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Chihuahuas latest team to split six-game series with Aviators

Updated: Apr 24, 2022

With several chances to take an outright grasp of first place in the division, the Las Vegas Aviators suffered its third straight series split.

The El Paso Chihuahuas are the latest team to split a six-game series with the Aviators, taking the Sunday matinee finale by a run.

That marked the fourth one-run loss for Las Vegas this season in seven such instances.

Coming into the final game of the series, the Aviators were locked into a four-way tie for first place in the Pacific Coast League West division.

Now sitting at 9-9 on the year, the team will continue its season-long 12-game homestand as it prepares to welcome in the Tacoma Rainiers of the Seattle Mariners organization.

That series is set to start Tuesday, April 26 from the Las Vegas Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Tuesday, W, 9-7

Las Vegas Ballpark was the site of yet another walk-off win for the Aviators, this time as part of a 9-7 win over the Chihuahuas.

Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson

The win marks two straight home walk-off wins, both of which have come off the bat of outfielder Luis Barrera.

With a runner on and one out in the ninth inning, Barrera sent the first pitch he saw deep over the wall in right-center field for a 451-foot moonshot.

It was his second home run of the season.

Prior to his heroics, Las Vegas was aided by two four-hit games from designated hitter Dermis Garcia and catcher Shea Langeliers.

Garcia came into the game without a home run for the Aviators but would connect on two before the night was over. In fact, he finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with two home runs, a double, three runs batted in and three runs scored.

With the bases loaded in the eighth inning, Garcia scored Barrera from third on an RBI single.

Langeliers went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two singles, a strikeout and a run scored.

It was his first four-hit game since August of last year while it was the first such night for Garcia since June of 2018.

Las Vegas out-hit El Paso, 18-6. This year’s team is 4-3 when out-hitting opponents.

Reliever Parker Markel got the win to improve to 3-0 on the year despite a combined six walks and two hit batters by Las Vegas pitching.

In the eighth inning alone, the Chihuahuas scored three runs off one hit to take a 7-6 lead into the bottom half of the frame.

Starter Parker Dunshee went six full innings, allowing four runs on four hits to go along with two strikeouts and three walks.

He did allow his first home run of the year in the first inning and would couple that by surrendering another one in the fourth.

Dunshee is still without a home Triple-A win.

Wednesday, W, 12-5

A nine-spot in the seventh inning changed the complexion of an eventual 12-5 win for the Aviators over the Chihuahuas Wednesday night.

The seventh inning saw Las Vegas bat around before recording its first out of the inning, scoring seven of the runs prior to.

As a team, the Aviators were issued nine walks during the game, seven of which came in the seventh inning. Of those seven seventh inning walks, five came around to score.

Overall, Las Vegas sent 14 batters to the plate in the seventh inning with all nine starters scoring during the frame. El Paso used three pitchers during the half inning to get all three outs.

Earlier in the fifth inning, the Aviators left the bases loaded as designated hitter Dermis Garcia struck out looking.

An inning later, third baseman Marty Bechina was thrown out trying to steal second base for the final out of the sixth.

Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson

Center fielder Buddy Reed went 3-for-5 with three singles, three runs scored and a strikeout. The final run he scored came via a wild pitch during the seventh inning onslaught.

He entered the game with a .174 batting average but lifted it to .250 by the end of the contest.

Shortstop Vimael Machín had a monster night going 3-for-4 with a single, double, home run, four RBIs, a walk and two runs scored.

Coming into the game, he had three RBIs in 10 games played so far this season.

The first three times he put the ball in play produced runs for Las Vegas.

Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson

Last series, Machín tallied four hits but now has six through the first two games of this series.

Pitcher James Kaprielian made a rehab start (shoulder irritation) from the Oakland Athletics.

Last season, he made one start in Las Vegas before being called up to the Big Leagues for good.

In 4 ⅔ innings of work, Kaprielian was roughed up for four runs on nine hits to go along with five strikeouts to just one walk.

