Thumped in Game 2 of the PCL Finals, 10-1 - Memphis Redbirds
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Fresno Grizzlies Stories
- Fresno Grizzlies and Partners Finalize CA Wildfire Supply & Donation Drive
- Fresno Grizzlies Announce Washington Nationals as New Triple-A Affiliate
- Fresno Grizzlies to Seek New MLB Affiliate for 2019
- Grizzlies Season Ends with 5-0 Loss to Memphis
- Walk-Off Squeeze Bunt Gives Memphis a 2-1 Series Lead over Fresno