It’s been ten years since there was baseball played after Labor Day in the Bluff City, when Albert Pujols hit that game winning home run to clinch the PCL championship for the ‘Birds on a warm Friday night at Autozone Park.
Since that day in September of 2000, Autozone Park at this time of the year is bereft from baseball, except for when the Nostalgia Man Classic is played in October with the area colleges.
But on tonight, that will change.
For the first time in 9 seasons, the Redbirds will be playing playoff baseball and will have a chance to sweep the Isotopes and move on to the PCL championship, where they will face either Tacoma or Sacramento, who is even at one apiece in their series.
Last night, the Redbirds, who were down 6-3 going into the 9th inning and down to their last out, did the unthinkable against the ‘Topes, capping off a 5-run rally with a double from Brandon Yarborough, giving the Redbirds an 8-6 victory and a commanding 2-0 lead in the series as they head home to Autozone Park.
Tonight’s starters will be Evan McLane for the ‘Birds and Tim Corocan for the ‘Topes. McLane went 8-9 for the Redbirds this season, striking out 92 and had an ERA of 3.75 while his counterpart for ‘Topes went 4-7 in Double-A in Chattanooga and 2-0 for Isotopes striking out 26 and an ERA of 4.71.
Game time is at 7:05 p.m.