He found himself on the wrong side of a 2-0 score just three pitches into his outing, surrendering a leadoff triple, followed by a two-run home run.

Kaprielian would settle down and face the minimum through the next two innings.

Pitcher Brian Howard (1-0) entered from the bullpen and got the win going the remaining 4 ⅓, yielding one run on two hits while striking out three and walking two.

Thursday, L, 6-5

For the sixth time in 15 games this season, Las Vegas endured a one-run finish to a game. And for the third time this season, the Aviators came out on the wrong end, this time by a final of 6-5.

El Paso scored three runs in the top of the ninth, all of which came via the home run. The first came in the form of a one-out home run followed by a two-run home run where the lead runner reached via an error.

An inning prior, Las Vegas pitched around a one-out walk and threw out a runner at the plate on a two-out double.

Yet, even with the lopsided top of the ninth, the Aviators scraped in the bottom half coming within striking distance of another walk-off win.

Center fielder Luis Barrera smacked a one-out triple and would later score on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Vimael Machín to cut it to 6-4.

Barrera went 3-for-5 with a single, double, triple, run scored and a strikeout. He raised his team-leading batting average to .410 in the process.

Still fighting back, catcher Shea Langeliers hit a two-out home run to get within one run.

Langeliers had a 3-for-5 night with two singles, a home run, RBI and two runs scored. He has now extended his team lead in home runs (4) and RBIs (10).

From there, Las Vegas was issued back-to-back walks with two outs but left fielder Dalton Kelly struck out looking on three consecutive pitches.

Kelly was also the first out with two-on in the bottom of the eighth inning via the strikeout as well. A fielder’s choice and lineout followed.

Missed opportunities were something that showed up early and often for the Aviators.

In the bottom of the seventh, a one-out double was all-for-not after it was stranded.

Another runner was stranded after being issued a one-out walk.

After falling behind 3-0 early in the contest, second baseman Nate Mondou hit a two-run single despite being down to the final strike of the inning.

Third baseman Marty Bechina took the second pitch of the following inning and sent it deep over the wall for his first hit and first home run of the year to tie the game at three.

Starter Adrian Martinez went four full, allowing three runs on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks. He now has a 6.97 earned run average for the year.

Reliever Gabe Klobosits was given the loss for his first decision of the year after allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits in his 1 ⅔ innings of work.

In three games played with Las Vegas this season, he has compiled an ERA of 7.36 , yielding four runs (three earned) on four hits (three of which have been home runs) in 3 ⅔ innings pitched.

Friday, L, 5-2

For the second time in as many starts, Las Vegas pitcher Jared Koenig was saddled with the loss following a 5-2 loss to El Paso Friday night.

Koenig had faced the minimum through three innings but did run into his first sign of danger in the top of the third.

The first hit of the game for the Chihuahuas came with one out in the top of the third before being rung up as part of one of the two Aviator double plays on the night.

An inning later, Koenig pitched around a leadoff walk, yielding a flyout, popout and strikeout to get out of trouble.

His luck ran out in the fifth inning when the second El Paso hit of the game went over the wall for a two-run home run at the hands of center fielder Trayce Thompson.

Koenig went five full, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one.

Offense was slow for both teams to start but Las Vegas missed several opportunities to take an early lead.

With two-on and none out in the bottom of the second, a flyout and strikeout would follow.

For the final out of the frame, first baseman Dermis Garcia was tagged in a rundown between second and third base.

The second Aviator hit didn’t come until the bottom of the fourth when the team was unable to capitalize with runners on first and third with one out.

Las Vegas scored its two runs in the final two innings of the game.

The first came in the eighth inning off a balk, scored by left fielder Luis Barrera.

However, he did have his run of hitting safely in all nine games he’s played in was broken as part of a 0-for-5 night with two strikeouts and a run scored.

The other run was scored via a home run ball from catcher JJ Schwarz who went 1-for-3 with a home run, run scored and a walk.

It marked the first Triple-A home run for the 2018 eighth round pick.

Second baseman Nate Mondou extended his hitting streak to six games as he went 1-for-4 with a single and three strikeouts.

