Aviators start new year at LVBP against Aces
Updated: Apr 10, 2022
Las Vegas appeared to save its best for last as it split a season-opening six-game series with in-state rival Reno.
The Aviators used a Sunday matinee come-from-behind victory to stalemate the series at three apiece.
Four of the six games were decided by a run.
Moreover, Las Vegas outhit Reno in four of the six games and held a 2-2 record in such contests.
Now, the team will head to the road for a six-game series with the Salt Lake Bees of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization.
That series will begin Tuesday, April 12 with first pitch scheduled for 5:35 p.m.
Tuesday, W, 3-2
A second two-out run of the night helped secure a one-run win for Las Vegas over Reno to unroll a new season in front of a sellout crowd.
The game-winning run came in the eighth inning as second baseman Nate Mondou drove in left fielder Luis Barrera from second base.
It was Mondou's lone hit in four trips to the plate.
Barrera accounted for three of the team’s nine hits, going 3-for-4 with a single, double, stolen base and two runs scored.
Both runs were scored with two outs.
Right fielder Mickey McDonald also went 2-for-4 with a single, double and run scored.
Pitcher Zach Logue made his Aviator debut, starting just 20 days after being dealt from Toronto in a deal for all-star third baseman Matt Chapman.
Logue tossed 49 pitches en route to a 2.2 innings pitched outing, where he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits tallying two walks and four strikeouts.
Reliever Austin Pruitt got the opening day win after pitching a hitless 1.2 innings, striking out one in the process.
Pitcher Ryan Castellani got the save via a strikeout looking on the final out after allowing a leadoff single.
Catcher Shea Langeliers went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his team debut after being acquired in the Matt Olson trade with the Atlanta Braves a little over three weeks ago.
Wednesday, L, 8-7
A dazzling start from pitcher Parker Dunshee was undone by the fifth inning, resulting in the first loss of the season for the Aviators.
Dunshee was perfect through the first three innings of the game after missing three months last season after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery.
He would allow his first hit of the game in the fourth inning and issue his first walk of the game a frame later.
It was in that fifth inning that Dunshee was lifted for reliever Grant Holmes, who would be on the mound when everything unraveled.
That would start a run of four straight innings where the Aces would scratch at least one run across home plate. Overall, Reno scored eight unanswered runs.
Holmes allowed four runs off five hits in 1 ⅓ innings of work, allowing a walk and failing to produce a strikeout during his outing.
As a result, he was tagged with the loss.
Dunshee is still without a home win in his Las Vegas Triple-A tenure.
The Aviator offense had its breakthrough in the third inning when the team loaded the bases with no one out.
With two outs, first baseman Eric Thames got the team on the board first with a two-run single.
In the eighth inning, the 35-year old launched a two-run home run onto the berm just past the right field wall.
Thames went 2-for-5 on the night with a single, home run, run scored and four runs batted in. He did strike out for the final out of the ballgame.
An inning later, catcher Shea Langeliers hit a two-run home run to put Las Vegas up 4-0, its largest lead of the game.
The No. 2 prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization went 2-for-3 with a walk, single, home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Left fielder Dalton Kelly was picked off while in-scoring position in a one-run game in the eighth inning. Langeliers dropped a single into right field two pitches later.
Wednesday’s game did mark the first Bark at the Park of the season at Las Vegas Ballpark.
Thursday, L, 6-4
For the second consecutive game, the Las Vegas bullpen gave up a lead resulting in a win for visiting Reno.
The Aces didn’t have their first lead of the game until the eighth inning behind a solo home run from designated hitter Grayson Greiner.
This comes despite the Aces being held to just one hit through the first four innings of the game and scoreless through the first five.
In response, the visitor scored in each of the final four innings of the ballgame.
It was walks, mainly in the sixth inning, when the Aviator bullpen issued four straight full-count walks.
Reliever Aaron Brown was responsible for three of the team’s nine walks allowed, three of which scored.
Las Vegas outhit Reno, 12-5.
He had a rough start to his outing, with his second pitch being taken out of the park by third baseman Camden Duzenack.
Fellow reliever Parker Markel had a shaky sixth inning but did make it through the frame.
Relief pitcher Chester Pimentel was given the loss after giving up two runs on one hit with two strikeouts in his two innings of work.
Pitcher Brian Howard made his first start of the season in spot fashion after scheduled starter Jared Koenig was scratched prior to first pitch.
Koenig was set to make his Triple-A debut.
Howard turned in a masterful performance on a 55-pitch count, pitching 3 ⅔ scoreless innings allowing one hit in the process. He also struck out four and walked one.
The middle infield duo of shortstop Drew Jackson and second baseman Nick Allen combined to go 5-of-9 from the No. 1 and 2 spots in the Aviator lineup.
Jackson recorded three singles, an RBI and a run scored.
Allen tallied two hits, a walk and a run scored.
