Destination Salt Lake: Aviators head out for first road trip of ‘22
Updated: Apr 19, 2022
Back-to-back losses to end the series was a direct role reversal from the season’s first series for Las Vegas but the team was still able to squeak out a split.
The Aviators split six games with the Salt Lake Bees of the Los Angeles Angels organization this past week.
It was the team’s first road trip this season.
The series started with a postponement due to snow before Las Vegas would take three of the first four games of the series.
Now, Las Vegas will return home for a season-long 12-game homestand beginning with six games against the El Paso Chihuahuas.
That series is scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 19 from Las Vegas Ballpark.
Tuesday, PPD (Snow)
Tuesday’s scheduled game was postponed due to snow in Salt Lake City.
Now, it will be played at 3 p.m. just before the regularly scheduled 5:35 p.m. contest.
Wednesday, W, 4-2 (F/7 innings) Game One
Three total runs were scored in the game’s final inning as Las Vegas opened the second straight season with a win, this time, by a score of 4-2.
Left fielder Drew Jackson got the scoring going with a two-run single in the second inning.
The hit drove in designated hitter Eric Thames, who singled to open the frame and first baseman Dalton Kelly, who got the pair into scoring position with a one-out double.
Jackson went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a walk. His hit proved to be the lone hit with runners in scoring position for the team as it went 1-for-8.
Salt Lake would add a run in the bottom of the second inning.
Starter Parker Dunshee would be long gone before any more runs would be scored, going 4.2 innings, giving up three hits, one unearned run to go along with three strikeouts and four walks.
Pitcher Parker Markel relieved Dunshee and would go on to get his second relief win in as many games.
He went 1.1 IP, tallying a strikeout and a walk.
Wednesday, W, 3-1 (F/7 innings) Game Two
A fourth straight win has sent Las Vegas to a 5-3 start to the 2022 season following a 3-1 win over Salt Lake most recently.
Early runs proved to be the difference again as the Aviators scored two in the top of the first off blunders by the Bees.
Designated hitter Dalton Kelly reached on a fielder’s choice as shortstop Drew Jackson crossed the plate for the game’s first run.
However, Salt Lake third baseman Kean Wong’s fielding error allowed second baseman Nick Allen to get to third base.
Allen would later score on a sacrifice fly to left field to put Las Vegas up 2-0.
In the fifth inning, Allen would also cross the plate on a double from right fielder Christian Lopes for a 3-0 start for the Aviators.
Allen went 1-for-2, with two walks and two runs.
The Bees didn’t score until the seventh and final inning though it was unearned.
Las Vegas got the win using a pitcher-by-committee approach, with none allowing more than two hits.
Starter Grant Holmes went two innings, allowing a hit and a walk. His performance dropped his earned run average to 8.31.
Reliever Chester Pimentel (1-1) got his first win of the season going another two innings, allowing two hits while striking out one.
Pimentel was followed by the first hold of the season from lefty Sam Selman during his two-inning outing, giving up one hit with two strikeouts.
Lastly, Austin Pruitt got his first save after pitching a lone inning giving up the one unearned run off one hit.
He had a single strikeout before inducing the game-ending double play.
Thursday, L, 5-4
In the ninth game of the season, Las Vegas endured its fifth one-run final of the year.
However, it was the team’s second loss in such games, falling 5-4 to Salt Lake.
Aviator pitching allowed three home runs from three of the four pitchers used during the contest.
Starter Brian Howard pitched into the fifth inning when Salt Lake had two reach with no one out.
Howard would be replaced by reliever Aaron Brown after a strikeout.
He went 4 ⅓ innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
Brown would be the only Las Vegas pitcher to not allow a home run in his 1 ⅔ inning outing. He did walk two and strike out one.
Right-handed relief pitcher Bryce Conley pitched an inning and got the loss after allowing two runs on two hits with a strikeout and walk.
Pitcher Gabe Klobosits made his Aviator debut, pitching the ninth allowing a run on a home run with one strikeout.
As a team, Las Vegas has allowed 13 home runs through the first nine games.
The Aviators scored in the final three innings of the game first on a RBI sacrifice fly from center fielder Mickey McDonald.
To open the inning, Las Vegas had two-on with no outs behind two walks.
An inning later, the first three reached base before third baseman Vimael Machín recorded his first RBI of 2022 via a sacrifice fly.
Last season, Machín was third on the team with 58 RBIs to go along with 11 home runs.
In the final inning, second baseman Christian Lopes smacked an RBI double, his third of the season, with two outs to cut the deficit to one.
