ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - After a long summer, Albuquerque Isotopes regular season game number 144 of 144 is in the books, a 4-3 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers.
But the Isotopes have more baseball left to play. They clinched a division title and a spot in the playoffs the night before with a come-from-behind win over Omaha, the team they'll meet up with in the postseason.
"I don't think we could've scripted it any better doing it in front of 14,000 people on a fireworks night," said Isotopes general manager John Traub.
Monday was a lot more relaxed with a little more elbow room. Still, an announced crowd just shy of 11,000 helped bolster attendance that was once again strong. In a decade playing as the Albuquerque Isotopes, nearly 6 million fans have come through the gates of Isotopes Park. This year, Albuquerque will finish ranked no worse than third in attendance in the Pacific Coast League.
"It's really been a phenomenal success story and we're very grateful for the support of the entire community," Traub said.
The on-the-field success has gotten plenty of recognition from outside of the Duke City. Manager Lorenzo Bundy was named the PCL's Manager of the Year while pitcher John Ely was named the PCL's Pitcher of the Year. Even Orbit, the Isotopes' furry alien mascot, was given the title of best mascot in all of minor league baseball.
The Isotopes are hoping for the same support in the playoffs to push them to the city's first league title since the Albuquerque Dukes won in 1994.
The first two games of Albuquerque's best-of-five series with the Storm Chasers are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday nights in Omaha. The series will then move back to Albuquerque for Game 3 on Friday with Game 4 and Game 5 Saturday and Sunday respectively only if necessary.
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