First-place up for grabs as Aviators head to Sacramento
Updated: May 10, 2022
With a chance to take over first place in the Pacific Coast League West Division, the Las Vegas Aviators are leaving the friendly confines of Las Vegas Ballpark.
During a season-long 12-game homestand, Las Vegas posted a 7-5 record highlighted by the team’s first series win of the year against Tacoma.
In that series, No. 2 prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization Shea Langeliers launched his way into a tie for first place with his ninth home run of the season.
Sitting with a 13-11 overall record, the Aviators are locked into a tie for first place with the Sacramento River Cats, who happens to be next on the schedule.
The series is set to begin Tuesday, May 3 with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
Last season, Las Vegas went 13-11 against Sacramento.
This year, the team has a 3-3 road record so far after splitting a six-game series with Salt Lake back in April.
The Aviators have still yet to come out on the losing side of any of the four six-game series so far this season.
Tuesday, L, 4-3
A strikeout looking put the finishing touches on the fifth one-run loss in 11 decisions for Las Vegas.
The Aviators were beaten, 4-3, by the Sacramento River Cats in the series opener of a six-game series from Northern California.
This comes despite coming from behind to tie the game twice.
Second baseman Christian Lopes struck out looking with the bases loaded as the final out, finalizing the one-run loss.
Prior to, catcher Shea Langeliers tied the game in the top of the seventh inning on a solo home run with two outs to tie the game at three apiece.
All Las Vegas runs were scored with two outs.
Langeliers extended his team lead in home runs and RBIs with 10 and 22 respectively. In addition, he took over the lead in the PCL for home runs.
He went 2-for-4 with a single, home run, RBI, run scored, walk and two strikeouts.
In the top of the third, third baseman Vimael Machín scored shortstop Nick Allen, who just spent two-plus weeks up with Oakland, on an RBI single.
Machín added two hits, both singles, in his five trips to the plate recording an RBI and a strikeout.
Last series, he tallied 10 hits in five games played.
First baseman Eric Thames added an RBI single later in the inning to tie the game at two.
Lopes flied out as the final out of that third inning.
Moreover, whenever Las Vegas made a move, Sacramento was able to respond.
In the bottom of the third, designated hitter Austin Dean’s RBI single regained a 3-2 lead for the home team.
While pinch-hitter Bryce Johnson’s RBI single in the seventh served as the winning run for the River Cats.
Pitcher Adam Oller was taxed for two first inning runs in his first appearance as an Aviator.
His final stat line was three runs allowed (one earned) on three hits over three innings pitched with two strikeouts and four walks.
Reliever Aaron Brown (1-1) was given the loss after giving up one run on two hits in 1 ⅓ innings of work.
Wednesday, W, 5-0
Las Vegas tossed a two-hit shutout in response to its loss in the series opener, the team’s first since August of 2021.
Starter Parker Dunshee (1-1) got his first win of the year in his sixth outing and fourth start; going six full, allowing one hit while striking out six to just one first inning walk.
At one point, he had retired 10 straight batters between the first and fourth innings. He turned away the last six he faced on the way out.
The bullpen combination of Grant Holmes, Brian Howard and Miguel Romero went the final three innings, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts but walked three.
He was spotted an early run when catcher Shea Langeliers reached on a throwing error from third baseman David Villar.
Designated hitter Ramon Laureano came around to score, marking his nine run scored in eight games played with Las Vegas this season.
He is on a major-league rehab coming back from an 80-game suspension for PEDs dating back to last August.
Langeliers also started a three-run sixth inning as his fourth double of the year drove in third baseman Vimael Machín.
It was the 23rd RBI of the season for the No. 3 prospect in the Athletics organization. He is now in a three-way tie for second-most in the PCL.
He went 2-for-5 with a single, double, RBI and run scored, joining Machín as the only Aviators with multi-hit days.
Machín went 2-for-5 with a single, double and run scored.
Second baseman Nate Mondou drove in Langeliers on an RBI triple for the middle run of that three-run sixth.
Mondou went 1-for-2 with that RBI triple, a walk and a run scored.
The final run of the sixth came via a wild pitch that allowed center fielder Luis Barrera to score from third.
First baseman Dalton Kelly added an RBI single in the eighth for the game's final run.
Thursday, W, 7-5
A go-ahead hit in the ninth inning gave the Aviators a 7-5 win over the River Cats, catapulting the team to first place in the PCL West.
The win came despite Sacramento outhitting Las Vegas, 9-8. The Aviators are 6-7 when being outhit so far this season.
Center fielder Ramon Laureano smacked a two-run single into the outfield, scoring outfielder Buddy Reed and shortstop Nick Allen.
It was the only hit in four trips to the plate for Laureano, recording a single, two RBI, a run scored, a strikeout and a walk.
He is now batting .118 since starting his rehab assignment in Las Vegas.
Laureano scored his lone run in the fourth inning off an RBI single from first baseman Eric Thames to go up 2-1.
That was the first of two hits for Thames as he went yard in the sixth inning, driving in two with no outs.
Thames went 2-for-3 with a single, home run, three RBI, a run scored, strikeout and walk.
Designated hitter Dalton Kelly was the other Aviator home run on the night, going deep in the third inning.
Last season, Kelly hit 27 home runs for Durham.