Earlier in the game, Lopes sent an RBI single to center field in the inning, scoring McDonald.
It marked three RBIs in the last two games for Lopes, who went 3-for-5 with two singles, a double and two RBIs in his first three-hit game of the season.
Friday, W, 8-5
A big fifth inning paced Las Vegas to its fifth win in six games with a 8-5 win over Salt Lake.
In addition, it was the team’s sixth win through the first 10 games of the season.
Leadoff hits were vital on the way to the three-run victory with the fifth inning, proving to be the difference.
Center fielder Vince Fernandez hit a leadoff triple followed by an RBI single from second baseman Nate Mondou to go up 3-1 over the Bees.
Mondou was then a part of a three-run home run off the bat of designated hitter Eric Thames for a 6-1 Aviator lead.
In the fourth inning, Thames hit a leadoff two-bagger (his second of the year) before being driven in on a RBI double from catcher Shea Langeliers one batter later.
Thames went 2-for-5 with a home run, double, three RBIs, two runs with two strikeouts.
It was the Langeliers’ first double of the season and his only hit during a 1-for-5 outing with two RBIs and a strikeout.
He leads the team in RBIs (8) and home runs (3).
Pitcher Miguel Romero was taxed for four runs in the ninth inning before being relieved of his duties.
His final line was four runs allowed on six hits and two walks in an inning pitched. He now has an ERA of 11.57 for the season.
Reliever Chester Pimentel came in and got his first save of the year allowing one hit in his ninth inning appearance.
Pitcher Norge Ruiz got his first win of the season going two full, tallying two strikeouts and a walk in a middle relief appearance.
Starter Adrian Martinez went four innings, allowing a run on two hits, striking out five to two walks.
Saturday, L, 5-1
Las Vegas pitching unraveled in the sixth inning en route to a 5-1 loss to Salt Lake Saturday.
Starter Jared Koenig pitched into the sixth inning but found trouble by allowing a walk, wild pitch, double and RBI single in that order.
He allowed a total of three runs on six hits while posting four walks and one strikeout in his outing.
Koenig left with two outs in the sixth, handing the ball over to reliever Austin Pruitt who immediately served up an RBI triple and RBI double.
While a groundout ended the sixth, the seventh brought more trouble in the form of a leadoff double followed by an RBI single.
The Aviators were never able to recover.
One night after feasting on leadoff hits, those same leadoff hits were not enough to mount an offense.
Designated hitter Eric Thames opened the second inning with a double as Las Vegas was able to put two-on with one out and then load the bases with two outs and came away with zero runs.
An inning later, center fielder Luis Barrera hit a leadoff single and eventually stole second with one out. He would be left stranded after a strikeout and flyout.
A run was finally pushed across the plate after right fielder Mickey McDonald reached on a leadoff single and stole second base with nobody out.
He would later give the Aviators a 1-0 lead on a run scored off contact off the bat of Barrera, who reached on a field error.
Las Vegas has held a lead in three of its five losses this season.
Sunday, L, 12-3
After trailing by as many as 10 runs Sunday, Las Vegas fell to Salt Lake 12-3 in the series finale.
Starting pitcher Collin Willes was taxed heavily for his first loss of the season as the Bees scored two or more runs in four of the eight innings they played.
Salt Lake had two-on and none out after a leadoff double followed by a walk to open the bottom of the second inning.
One run would score on a fielder’s choice while the other came around on an infield fly rule.
Three more runs would score with two outs in the inning for a five-run second with the help of two Aviator errors.
More trouble followed in the fifth inning when Salt Lake had first and third with no one out. The trail runner reached base on an error.
Las Vegas had four total errors in the game. Both runners came across to score in the fifth.
Willes went five full, allowing 10 runs on 10 hits though only five runs were earned. He also struck out one and walked one.
Any time the Aviators mounted some sort of offense, it was matched by the Bees.
Second baseman Nate Mondou counted for a good portion of the team’s offense, scoring first baseman Dermis Garcia, who doubled, in the fourth inning.
Mondou went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. He scored the run in the sixth inning after right fielder Mickey McDonald connected on an RBI single.
McDonald was the only Las Vegas hitter to tally three hits, going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a strikeout.
The final run was scored in the eighth inning after third baseman Vimael Machín doubled to leadoff the inning before being driven in by catcher JJ Schwarz.
It was Schwarz’s first RBI with Las Vegas.
Machín was one of three hitters with two hits, going 2-for-5 with a double, a run scored and a strikeout.
The other two were Garcia and Schwarz.
The Aviators left 10 runners on-base.