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Another series split for Las Vegas after taking first two games

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Losing three of the final four games of a six-game series on the road resulted in another series split for Las Vegas. Two of the three losses were by one run while the final blow came in a lopsided loss in the finale.


Through the first two games, the Aviators had earned wins of one-run and by three runs before entering the losing slide.


With the recent stalemate, Las Vegas remain five games under .500 at 29-34 as the first half of the Minor League Baseball season winds down.


Oklahoma City is running away with the Pacific Coast League standings as teams in both divisions continue to look up in the standings.


The Aviators will now return home to the Las Vegas Ballpark for six games against intra-state rival Reno beginning Tuesday, June 13. Currently, the Aviators hold a .500 record at home this season in 30 tries.


First game of the series is set to begin at 7:05 p.m.


Tuesday, W, 2-1


Las Vegas’ win streak is up to four straight games after a 2-1 win in a pitcher’s duel Tuesday night.


The Aviators’ breakthrough came in the fifth inning when left fielder Conner Capel led off the frame with a double followed by a walk to designated hitter Kyle McCann. Both would be driven in on a two-run single by center fielder Max Schuemann to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.


Capel and Schuemann along with third baseman Jordan Diaz and shortstop Tyler Wade accounted for all four of the Las Vegas hits on the night. Wade’s two-out single in the top of the third inning went down as the first hit of the game for either side.


Pitcher Adam Oller was brilliant during his six scoreless inning start, allowing three hits with six strikeouts and three walks. He recorded three of his strikeouts in the bottom of the fourth inning while working around a two-out walk.


Oller is now 2-2 with a 5.16 earned run average this season.


Sacramento tallied its second hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning but did not score its first run until the bottom of the eighth inning. That run was scored on an RBI sacrifice fly after back-to-back one-out singles.


By then, the River Cats were working on the third Aviator pitcher of the night. Relievers Spencer Patton and Chad Smith both earned holds for their performances which were a combined two innings of two-hit ball giving up one run and striking out one.


Fellow reliever Garrett Acton picked up his third save of the year with one inning of work where he struck out one, walked one and gave up one hit.


Wednesday, W, 8-5


That makes it now five straight wins for the Aviators as the team takes the first two games of a scheduled six against the River Cats following an 8-5 win Wednesday.


Las Vegas lost a three-run lead but would once again find its game-changing moment in the middle innings.


Designated hitter Yohel Pozo broke tied the game at four apiece in the top of the fifth inning with an RBI sac fly. That tie was broken as a run would score on a wild pitch to account for the third lead change of the game.


An inning later, right fielder Conner Capel walked to lead off the frame only to be followed by a double from third baseman Jordan Diaz. Both would come across to score as part of a one-out three-run home run by catcher Tyler Soderstrom for his 13th longball of the season.


Left fielder Cody Thomas also hit his 13th home run of the year in this one, hitting his two-run blast in the top of the first during a three-run frame. Last night, Thomas had his 13-game hit streak snapped.


Diaz also recorded an RBI single in the first inning. That 3-0 lead was fully given up by the fourth inning after Sacramento began to get some runs back in the bottom of the first inning, starting with an RBI single with one out to open the scoring for the home team.


In the fourth inning, the River Cats led off the frame with a home run to cut the deficit to a run. They’d hit a second home run in the inning, this time a two-run dinger to put the team ahead for the first time this series at 4-3.


From there, starter Adrian Martinez would be yanked from the mound. He went 3.2 innings, giving up four runs on six hits with two walks.


Martinez is still winless in four appearances with the Aviators this season. He has a 9.00 ERA this year.


Reliever Joseph Wieland (4-4) got the win after recording a single out while giving up a hit with one strikeout. Fellow reliever Zach Neal did most of the heavy-lifting with four innings of work, yielding a run on two hits with three strikeouts and a walk.


Reliever Rico Garcia earned his fourth save of the year after a perfect inning on the mound.


Thursday, L, 4-3


Las Vegas suffered its first loss of the series effectively ending a five-game win streak for the team. The loss came via a walkoff in the bottom of the ninth inning to Sacramento.


After a leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt, an error from left fielder Cody Thomas turned disastrous as the River Cats scratched across the deciding run in a 4-3 victory.


Prior to, the Aviators’ offense stalled at the worst time though it scored a run on the top of the ninth inning. The team scored the tying run on a fielder’s choice after two runners reached on an error and a walk.


In the top of the eighth inning, Las Vegas struck out in order for a total of five straight Ks going back to the seventh inning. The back-to-back strikeouts in the seventh inning ended a chance with the bases loaded and one out for the visitors in hopes of a sixth straight win.


Earlier in the game, the Aviators held several leads all to which were responded to by the River Cats almost immediately.