Catcher Christian Bethancourt also went 2-of-5 out of the cleanup spot with a home run, double, RBI and run scored.
This marked the 100th win for the Reno franchise in 205 games played in the rivalry.
Friday, L, 7-1
Multiple bad luck plays led to the third straight loss for the Aviators, this time by a final score of 7-1.
Reno scored in each of the first three innings beginning with a run being scored off a passed ball by Las Vegas catcher Christian Bethancourt in the first.
A single and two-run home run immediately followed for a 3-0 start to the game for the road team. All three runs were scored with two outs.
Bethancourt had a pretty eventful night with two passed balls and a throwing error from behind the plate.
His second passed ball of the game produced the final run of the game for Reno.
In the sixth inning, Bethancourt connected on his second home run of the season for the lone run for the home team.
He went 1-for-4 with a home run, RBI, run scored and a strikeout.
The Aces pushed across another run in the second inning to make it 4-0.
The runner on-base was put there via a throwing error from shortstop Drew Jackson, one of his two errors on the night.
Las Vegas tallied five total team errors in the game. Third baseman Vimael Machín and center fielder Buddy Reed also committed errors.
Each of the next two Reno runs came via solo home runs for designated hitter Matt Davidson and shortstop Jake Hager.
Davidson’s home run marked his third of the first four games of the season. It was one of three hits on the night for him.
Las Vegas native Hager also doubled on the night.
Pitcher Adrian Martinez made his Aviators debut but was chased in less than three innings of work, receiving the loss in the process.
Martinez was lit up for five runs (four earned) on five hits in just 2.1 innings while striking out two.
Pitcher Jared Koenig made his Triple-A debut a night after being scratched from his start.
In four innings of work, he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits while tallying seven strikeouts to just one walk.
Saturday, W, 4-3
Needing a win to stop the bleeding of a three-game losing streak, two of the organization’s top three prospects came up big to help Las Vegas down Reno, 4-3.
Shortstop Nick Allen put the Aviators up early with a solo home run out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup in the first inning.
Allen had six home runs last season and has a combined 10 during his five-year minor league career.
It also marked the first Triple-A home run for the No. 3 prospect in the A’s organization.
After a 2-for-4 night with a single, home run, RBI, run scored, stolen base and strikeout, Allen raised his average from .375 to .400.
Number two prospect and catcher Shea Langeliers added a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to push the lead to 3-0.
He really flexed his power going opposite field, over the right field fence from the left side of the plate for his second power shot of the season.
That was his lone hit in four trips to the plate.
Langeliers now has a 2-1 record behind the plate, good for both Las Vegas wins this season.
Second baseman Nate Mondou also drove in a run on a single in the sixth inning.
Pitcher Collin Wiles made his Aviator debut and got the starters their first win of the season.
The former Round Rock pitcher dominated for most of his outing, pitching around multiple hits while relying on great defense.
Through four innings, Wiles had compiled 50 pitches even. He was successful working around hits until the fifth inning when Reno added two runs via a two-run home run.
Wiles went six full, allowing two runs on eight hits with five strikeouts to no walks on 85 pitches.
Third baseman Mickey McDonald and right fielder Vince Fernandez made spectacular plays on defense including a diving stab in the hot corner and a shoestring catch just past the shallow right field grass.
Wiles was even a part of some highlights of his own including picking off Aces right fielder Stuart Fairchild at second base for the final out of the second inning.
Sunday, W, 5-4
A series-finale that features just about everything but none bigger than the walk-off blast from right fielder Luis Barrera.
Down to his final strike with two outs, Barrera changed the game with one swing of the bat from the leadoff spot in the lineup after a flyout and groundout opened the ninth inning.
Before that point, Barrera was 0-for-4 on the day with a strikeout.
That walk-off was the first home run of the season for the 26-year old outfielder, who is now batting .412 on the year.
In addition, he’s tallied six runs in five games played so far this year while collecting nine hits, good for second on the team.
Prior to the late-game heroics, the home run ball was working for two other Aviators as well.
Outfielder Vince Fernandez hit his first Triple-A home run from the designated hitter spot in the lineup.
His dinger in the fifth inning got the team on the board and was his first hit of the season, going 1-for-3 along the way with a home run, RBI, run scored and hit-by-pitch.
Catcher Shea Langeliers hit a bomb for the second straight night when he connected on a first pitch and sent it deep over the wall in left-center field.
Langeliers now has three home runs in five games played this season and has now hit safely in four of those five games.
Reliever Parker Markel was given the win for his first of the young season in his third appearance.
Pitcher Kyle Logue made his second start of the series and would give up two home runs in his four innings on the mound.
The first was a solo shot to open the third frame while the later one was a solo round-tripper an inning later with one out.
Through two games this season, Logue has logged 6.2 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts to three walks.
He was relieved by left-handed pitcher Sam Selman, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week before making his return to Las Vegas Saturday.
He would pitch a scoreless fifth inning, striking out one and walking one.