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Dodgers' Season Comes To An Express Ending

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The Oklahoma City Dodgers’ season came to a close Friday night with a 2-1 loss to the Round Rock Express in Game 3 of the American Conference Finals at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

The Express swept the Dodgers in three games, closing the series in front of a crowd of 7,051 Friday to advance to the PCL Championship Series.

The Express took a quick lead as they put together three hits in the top of the first inning, including a RBI single by Brett Nicholas, for a 1-0 advantage.

Round Rock added to its lead in the fourth inning. Jared Hoying hit a two-out triple down the right field line and Beamer Weems followed with a RBI single to center field to put the Express in front, 2-0.

The Dodgers put two runners on base with none out in the bottom of the fourth inning on back-to-back singles from Buck Britton and Kyle Jensen, but Express starting pitcher Phil Klein struck out the next three batters to end the inning.

In the seventh inning, Oklahoma City once again put two runners on base with a single by Peter Lavin before Ronny Torreyes was hit by a pitch. Darwin Barney then hit a fly ball to center field for the final out of the inning.

Oklahoma City’s Elliot Johnson broke through the shutout in the eighth inning when he hit a RBI double off the tall wall in right field to score Kyle Jensen and cut Round Rock’s lead to 2-1 with two outs. Express reliever Will Lamb then got O’Koyea Dickson to ground out to end the inning.

The Express threatened to add to their lead with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, but Oklahoma City reliever Chin-Hui Tsao struck out Weems with a runner at third base to end the top of the frame.

Klein (1-0) pitched seven shutout innings for the Express, allowing seven hits and striking out seven for the win. Spencer Patton retired all three Oklahoma City batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn the save.

Dodgers starting pitcher Eric Stults (0-1) was charged with the loss, allowing two runs and six hits over 5.0 innings. He struck out seven Express batters. Oklahoma City relievers Ramon Troncoso, Adam Liberatore and Tsao held Round Rock scoreless the rest of the way.

This marks the third straight playoff series sweep suffered by an Oklahoma City squad. The team was also swept in the first round of the 2013 and 2010 playoffs.

Oklahoma City has now lost 11 straight playoff games with their playoff win being Sept. 10, 2008 in Game 2 of the PCL Championship Series at Sacramento (an 11-2 win).

The Dodgers finished the 2015 regular season with the best record in the PCL at 86-58, establishing a new team record for most wins in one season during the modern era. The last Oklahoma City team to win at least 86 games was the 1965 Oklahoma City 89ers (91-54).

Oklahoma City advanced to the playoffs for the second time in the last three years and for the eighth time since rejoining the PCL in 1998. 

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