Las Vegas pitching saw a wild night as it totaled two holds, a blown save and the deciding win by the end of the night.
Reliever Jacob Lemoine (1-0) got the win in his Aviator debut after pitching 1.2 hitless shutout innings recording a strikeout and a walk.
Starter Adrian Martinez (0-2) went five full innings, allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
He now has a 7.45 ERA so far this season and is still winless through five starts this year.
Friday, L, 4-0
Sacramento got some revenge against Las Vegas, shutting the team out for the first time this season in 4-0 fashion.
It marks the first time the Aviators have been shut out since last July. Overall, last season’s team was shut out five times.
Starting pitcher Collin Wiles (2-2) was strong allowing two runs on four hits in five innings of work, recording three strikeouts and four walks.
So far this season, Willes has a 4.33 ERA.
Moreover, Las Vegas averages 3.8 runs per game in games started by him.
Whether it was Willes or relievers Parker Markel and Ryan Castellani, the Aviators were burned by the same two River Cat batters.
All Sacramento runs were driven in by catcher Ricardo Genoves and center fielder Heliot Ramos.
Both had RBI singles in the bottom of the fifth innings while Ramos recorded another on an RBI groundout two innings later.
In the eighth, Genoves drove in the final run on another RBI single.
Catcher Shea Langeliers had his eight-game hit streak snapped as Las Vegas batters were held to just four hits.
Third baseman Mickey McDonald had some opportunities in scoring position but could not make it all the way home.
He was granted a one-out walk in the fifth inning before getting into scoring position on a stolen base.
McDonald was caught attempting to steal third before right fielder Ramon Laureano would fly out to right.
In the eighth inning, McDonald would get another chance when he strolled into scoring position after securing a one-out double.
This time around he would be stranded after a strikeout and flyout ended the inning.
The Aviators were only retired in order three times during the game. Those three times came in the last four innings.
Saturday, W, 13-0
At least a series split is secured now after Las Vegas posted its second shutout in four games, allowing two hits in the process.
In addition, all of the team’s runs in its 13-0 win over Sacramento Saturday night in the fourth and fifth innings.
A walk to left fielder Christian Lopes loaded the bases with one out which prompted Sacramento manager Dave Brundage to remove starter Wei Chieh Huang from the game.
He was still charged heavily as all runs came around to score starting with a run scored when second baseman Nate Mondou was hit by a pitch. He leads the team in that department.
Right fielder Drew Jackson walked to score center fielder Luis Barrera before third baseman Vimael Machín scored two on a single.
Lopes and Mondou came around on Machín’s single.
The final run of the inning came via an RBI fielder’s choice from shortstop Nick Allen for a 5-0 Las Vegas lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.
The Aviators batted around in the fifth inning, starting with a leadoff home run from designated hitter Shea Langeliers for his 11th home run of the year. He extended his team and league lead with that one swing.
Three straight free passes followed with runs scoring on a fielder’s choice, walk and fielder’s choice.
The remaining runs came on singles from N. Allen, catcher Austin Allen, Thames and Barrera.
Seven of the nine starters recorded hits while eight of the nine scored runs with five scoring two or more.
Thames and Barrera posted the exact same stat line as the five and six hitters in the lineup.
Both went 2-of-4 with two singles, an RBI, two runs scored, a strikeout and a walk.
Langeliers, Lopes and Jackson also scored multiple runs.
Four players turned in multi-RBI nights with Machín leading the team with three runs driven in.
Mondou, Jackson and A. Allen all had two apiece.
Starting pitcher Jared Koenig (2-2) got his second straight win in as many appearances, allowing the game’s only two hits in six innings pitched.
He also struck out a career-high 10 batters while walking just one.
The reliever combination of Norge Ruiz and Chester Pimentel went three hitless shutout innings, striking out two.
Las Vegas pitching retired 12 straight Sacramento batters from the second to sixth innings before retiring 10 straight to get out with the win.
Sunday, W, 3-1
The second consecutive series win of the year for the Aviators came after a 3-1 final in the series finale against the River Cats.
Over the final two games of the six-game series, Las Vegas outscored Sacramento, 16-1.
One night after posting its second shutout in four games, the team used 10 total strikeouts to get the win.
Starter Adam Oller (1-0) got his first decision in his second appearance for Las Vegas.
He turned in a five-inning performance, allowing a run on three hits while striking out six and walking three.
His six strikeouts come after he posted two in his first outing.
Oller now has a 2.25 ERA so far this season.
Relievers Grant Holmes, Austin Pruitt and Domingo Tapia all recorded holds. All of which were their first of the year except Tapia, who tallied his second of the season.
Pitcher Gabe Klobosits got his first save of the year after giving up two hits in his one inning of work before getting a strikeout to slam the door shut.
Two runs in the fourth inning was the difference in the win after both team scratched across runs in the second inning.
An RBI triple from second baseman Nate Mondou started things out as Las Vegas scored its first run of the game in the second inning with two outs.
Sacramento matched that run with an RBI single immediately on the heels of a leadoff double to tie it at one.
However, the fourth inning saw the Aviators’ first three batters reach starting with a leadoff single from catcher Shea Langeliers.
He would later score on a single from first baseman JJ Schwarz to make it 2-1 for the road team.
Left fielder Luis Barrera was responsible for the game’s final run via an RBI sacrifice fly that scored designated hitter Christian Lopes.