Final homestand of season brings Dodgers to Las Vegas Ballpark
Updated: Sep 27, 2021
The Triple-A Final Stretch didn’t get off to a good start for the Las Vegas Aviators but back-to-back wins allowed the team to close Las Vegas Ballpark this year with a win.
This comes despite losing the series, 2-3, to the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
In the final game of the series, the organization announced that with a game sellout attendance of 9,401, bringing the total attendance for the season up to 428,369.
That’s the second-highest season attendance in the team’s 38-year history.
With a chance to play in the championship series out of reach, Las Vegas currently sports a 64-61 record with five more games to play.
The Aviators are still in third place of the Western Division of the Triple-A West.
The team will now head up north to Reno for a five-game series with the second place Aces, who still have a chance to catch the first-place Tacoma Rainiers.
That series will begin Wednesday, Sept. 29 with first pitch scheduled for
Thursday, L, 12-5
Las Vegas was overpowered in the team’s series opener at home, losing 12-5 to Oklahoma City.
Right fielder Luis Barrera reached in the second inning on a leadoff walk but was eventually stranded.
When the Dodgers received the same luxury in the top of the third, the runner came around on an RBI double followed by an RBI single from ex-Aviator Sheldon Neuse.
Starting pitcher Brady Feigl (1-2) wouldn’t make it through the inning.
He went 2.1 innings, allowing six runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Oklahoma City would plate seven runs in that third inning.
A four-spot by the Aviators in the sixth inning was offset by a four-run eighth by the Dodgers.
Four straight hits opened the sixth inning including back-to-back home runs by first baseman Francisco Peña and Barrera.
Peña hit a two-run blast as part of his 2-for-5 night with a home run, three RBIs, a run scored and a strikeout.
He now has 22 home runs and 76 RBIs, good for second on the team in both categories.
Barrera hit his first inside-the-park home run of the year, his fourth overall, just one batter later.
He went 2-for-4, with a home run, RBI, run scored, strikeout and walk during his outing.
However, Las Vegas’ two home runs were upended by Oklahoma City’s three.
Aside from that sixth inning, the Aviators did not particularly have success with the leadoff man.
During the game, the five Las Vegas-leadoff men reached, only one scored.
Friday, L, 13-4
It’s been a rough September as the Aviators are on their fourth third-game losing streak of the month.
Las Vegas lost, 13-4, to Oklahoma City from Las Vegas Ballpark.
The team has been outscored 25-9 over the last two games.
Free passes told the story as the Aviators issued six walks and hit four Dodger batters.
Starter Homer Bailey struggled again, going three-plus, allowing five runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
However, he walked four batters and hit two batters.
Bailey (1-7) has now lost seven straight and has a season earned run average of 7.58.
More mistakes followed as the team turned a three-run deficit into nine after two errors turned into a six-run ninth inning.
Shortstop Pete Kozma and first baseman Carlos Perez both committed throwing errors in the 30-minute half frame.
It was the second six-run half inning of the game for Oklahoma City.
The Las Vegas offense came from some unsuspecting bats in the lineup.
Left fielder Max Schuemann went 1-for-4 with a triple, a run scored and a strikeout.
Catcher Collin Theroux ended the night 1-for-4 with an RBI single and a run scored but struck out three times.
Schuemann and Theroux were the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters in the lineup.
Second baseman Nick Allen tallied three hits in five at-bats with two doubles, a single, an RBI and a run scored.
Those three batters came into the game with 26 combined hits in 39 games.
Their production led to an early 2-0 lead for the Aviators.
Right fielder Luis Barrera and Kozma added RBIs in the sixth and eighth innings.
Barrera went 3-for-4 with three singles and an RBI.
Kozma finished 1-for-3 with a single, an RBI and a walk.
Saturday, L, 5-2
It’s now four straight losses for Las Vegas as it has begun the Triple-A Final Stretch 0-3 after losing 5-2 to Oklahoma City.
Another Aviator starter struggled as the first inning produced its first run before it produced its first out.
The Dodgers led 2-0 by the end of the inning.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the third, where Las Vegas recorded its first hit of the game however, Oklahoma City led 3-0 by then.
Starting pitcher A.J. Puk (2-5) went four innings, giving up three runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Second baseman Pete Kozma cracked an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning to get the Aviators on the board.
Kozma has not recorded a hit in three straight games, recording an RBI in two.
He went 1-for-4 with that RBI single.
Las Vegas would get within a run after an RBI single from shortstop Nick Allen in the fifth inning.
He went 2-for-3 with two singles, an RBI, a run scored, a walk and a strikeout.
Allen is now on a 10-game hit streak.
Two more Oklahoma City runs followed in the seventh, pushing to the final three-run deficit.
Sunday, W, 8-2
It starts from the top as the Aviators received a great start from pitcher Brian Howard en route to a 8-2 win over the Dodgers.
The win ends a four-game losing streak for Las Vegas.
Howard went six innings, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts and a walk.
He overcame two wild pitches in the fourth inning to allow his lone run.
That was offset by three 1-2-3 innings.
Howard (7-4) has not lost a game since July 30.
Power played the biggest role at the plate for the Aviators as three players hit home runs.
Left fielder Marty Bechina got it started with a second inning home run amidst his 2-for-4 night with a home run, single, RBI, run scored and two strikeouts.
An inning later, catcher Collin Theroux went deep as part of his 2-for-4 outing with a home run, single, RBI and two runs scored.
It was his first Triple-A home run of his career.
First baseman Carlos Perez added to his team lead in both home runs and RBIs after his three-run home run in the fifth inning.
Perez went 2-for-3 with that three-run power swing, a run scored and a walk.
Twenty-one year old third baseman Zack Gelof recorded his first Triple-A hit and run scored during a two-run eighth inning for Las Vegas.
He went 1-for-3 with a single and a run scored.
Monday, W, 11-9
It was the perfect recipe to a regular season home finale as the Aviators came away with a 11-9 win over the Dodgers to close out a five-game series.
The win makes it back-to-back for Las Vegas after losing four straight last week.
It was an onslaught from the early going as the Aviators opened the game with a four-run first inning which featured two RBI doubles.
In addition, the first three men reached base with eight coming to the plate in total.
Las Vegas had another such frame, two innings later when the team sent eight more men to the plate, scoring four more runs.
By that point, the Aviators were looking at their biggest lead of the game, 8-1.
Starting pitcher Parker Dunshee pitched 4 ⅓ innings, allowing six runs on six hits, recording three strikeouts and two walks.
He found himself in trouble in a fifth inning that nearly resulted in an entire collapse for the home team.
Oklahoma City batted around that inning, scoring five runs to cut the deficit to 8-7.
That’s the closest they’d get despite Las Vegas having eight straight batters retired in order between the third and sixth innings.
The brightest star of the night came in the form of third baseman Zack Gelof in just his second-career Triple-A game.
Gelof went 3-for-4 with two singles, a double and a game-high five RBIs.
This includes a three-run double in the third inning coupled with a two-run single in the seventh to push the Aviator lead back to four runs.