Right fielder Trenton Brooks hit a one-out solo home run in the top of the first to open the day’s scoring. In the bottom of the third inning, Sacramento did the same with one out to tie the game at a run apiece.


Designated hitter Tyler Soderstrom put Las Vegas ahead again with an RBI double after the aforementioned Thomas singled with one out and stole a base. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the River Cats strung together three straight two-out hits with the final bringing across the game-tying run.


Aviators starter Kyle Muller would finish the fifth inning but would not return to the mound. In his five innings of work, he worked around eight hits, giving up just two runs with four strikeouts.


Reliever Garrett Acton (5-2) was given the loss on an unearned run in his ⅓ inning on the mound.


Friday, L, 9-8


For the second straight game, Las Vegas fell short just a run in Sacramento as the series is now knotted up at two apiece with two more games to play. This time the team had a comeback effort fall just short in the ninth inning.


Shortstop Nick Allen hit a one-out double after center fielder Max Schuemann walked. Allen had himself a day, going 3-for-5 with a single, two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. He hit an RBI single with two outs in the fifth and added another run to the board on an RBI double in the seventh frame.


Left fielder Conner Capel drove in the first run of the ninth inning on an RBI single which was followed by an RBI walk issued to third baseman Jordan Diaz.


Second baseman Zack Gelof injected the final bit of life into the Aviators with a two-run single to come within a run of the River Cats. Gelof hit a leadoff home run in the second inning as part of his 2-for-5 night with a single, home run, three RBI, a run scored and two strikeouts.


Las Vegas went down on a flyout and strikeout looking to end the comeback rally.


Seven of the nine Sacramento runs came with two outs recorded in the inning as the team scored runs in six of the eight innings it came up to bat.


The only runs scored without two outs being tallied were a pair of home runs from third baseman Will Wilson and designated hitter Clint Coulter. Wilson hit two longballs on the night as the River Cats hit four on the night.


Aviators starting pitcher Colton Eastman (0-6, 6.31 ERA) tallied another loss to his already winless record after going 4 ⅔ innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Three of the four home runs were hit off Eastman while the final one came off of reliever Colin Peluse.


Saturday, W, 11-6


By picking up a win on Saturday, Las Vegas has guaranteed at least a series split against Sacramento. In addition, the win ends a two-game skid for the team.


Ultimately, it was big turnouts in the sixth and seventh innings that set the Aviators apart. The team pushed across four runs in the former frame and scored five runs in the latter inning.


Center fielder Conner Capel hit a two-run single before two more runs scored on a wild pitch. All Las Vegas runs in the sixth inning came with two outs recorded. In fact, six of the 11 runs for the Aviators were scored with two outs.


An inning later, catcher Tyler Soderstrom and first baseman Dermis Garcia hit back-to-back home runs to open the frame. Soderstrom also tied the game at two apiece with two outs in the fifth inning with an RBI triple.


Third baseman Tyler Wade added an RBI double while shortstop Nick Allen plated a run on an RBI sacrifice fly. Earlier in the game, Wade tallied an RBI on a single with two outs in the fourth inning.


The final Las Vegas run scored in the seventh inning came on a fielder’s choice which put the team up 11-2.


Over the final two innings, Aviator pitching gave up four runs beginning with a leadoff home run in the eighth inning off relief pitcher Joe Wieland. In the second inning, the River Cats hit back-to-back home runs with two outs after seeing a total of three pitches.


The final three Sacramento runs in the ninth inning were charged to relief pitcher Norge Ruiz.


Starting pitcher Aaron Wilkerson got the win to improve to 3-1 with a 6.21 ERA so far this season. His final stat line read two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts versus one walk in 5 ⅔ innings of work.


Sunday, L, 18-2


With a chance to get a much needed series win, Las Vegas was blown out by Sacramento, 16-2, in the Sunday series finale. This series split comes after the Aviators won the first two games of the series.


The River Cats used two seven-run innings to storm away with this victory. In the third inning, the team hit four home runs including back-to-back jacks to open plus a three-run shot and a two-run blast. By the end of the frame, Sacramento was up 8-1.


In the bottom of the eighth inning, Las Vegas gave up a grand slam with one out coupled with a three-run home run with two outs, serving as the final runs of the game. Fifteen of the 18 runs by the River Cats came on home run trots on its seven long balls.


Aviator starter Adam Oller (2-3, 7.46 ERA) had a rough outing going 2 ⅔ innings, giving up eight runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and three walks, He gave up four of the seven home runs allowed on the day.


Reliever Garrett Acton was on the mound for the second seven-run inning for Sacramento, giving it up on five hits while recording a strikeout and two walks while accounting for two home runs.


While scarce, Las Vegas scored runs on an RBI single from left fielder Trenton Brooks in the second inning and a leadoff home run from first baseman Dermis Garcia in the fifth inning.

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