20 Moments from 2018
Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through Nov. 21, we are reliving 20 of the best moments from the incredible 2018 season. Enjoy another look at this unforgettable year, complete with video, pictures, and audio from the broadcasts.
No. 1: April 5
The season starts with an 8-4 win at Round Rock on Opening Day. The Redbirds scored five runs in the sixth inning, Rangel Ravelo was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, and Adolis Garcia and Max Schrock both homered. John Gant tossed 6.0 innings, allowing one run on six hits with five strikeouts.
No. 2: April 8
Jack Flaherty made his Triple-A season debut and struck out 11 without a walk in 7.0 innings, and Tyler O'Neill hit his fourth home run in three games as the Redbirds improved to 4-0 on the season with a 4-1 win over the Round Rock Express. Flaherty gave up just one run on five hits, and he only allowed two singles after the second inning. O'Neill finished 3-for-4 with three RBI thanks to his fifth-inning home run, a two-run shot.
No 3. April 10
A crowd of 9,590 packed AutoZone Park, the largest home-opening crowd at the ballpark since 2010, to see a 7-0 Memphis Redbirds win over the Omaha Storm Chasers. Pregame ceremonies featured a 2017 Pacific Coast League championship flag-raising ceremony, the introduction of the 2018 team, an award presentation to the Redbirds' ownership group, Trinity Sports Holdings, for the Ballpark Digest Organization of the Year, and a first pitch by new University of Memphis men's basketball coach Penny Hardaway. John Gant tossed 7.0 innings for the Redbirds (5-1), giving up just five hits, and striking out five. The Redbirds scored seven runs in the second inning, which were spurred on by seven-straight hits to begin the frame.
No. 4: April 14
When the Redbirds defeated Iowa 3-1 on April 14 to move to 9-1 on the season, manager Stubby Clapp recorded his 100th regular-season win as Redbirds manager. The 100 wins came in 151 games, making him the quickest manager to 100 victories in the 116-year history of the Pacific Coast League. In the game, Daniel Poncedeleon struck out 12 in 5.0 innings, and the Redbirds stole five bases as a team.
No. 5: April 23
Austin Gomber tied the franchise record with 16 strikeouts in a 3-0 win at Iowa on April 23, which was just his fourth-career Triple-A start. He did not issue a walk, an incredible 85 of his 112 pitches went for strikes, 75.9 percent, and after the first three Cubs of the game reached based Gomber retired 16-straight hitters into the sixth inning. The 16 strikeouts matched what Lance Lynn did against Oklahoma City in the playoffs on Sept. 10, 2010. Yairo Munoz homered in the game as well.
No. 6: May 24
Alex Reyes dazzled on the mound in an injury rehab start on May 24, striking out 13 and giving up just one hit in 7.0 innings in a 7-4 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Reyes struck out nine-straight at one point from the third-through-sixth innings, setting a new Pacific Coast League record for most consecutive strikeouts. He tossed 90 pitches, 62 of which went for strikes. Reyes' performance included striking out the side in the second, fourth, and fifth innings.
No. 7: June 6
The Redbirds, playing their first of three games this season as the Memphis Música as part of Minor League Baseball's Copa de la Diversión series, knocked off the Tacoma Rainiers on June 6, 2-1. The year-long series across Minor League Baseball is designed to resonate with each city's Hispanic and Latino communities, and the games featured authentic entertainment, music, and food and drink offerings.
No. 8: June 28
On June 28, Dakota Hudson, Patrick Wisdom, and Daniel Poncedeleon were named Pacific Coast League All-Stars. Hudson was the top vote-getter among all pitchers and earned the prestigious starting nod. Wisdom's All-Star Team selection continued a streak of awards for the infielder, after he was named to the 2017 PCL Postseason All-Star Team and was then named the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 PCL Playoffs. Poncedeleon was also an All-Star both in 2016 with Double-A Springfield and 2015 with Single-A Peoria in the Midwest League.
No. 9: June 30
Luke Voit hit for the cycle on June 30 at Iowa, becoming the second player in franchise history to accomplish the feat, joining Mark Little (June 23, 2000). In that game, he went 5-for-6 at the plate, drove in five runs, and scored twice. In a unique twist, his cycle was completed over two days, as the game was suspended due to severe weather and finished the next day.
No. 10: July 15
Daniel Poncedeleon threw a complete-game, one-hit shutout at Omaha on July 15, which was the first complete-game shutout by a Redbird since Jerome Williams on June 11, 2016. Poncedeleon allowed just one hit and two walks in the game, striking out five batters. With the dominant performance, Poncedeleon lowered his season ERA to 2.15, second lowest in the PCL.
No. 11: July 22
Tyler O'Neill crushed three home runs in a 7-4 win against Colorado Springs on July 22, becoming the sixth player in Redbirds history to accomplish the feat. He homered in the first, third, and seventh innings, and he joins Chris Haas (8/3/99), Bill Selby (6/16/03), Rick Ankiel (6/16/07), Josh Phelps (7/29/08), and Jamie Romak (4/8/13) as Redbirds to homer three times in a single game.
No. 12: July 26
Just three games after Tyler O'Neill hit three home runs in a game, Adolis Garcia accomplished the feat in a 12-3 win at Salt Lake on July 26. One of his long balls was a grand slam, helping him tie the franchise record with eight RBI in the contest.
No. 13: August 5
The Redbirds rallied from a 5-0 deficit to walk off Fresno in the bottom of the 10th inning on August 5, with Rangel Ravelo providing the heroics. It was Memphis' first walk-off win of the season, before one to clinch the division later in the month and then three in four home playoff games.
No. 14: August 25
The Redbirds clinched their second-straight division title on Aug. 25, trailing 3-0 before walking off Nashville in the bottom of the ninth, 4-3. With the game tied and two on with two outs, Wilfredo Tovar stepped to the dish and lined a single up the middle, scoring pinch-runner Edmundo Sosa, and a fielding error allowed Lane Thomas to cross the plate and set off the celebration.
No. 15: August 28
Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp was named the 2018 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year on Aug. 28, which was his second-straight award as top skipper. He became just the third PCL manager on record to win the award for being the league's top manager in back-to-back seasons.
No. 16: August 30
Dakota Hudson became the first Redbird to win Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year honors, when he was awarded the league's top pitching recognition on Aug. 30. He earned over 85 percent of the votes after going 13-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 19 starts for Memphis before being promoted to St. Louis and finishing the season with the Cardinals.
No. 17: September 9
In Game 4 of the PCL semifinals on Sept. 9, the Redbirds scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th inning, with the game-winning single coming from pitcher Giovanny Gallegos. The Redbirds topped Oklahoma City in the game, 4-3, to win the series 3-1 and advance to the PCL Championship Series for the second-straight year.
No. 18: September 14
Alex Mejia laid down a perfect game-winning squeeze bunt in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game 3 of the PCL Championship Series on Sept. 14. It gave the Redbirds a 2-1 win over Fresno and a 2-1 lead in the final series.
No. 19: September 15
The Redbirds won their second-straight PCL title and fourth in franchise history on Sept. 15, taking down Fresno, 5-0, in Game 4 of the series. Randy Arozarena hit two home runs in the decisive game, and Jake Woodford worked 7.1 innings of shutout, three-hit baseball. Arozarena and Tommy Edman were named co-MVPs of the PCL Playoffs.
No. 20: September 18
The Redbirds won their first Triple-A National Championship on Sept. 18, 14-4 over Durham in Columbus, Ohio. Alex Mejia was named MVP of the game after going 5-for-5 with five RBI and three runs scored.