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Aviators take 5 of 6 in single series for first time this season

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

A stretch of 12-straight games saw the Las Vegas Aviators turn in a record of 8-4. This includes a most recent series against the El Paso Chihuahuas which resulted in the first 5-1 series win for the team this season.

Las Vegas has gotten off to a fast start in the second half of this Minor League Baseball season. Currently, the team sports a 8-4 since the restart.

Now the team heads into the All-Star Break before returning to action Friday, July 14 from Las Vegas Ballpark when Las Vegas welcomes in intra-state rival Reno for a three-game series.

This season, the Aviators are 4-5 against the Aces in nine outings.

Tuesday, W, 12-6

Las Vegas has won its second straight series opener, winning its fourth straight game against El Paso. The Aviators took the lead for good with a six-run third inning on the way to a 12-6 win Tuesday night.

That game-changing third inning started with a walk, hit-by-pitch and a second walk before the first out was recorded. Second baseman Zack Gelof plated two runs on a double with nobody out. Soon after, designated hitter Yohel Pozo regained the lead for the team on a two-run single.

Third baseman Jonah Bride had the loudest swing of the inning on a two-run home run to put Las Vegas up, 7-4. Bride went 2-for-3 with a single, home run, two RBI, three runs scored and two walks.

Starting pitcher Adam Oller earned the win after working five full innings, giving up six runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and four walks. After issuing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the second inning, El Paso jumped on Oller in the form of an RBI double for the first lead while a two-run homer put the home team up three.

The bullpen for the Aviators racked up strikeout after strikeout beginning with reliever Francisco Perez followed by Deolis Guerra.

By the end of the contest, Las Vegas tallied 14 strikeouts as a whole while being held to just six the other way.

Wednesday, L, 2-1

El Paso scored a walkoff win in a low-scoring, 2-1, affair to split the first two games with Las Vegas in Texas.

Reliever Kirby Snead coughed the game away in the bottom of the ninth inning after yielding a leadoff single. However, it was an RBI double with one out recorded that ended the game.

Snead was saddled with the loss to fall to 0-2 on the year with a 6.51 earned run average. In this one, he went 0.1 innings, giving up a run on two hits with a strikeout.

In such a low scoring game, Las Vegas was treated to great pitching despite the final result. Starter Adrian Martinez was tagged for a solo home run one out away from getting out of the first inning for a 1-0 home team lead.

Martinez (0-5, 9.75 ERA) would only pitch 2.1 innings, giving up that lone run on two hits with a strikeout and a walk. He is still winless in nine appearances this season.

Las Vegas eventually were bitten by its inability to find success with the leadoff man on-base. In the second inning, the team found itself with two-on and one out before a bases loaded situation presented itself with two outs on the board. A groundout would end the threat.

An inning later, the Aviators couldn’t capitalize on a leadoff walk after the runner would be picked off for the second out of the inning. The same thing would manifest itself in innings four, eight and nine.

In that ninth inning, Las Vegas had two-on with nobody out after a leadoff walk and a reach-on-error. It was a double play and groundout that ended the chance for a tie or beyond for the visitors.

Second baseman Zack Gelof plated the team’s lone run with a single in the fifth inning with two outs tallied.

As a team, the Aviators went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving eight men on-base in the one-run loss.

Thursday, W, 4-2

Playing in another tight contest, Las Vegas pulled away late to grab its second win in its last three outings against El Paso.

Bats woke up late in the game with the Aviators making their turn toward the homestretch in the eighth and ninth innings.

Center fielder Max Schuemann led off the eighth with a walk before being brought across to score on an RBI groundout by third baseman Jonah Bride. That swing tied the game at two apiece with two outs in the frame.

Designated hitter Kyle McCann gave the team a 3-2 lead on an RBI single with Las Vegas still staring at two outs.

An inning later, another leadoff walk came across to score this time it was left fielder Trenton Brooks. First baseman Tyler Soderstrom drove in the game’s final run on another two-out RBI single before he’d be thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double.

Earlier in the game, the Aviators were netted a lead by Bride on an RBI single which scored Schuemann who again opened the frame with a free pass. El Paso turned the table in the third inning with a one-out single followed by a two-run home run.

Starting pitcher Kyle Muller was responsible for that first hiccup but that’d serve to be his only hiccup along the way during his six-inning outing with two runs allowed on six hits with strikeouts and three walks.

Reliever Garrett Williams picked up his first win of the year after working two innings with two strikeouts and a walk. Fellow reliever Spencer Patton earned his third save of the year, giving up just one hit during his one inning on the mound tallying a strikeout and a walk.

