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Friday, August 17, 2012
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – In a game that had everything except a winner, the Grand Prairie AirHogs and El Paso Diablos had their game suspended at 9-9 on Friday night at QuikTrip Park, as the AirHogs wanted to let fans and players leave before the scheduled spraying against West Nile Virus by Dallas County.
The game will resume at 5:05 p.m. on Saturday with the top of the 10th inning, and the regularly-scheduled game will be nine innings and start at 7:05.
The AirHogs took the lead in the first inning on a two-out single by John Alonso off Scott Hodsdon, but after going down in order in the first two innings against Alain Quijano, the Diablos erupted for seven in the third, capped off by a two-out grand slam by Jermy Acey.
Grand Prairie came right back with a five-spot against Hodsdon, who had previously allowed three runs in 16 innings against the AirHogs in two wins earlier in the year. But the Diablos still led 7-6 after a great catch by Welington Dotel in right ended the inning.
During the frame, tensions flared when Hodsdon hit Alonso with the bases loaded. Both players shouted at each other and the benches cleared, but cooler heads quickly prevailed
After El Paso got a run back in the fifth on a two-out hit by Reid Fronk, Grand Prairie got that back with a run in the fifth on a fielder’s choice – which led to another benches-clearing incident when Jairo Perez felt he was tagged too hard by Fronk running back to second. After some posturing, the players were again separated, and no punches were thrown.
In the sixth, Fernando Valenzuela, Jr. bobbled a throw to first that would have been an inning-ending double play off the bat of Trent Lockwood, instead letting the AirHogs tie the game. Jonny Kaplan gave them the lead an inning later, with a double against reliever Steven Evarts to make it 9-8 Grand Prairie.
Relievers Ronnie Morales and Adam Miller escaped a couple of jams to send the game 9-8 to the ninth, but after a warning-track fly ball from Mitch Einertson against Justin Dowdy, Dotel and Valenzuela singled, Acey walked, and Zane Chavez took a couple of close pitches to battle back from 0-2 before hitting a sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Dowdy was then ejected by home plate umpire Justin Post, but Derrick Miramontes came in and got JJ Muse on a groundout after an intentional walk loaded the bases.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jonny Kaplan reached on an error at first when his headfirst slide knocked the ball out of Acey’s glove, but after a groundout and an intentional walk of Brian Myrow, Alonso grounded out to Fronk at third at 10:37 p.m., forcing the first extra-inning game of the season at QuikTripPark, with the pre-agreed-upon curfew of 10:15 now enforced.
Notes: AirHogs catcher Alberto Espinosa left the game in the ninth after getting hit with a foul tip for the third time in the game…Lockwood was pinch-run for by Kenny Held in the eighth...After pinch-running for Valenzuela and putting Acey at first in the ninth, El Paso has lost its designated hitter for the rest of the game. The pitcher’s spot in the batting order is now fifth…El Paso will have the top of its lineup up in the 10th, while the AirHogs will have Held (six-spot), Rodriguez and Perez.
After the conclusion of the suspended game, the 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs continue their critical four-game series against the El Paso Diablos on Saturday, August 17, at 7:05 p.m. It is Fireworks Saturday Night, with a postgame pyrotechnical spectacular. It is also Organ Donor Awareness Night, sponsored by the AirHogs’ official charity, the David Nicklas Organ Donor Awareness Program. All games are aired live and for free on Ustream by clicking on the link on the AirHogs’ home page or visiting http://www.ustream.tv/channel/airhogs-baseball with selected contests aired on Time Warner Cable’s Texas Channel. For information on tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the AirHogs, check out the Web site at www.airhogsbaseball.com, or call the QuikTrip Park office at (972) 504-9383.