Fresno Grizzlies beat El Paso Chihuahuas 7-4, head to PCL championship series

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Grizzlies advance to the Pacific Coast League championship series after beating the El Paso Chihuahuas 7-4 on Saturday.

The following news release was provided by the Fresno Grizzlies:

EL PASO, Texas - It's been a long time coming, but the Fresno Grizzlies have secured their first postseason series victory and placement in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series in franchise history by defeating the El Paso Chihuahuas 7-4 on Saturday night at Southwest University Ballpark. The win gave them a three games to one series victory and sets them up to meet the Round Rock Express in the PCL Championship Series that will begin on Tuesday, September 15th at Dell Diamond Park in Round Rock, Texas.

Fresno jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the top of the fourth inning. They struck for two in the second when they loaded the bases with nobody out and had Andrew Aplin and Tyler Heineman both recorded RBI groundouts. Tyler White smashed a 1-1 pitch from Casey Kelly over the left-center field fence an inning later, while the Grizzlies came back with two more in the fourth when Tony Kemp doubled in two runs off reliever Jerry Sullivan.

Starter Brett Oberholtzer was magnificent through 6.2 IP, allowing one run (solo homer) on five hits and striking out four. The lefty issued no walks and didn't allow a base runner until Ramiro Pena dropped a double just out of reach of a diving Alex Presley with two outs in the fourth. Hector Gomez followed the double with an infield single, but second baseman Tony Kemp made a magnificent play behind second base to throw out Cody Decker to end the threat.

Oberholtzer left the game with two outs in the seventh and runners on the corners, but reliever Jordan Jankowski came in and struck out Jason Hagerty to end the inning. Hunter Renfroe pounded a three-run homer to left in the eighth, but that was the last of the scoring for El Paso.

James Hoyt came in and retired the side in order in the ninth to clinch the first postseason series victory in Fresno Grizzlies history (1998-present) and set up a best-of-five Pacific Coast League Championship Series against the Round Rock Express, Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Fresno will play Games 1 and 2 in Texas before coming back to Chukchansi Park for Game 3 on Friday, September 18th.
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