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Second straight series split for Las Vegas as it heads back to the road

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Las Vegas came about as close as it could to finishing off its first series win in over a month but fell just short as Reno eked out a six-game split. With the series coming to a close on Father’s Day, the Aviators fought back valiantly in the series finale fighting back from a three-run deficit.

Another deadlock in a six-game setting has maintained the .500 home record for Las Vegas from the Las Vegas Ballpark. Overall, the team is 32-37 this season with one more series remaining in the first half of the Minor League Baseball season.

That remaining series will be played on the road against the Pacific Coast League-leading Oklahoma City Dodgers set to start Tuesday, June 20 from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

Already having played a series against Oklahoma City this season, Las Vegas owns a 1-5 record against the PCL East team despite playing inside of the friendly confines of Las Vegas Ballpark.

Tuesday, L, 11-2

An unfortunate twist to this season has seen Las Vegas lose every single one of its Tuesday series openers at home including its most recent one against Reno.

In this 11-2 loss, the Aviators fell flat from the start losing their third of four against the intra-state rival Aces to start the year.

Starting pitcher Adrian Martinez had a shaky start to say the least. He scattered two singles in the first inning but recorded three strikeouts to get around them.

An inning later, he was not as successful as he gave up a three-run home run with one out after a leadoff double and one-out walk. Moments after giving up those three runs, Martinez was looked at by the Las Vegas training staff while still on the mound.

Martinez would finish the frame and work the third inning as well. In the third, he’d serve up back-to-back solo home runs with one out to leave the mound down, 5-0, on the scoreboard.

With the loss, he is now 0-4 on the year with a 10.50 ERA in five appearances with Las Vegas this season. In this one, Martinez posted a final stat line of five runs allowed on eight hits in three innings of work with three strikeouts and a walk.

On the other hand, Aviator batters had the toughest time getting to Aces starter Brandon Pfaadt. In fact, Las Vegas struck out 16 times with 10 coming at the hands of Pfaadt.

Those 10 K’s for Pfaadt came in just 5.2 innings on the mound as he held the Aviators to a run on four hits with zero walks. While going back-and-forth to the majors, he has tallied an MiLB earned run average of 3.79 so far this season.

Las Vegas didn’t record its first hit until the third inning on a single from second baseman Zack Gelof before an RBI double from shortstop Nick Allen scored him.

Allen would later be involved in the only other run for the Aviators after he led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a double. He’d be driven in on an RBI groundout from third baseman Jordan Diaz.

Las Vegas only recorded six hits but four of them went for extra-bases. Allen picked up two of those hits in four trips to the plate with an RBI, a run scored and a strikeout.

Wednesday, W, 7-5

The Aviators picked up their first win of the series behind a strong pitching performance that saw the team only use three pitchers after getting a strong initial effort from starter Kyle Muller.

In addition, the offense was bolstered by two big scoring innings en route to this two-run lead.

Prior to the start of this one, Muller had logged three appearances with Las Vegas with all being starts, however held an 0-1 record with a 7.07 ERA.

Reno jumped on Muller early with a two-out triple followed by an RBI single in the first inning to open the day’s scoring. In the fourth inning, the Aces tallied their fourth hit of the game, another two-out hit, the same as the first three. In total, six of the 10 Reno hits came with two outs in the frame.

Muller didn’t record his first 1-2-3 inning of the night until the fifth inning but he had a six-run lead by that point. In prior starts, he had been given three, four and three runs as run support.

The final stat line for Muller was six innings pitched, with a run on five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. His six innings pitched is his longest outing of the year becoming the third Las Vegas pitcher to do so.

As a team, Aviator starting pitchers were 7-18 on the year with a 6.87 ERA.

While Muller didn’t walk any Reno batters, Las Vegas pitching issued its first free pass in the eighth inning with reliever Spencer Patton on the mound.

Prior to, reliever Kirby Snead gave up a run on an RBI sacrifice fly on the heels of a double and single.

Third baseman Jordan Diaz hit a three-run home run as the third straight batter to reach in the bottom of the first inning with nobody out. He had an up-and-down game as he picked up three errors in the game after having nine coming into play.

Diaz went 3-for-4 with two singles, a home run, three RBI and a run scored after going 0-for-4 the night before.

The second big inning for the home team came in the form of a four-run fourth inning including two RBI doubles by second baseman Zack Gelof and catcher Yohel Pozo. Center fielder Max Schuemann was responsible for the third run-producing double of the inning, driving in two runs to put the team up 7-1.

Thursday, W, 6-4

Las Vegas put together a second straight win despite losing a four-run lead but did just enough to escape with a 6-4 win over Reno.

Eight came to the plate in the Aviators’ half of the second inning which included two home runs to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Both homers were hit with two outs in the inning.

Right fielder Conner Capel plated three runs on a three-run blast after back-to-back singles with one out. Two batters later, left fielder Trenton Brooks hit a solo shot on a 0-1 count. Capel’s home run came on the first pitch he saw.

