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Published: Tuesday, 9/19/2006

Tucson tops Hens in Triple-A championship

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

OKLAHOMA CITY The Mud Hens have won back-to-back International League titles, but unlike last year, this time they didn t get to end their season with a win.

Tucson defeated Toledo 5-2 in the Triple-A championship game last night at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. The Sidewinders are the first Triple-A champion since 2000, when Indianapolis beat Memphis in a five-game series.

Tucson s Scott Hairston was voted the game s most valuable player, going 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Micah Owings, the Sidewinders starting pitcher, earned the victory. Owings hasn t lost a game since May 17 when he was with Double-A Tennessee. His 16 regular-season wins were the third-best in all of minor-league baseball, and he is 11-0 since joining the Sidewinders June 12.

The atmosphere for the first Bricktown Showdown was unusual yet animated. No walk-up music was played for either team when the players came to bat, and hundreds of kids played in the machine-created snow pile behind the bullpen in left field.

But 12,572 fans cheered the Sidewinders, the Pacific Coast League champions who finished their season with a 98-54 record.

The Hens ended the year 83-70.

They were within one run until the ninth, when Tucson scored four. The Sidewinders loaded the bases with no outs, and Matt Erickson and Donnie Sadler had RBI singles.

Toledo left nine runners on base.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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