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RedHawks Pitching Keys Sweep Of Tacoma

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The Oklahoma City RedHawks pitching staff struck out a season-high 15 batters in a 1-0 win against the Tacoma Rainiers Friday in front of a crowd of 9,226 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

The RedHawks (22-12) won their 11th-straight game in downtown Oklahoma City and swept the Rainiers (21-15) in a series for the first time since 2005.

RedHawks starting pitcher Brett Oberholtzer (2-3) struck out a season-high nine batters, allowed one hit and walked two in 5.2 shutout innings for the win. Jose Valdez recorded his ninth save of the season as the RedHawks shutout an opponent for the third time this season.

Brett Wallace hit a triple to Tacoma right fielder Eric Thames, who ran into the gate of the Rainiers bullpen trying to make a play on the fly ball. Brandon Laird then doubled to score Wallace for the lone run of the night in the fourth inning.

Friday night's game included several defensive highlights. Laird's fly ball to the center field wall was snagged by a running Denny Almonte, who collided with the wall, but still made the catch for the first out of the bottom of the second inning.

During the top of the ninth, RedHawks left fielder Austin Wates made a diving catch for the first out of the inning on a line drive by Alex Liddi. Valdez struck out Mike Zunino before a base hit from Thames. Nate Tenbrink, who was pinch hitting for Tacoma, flied out to Oklahoma City right fielder Andy Simunic to end the game.

The 4-0 series sweep of Tacoma marked the second series sweep of the season for the RedHawks.

Thames led Tacoma with a game-high two hits. Rainiers pitcher Jimmy Gillheeney (2-1) recorded the loss. He allowed one run on three hits, walked one and struck out five in 6.1 innings.

The RedHawks continue a 16-game stretch against Pacific Conference opponents when they open a four-game series against Salt Lake at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

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