In front of a little more than 6,600 fans the American Southern Division Champs — the Nashville Sounds — took a 2-1 series lead over the Oklahoma City Dodgers last Friday night after Colin Walsh scored the decisive run on a force-out in the eighth inning. The final score was 6-5. The very next night, Nashville got pummeled 7-1. The night after that, their season ended in heartbreak at First Tennessee Park. Two separate four-run innings helped the Sounds overcome multiple deficits, but it wasn’t enough in the end, as the Sounds loss a thriller, 10-9. The Dodgers advance to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series to face the El Paso Chihuahuas. This was the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate.
As far as Game 3 went; After leading 4-0, Nashville squandered the lead away and trailed 5-4 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Shortstop Franklin Barreto greeted Dodgers’ right-hander Joe Broussard with a triple. Colin Walsh followed with a base hit to center field, making it a 5-5 game. Matt Olson, then, lined a base hit into right to put runners at first and second. The Dodgers walked Matt Chapman to load the bases. Rangel Ravelo proceeded to deliver the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice that put the Sounds ahead for good. Sounds’ reliever Andres Avila retired the Dodgers in order in the eighth to set up the dramatic finish. Closer Tucker Healy was summoned by Manager Steve Scarsone to save it for the Sounds, and he did. In the regular season, Nashville was 3-48 when trailing after seven innings. Nunez finished with three RBI’s.
Game 4 was a blowout. No need to relive that nightmare — the Sounds loss. The pivotal Game 5 classic, however, went as follows; With one out in the eighth, the Dodgers’ Micah Johnson singled and Sounds pitcher Ryan Brasier issued a walk thereafter, to Cody Bellinger. Both runners scored after O’Koyea Dickson drilled a three-run home run to give the Dodgers a 10-9 lead. This would end up being the nail in the coffin for Nashville. The Sounds had multiple chances in the eighth and ninth innings. Rangel Ravelo doubled with two outs in the eighth, but Bryan Anderson would strike out to end the rally. Tucker Healy worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to give the Sounds a chance. With one out in the bottom half, Jaycob Brugman singled to give Nashville a base runner. Franklin Barreto followed with a double down the left field line to put runners at second and third.
Clinging to a 10-9 lead, Oklahoma City elected to intentionally walk Matt Chapman to load up the bases. The move paid off when they got Matt Olson to pop out for the second out. They finished the job by getting Renato Nunez to pop out behind home plate.
The Sounds were down 3-0 very early in this contest. However, they rallied back. It started with Brugman’s leadoff single in the third. Barreto followed with the first home run of the night – a two-run blast, making it 3-2. Olson, then, launched a mammoth two-run homer to give the Sounds a 4-3 lead. Fast forward to the sixth — Barreto tripled with one out and scored when Chapman followed with a double. A base hit by Nunez scored Chapman to even the game at 7-7. Following that episode, Rangel Ravelo’s two-run single gave the Sounds a 9-7 lead.
Nashville had numerous opportunities to build on the lead but left the bases loaded in four separate innings, including the ninth. They went 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left a season-high 14 on base. Barreto and Ravelo each had three hits while four other Sounds batters had multi-hit games. Dickson finished the night 2-for-4 with 3 RBI and 3 runs.
A late lead didn’t hold up for the Sounds and a late charge never became so. Fans will have to wait until next season to get another dose of the home team. It was a good year.