Friday, W, 11-7

Las Vegas has clinched at least a series split after securing another win over El Paso, this time by a final score of 11-7. Overall, the Aviators have won six of the last seven games against the Chihuahuas.

It was an early 5-0 lead that push Las Vegas in front beginning in the first inning after four straight batters reached with one out. Catcher Kyle McCann and left fielder Trenton Brooks both recorded RBI singles for a 2-0 start.

First baseman Logan Davidson pushed across the final run of the opening inning with an RBI groundout.

An inning later, second baseman Zack Gelof homered for two runs for the 5-0 advantage for the Aviators.

In the fifth inning, Las Vegas totaled three doubles in the frame with two of them driving in runs. The trio of McCann, Brooks and Davidson were responsible for all extra-base hits in the frame. Brooks and Davidson tallied run-producing hits in the seventh inning as part of five straight hitters to reach base for the visitors.

The trio of McCann, Brooks and Davidson combined to go 9-for-14 with five singles, four doubles, eight RBI and five runs scored.

Starting pitcher Zach Neal opened the game facing the minimum through the first eight batters. In the fourth inning, he was burned by a solo home run for the first El Paso run of the game.

Just before his night was over, Neal gave up a leadoff triple before the runner would come across to score on an error. Another run would score on an RBI single.

Neal would go five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits with a strikeout and two walks. He is now 3-0 this season with a 5.36 ERA.

Reliever Chase Cohen later picked up his first save of the year.

Saturday, W, 8-3

For the first time in nearly two months, Las Vegas has earned a series win after taking four of the first five games of this most recent series against El Paso. It was a five-run fifth inning that proved to be the difference in this 8-3 win for the Aviators.

Third baseman Jonah Bride started things out in the game’s opening inning with a two-run single with two outs recorded. An inning later, second baseman Zack Gelof plated another run on another single, again with two outs on the board.

Two-out runs were a commonality for Las Vegas as three run-producing hits in the fifth inning were scored with two outs tallied including an RBI double by Yohel Pozo, two-run single by center fielder Conner Capel and RBI double by Gelof.

By the end of the night, Gelof had gone 3-for-6 with a single, two doubles, two RBI, a run scored and two strikeouts.

In fact, an RBI single earlier in the fifth inning counted as the first and only to be scored without having two outs already recorded in any given inning.

Starting pitcher Freddy Tarnok had another impressive outing, going five full innings with a run on five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Tarnok is now 1-1 on the year with a 1.83 ERA in six appearances.

The Las Vegas bullpen worked four innings, allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts and four walks. The lone sense of danger came in the eighth inning when reliever Colton Eastman issued back-to-back walks to open the frame. Runs would come across to score on an RBI groundout and RBI single with two outs.

Sunday, W, 13-10

A wild slugfest of a baseball game resulted in a 13-10 win for Las Vegas helping the team pick up its first 5-1 series win of the season. Moreover, the team has now won eight of the last nine games against El Paso.

The Aviators needed to take the lead three different times but the final time proved to be the charm. Back-to-back walks in the top of the eighth inning started to get things going in the right direction for Las Vegas. Finally, a two-run single by designated hitter Yohel Pozo broke a 9-9 tie.

Second baseman Zack Gelof plated two more runs with a two-run ground-rule double for the 12th and 13th runs of the game for the visitors.

Pozo had himself a day, going 3-for-5 with three singles, five RBI and a run scored. He drove in two runs on a single in the seventh inning to give the Aviators an 8-5 lead. Earlier in the game, he added another run to the board on a single with two outs in the fourth inning.

Things got started with a two-run homer by center fielder Conner Capel for a 2-0 advantage for Las Vegas. That sparked a 5-0 lead to open the game for the road team.

Capel added an RBI single in the seventh inning as part of his 2-for-4 night with a single, home run, three RBI, a run scored and two walks.

While things went south later in the contest, Las Vegas retired nine straight batters to open the game. A leadoff single in the fourth inning served as the first baserunner of the game for the Chihuahuas.

Pitcher Adam Oller would finish one out away from six full innings of work, with four runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and a walk.

From there, the bullpen did just enough to maintain the lead and escape with the victory. The combination of Garrett Williams, Kirby Snead and Chase Cohen combined to go 1.1 innings with five runs (four earned) on two hits with five walks to zero strikeouts.

Both Williams and Snead would pick up blown saves with Snead coming away with his first win of the season to improve to 1-2 on the year with a 12.91 ERA.

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