EL PASO, Texas – For the third time in franchise history, the Memphis Redbirds are champions of the Pacific Coast League after a 3-1 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres) in the decisive Game 5 of the championship series Sunday night in El Paso, Texas.
The 2017 crown joins 2000 and 2009 as PCL titles for the Redbirds, and it is Memphis’ 15th championship in 119 seasons of professional baseball in The Bluff City dating back to 1877.
Patrick Wisdom was named Most Valuable Player of the series after hitting the decisive home run in the fifth inning, a two-run shot that gave the Redbirds a 2-0 lead. He also had a diving catch at first base in the eighth inning to end the frame with two runners on base and preserve a 3-1 Memphis lead.
Matt Pearce earned the win with 6.0 stellar innings, allowing just one run on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. Mike Mayers followed with 1.2 scoreless innings, and Sean Gilmartin was on the mound and got the lineout to Wisdom. Josh Lucas allowed the first two Chihuahuas to reach base in the ninth but finished off the championship for Memphis with three-straight outs.
The Redbirds now head to Scranton, Pa., to face the Durham Bulls (Rays), the winner of the International League, in the winner-take-all Gilden Triple-A National Championship Game Tuesday night at 6:07 (CT). The game will be televised on NBC Sports Network.