Pitcher Freddy Tarnok made his Las Vegas debut and pitched a hitless 2 ⅔ innings with two strikeouts and two walks. The only real trouble he ran into was when he issued both of his walks in back-to-back fashion with two outs in the third inning.

With reliever Colton Eastman on the mound, he averted more danger with back-to-back strikeouts after two batters reached with one out on an error and a walk. An inning later he wouldn’t be as lucky, giving up an RBI single and three-run home run to tie the game at four apiece.

Reliever Francisco Perez got the win to improve to 2-1 on the year with an 8.03 ERA.

He was in line for the win after second baseman Zack Gelof drove in a lead runner Max Schuemann, who opened the bottom of the sixth inning with a single. First baseman Tyler Soderstrom added an insurance run in the eighth inning on an RBI groundout.

Friday, L, 11-10

Reno came back to even the series while ending Las Vegas’ brief two-game win streak in a thriller of a game with a 11-10 win for the visitors.

The Aces sent 12 to the plate in the third inning en route to putting eight runs on the board. Three straight hits set the tone for the frame as an RBI triple and RBI single netted Reno the lead. At that time, it was the third lead change in the first three innings of the game.

Starting pitcher Aaron Wilkerson loaded the bases on a pitch clock walk and would be promptly removed from the mound.

His relief, Chase Cohen, handed out three straight RBI walks as the home team fell behind, 9-4. The other runs in the inning were scored on an RBI sacrifice fly and an RBI single with the trail runner being thrown out at home for the final out.

Wilkerson (3-2, 8.07 ERA) failed to go three innings, racking up nine runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings with four strikeouts and two walks. This is the start where he has not gone at least three innings.

While only recording two outs during his outing, Cohen was hit for two runs on a hit with three walks.

Las Vegas batted around in the second inning as the first run scored on a catcher’s interference for the team’s first run of the night. Shortstop Nick Allen drove in two runs on a double while center fielder Conner Capel plated another on a single. Allen’s hit tie the game and Capel’s swing gave the team its first lead of the game.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Aviators loaded the bases with nobody out and would eventually have two of them come across to score. Two runs scored on a forceout and an RBI single.

Running out of chances, Las Vegas scored runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on an RBI double from right fielder Cody Thomas.

Now with two outs, third baseman Logan Davidson cut the deficit to two on a two-run single in his Triple-A debut. However, Davidson would be thrown out at third on an RBI single for Allen when he would’ve been the tying run in scoring position standing at second base.

Saturday, W, 15-11

A slugfest of a game saw Las Vegas beat its intra-state rival to secure at least a split in this six-game series. In total, both teams combined to tally 26 runs on 34 hits with the Aviators scoring 10 of their runs in the first three innings of the game.

In fact, Las Vegas scored 10 unanswered runs after Reno raced out to a 1-0 lead. Third baseman Jordan Diaz drove in a run on an RBI single to tie the game in the bottom of the first inning. He’d record another RBI single in the third inning.

Designated hitter Yohel Pozo had the biggest swing of the first inning with a two-run home run with two outs tallied. Twelve total Aviator batters came to the plate in the second inning with two home runs in the same inning for the second time this series for a six-run outing.

Catcher Kyle McCann hit a solo dinger while right fielder Cody Thomas smacked a grand slam off a new pitcher that entered following the first longball. McCann hit his second homer of the night in the sixth inning on a three-run blast.

McCann went 2-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI, two runs scored and a strikeout.

The Aces jumped on starter Adam Oller early but the heaviest trouble came in the fourth inning as Reno hit for a team cycle, scoring five runs while batting around.

Oller would leave the mound after working four innings where he gave up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits with five strikeouts.

Reno would fight until the very end securing home runs in the eighth and ninth innings, both solos in addition to an RBI groundout and RBI single in the final frame.

Reliever Francisco Perez earned his second win of the series after pitching two scoreless innings, tallying two strikeouts.

Sunday, L, 9-7

Las Vegas trailed 3-0, 4-1 and 8-5 before ultimately succumbing to things and losing a Sunday finale that finalized a six-game split with Reno.

The Aces took the lead for good in the fifth inning after back-to-back singles opened the frame to knock starter Adrian Martinez out of the game. Reliever Norge Ruiz induced a double play to tie the game at five apiece but followed it up with a walk, single and two RBI singles to really turn the game on its ear.

The final out of the inning came in a play at home plate but not before another run was scratched across.

Martinez was hit for three runs in the first inning on an RBI double and two-run homer on the way to a four-inning outing, giving up five runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and a walk. He was given the no-decision as Ruiz was saddled with the loss.

Reliever Zach Neal worked the final four innings in an effort to save the bullpen. He finished with a run allowed on two hits with four strikeouts and a walk.

Catcher Tyler Soderstrom blasted a home run over the fence in the bottom of the second inning to put the home team on the board.

Right fielder Cody Thomas joined the party with a solo moonshot of his own in the bottom of the third inning for a 4-4 tie.

Both Soderstrom and Thomas’ homers counted as each lone hit on the night in five respective trips to the plate.

In total, both teams recorded four total home runs in the game for a grand total of 19 homers in the series including 11 over the final two games.

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