Shortstop Vimael Machín was the only Las Vegas batter to post two hits, going 2-for-4 with two singles and a walk.

He grounded out for the final out of the game representing the tying run at the plate.

Saturday, W, 5-2

A night after not seeing the game’s first run until the fifth inning, Saturday’s contest didn’t produce a run until the sixth but the Aviators did get off a two-game losing schneid in the process.

Moreover, the team missed out on a chance for its first shutout of the season and the first since August of last year.

Las Vegas beat El Paso, 5-2, Saturday night to ensure at least a series split ahead of Sunday’s matinee finale.

A four-run eighth inning where the team batted around paced the victory for the Aviators. All runs were scored with two outs.

Pitcher Collin Wiles bounced back for his second win of the season after suffering his first loss of the year in his last outing.

Pitcher Collin Wiles delivers a pitch in the first inning Saturday, April 23. (Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson)

Wiles pitched around hits in five of his six innings of work, never allowing more than one in any given inning.

He averted danger in the game’s opening inning when the Chihuahuas threatened with two-on and one-out before inducing a flyout and lineout to get out of the frame.

In the third, Wiles worked around a leadoff single, getting out of the inning with a popout, flyout and lineout.

Over six innings, he allowed five hits, taylling four strikeouts and two walks.

Las Vegas starting pitchers have logged six innings three times this season, Wiles holds two of those.

The combination of Gabe Klobosits and Aaron Brown combined to throw two hitless shutout innings.

Reliever Parker Markel had to sweat out the ninth inning but got out of it safely, allowing two runs on three hits including a two-run home run and a walk.

He got the final out with the tying run at the plate.

With very little runs to go around until late, Las Vegas got on the board the very first time it had a runner in scoring position.

That came in the sixth inning when outfielder Luis Barrera hit a one-out double and came around to score on an RBI single from shortstop Vimael Machín.

Las Vegas infielder Vimael Machín poses during warmups ahead of Saturday night's game against El Paso. (Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson)

Barrera went 1-for-2 on the night with a double, two walks and he was responsible for both Las Vegas runs.

He raised his batting average to .370 during the outing after entering the contest fifth in the PCL in that category.

That was Machín’s only hit amidst a 1-for-3 night with a single, a strikeout and a walk.

He made make the final out battling a sea of fans down the third base foul line. Designated hitter continued his on-base success this series, adding a 1-for-2 night with a single, a strikeout and two walks.

With one game left to play, Garcia is 7-for-16 with two home runs, four RBIs and seven walks.

First baseman Eric Thames extended his hit streak to nine games after connecting on a ninth inning double for his second double of the series and his fifth overall.

Thames went 1-for-4 with that two-run double, two groundouts and a flyout. Center fielder Ramon Laureano made his first appearance of an expected 15-day rehab assignment with Las Vegas.

Aviator outfielder Ramon Laureano takes a swing during his first at-bat in with Las Vegas this season. (Photo Credit: Terrel Emerson)

Recently, he was reinstated from an 80-game suspension that dates back to August of last season.

Laureano went hitless in three trips to the plate in his first game-action in about eight months.

He is eligible to return to the big league club May 8th.

Sunday, L, 6-5

For just the second time in seven games, Las Vegas dropped a game despite leading after six innings.

The Aviators dropped a Sunday matinee to the Chihuahuas to split the series at three apiece. It's the fourth one-run loss for the team this season.

Even with the late lead, Las Vegas didn’t record its first hit until the fifth inning when left fielder Dalton Kelly connected for his first home run of the season.

He went 1-for-3 with that home run, an RBI, a run scored, two strikeouts and a walk.

Prior to that, the team was granted a run in the first inning after designated hitter Ramon Laureano reached after being hit by a pitch. He would later come around to score on a throwing error.

Laureano also made the final out of the game striking out swinging.

Second baseman Nate Mondou was also hit by a pitch immediately after Kelly’s solo shot.

Mondou would later score on a two-out RBI single from center fielder Luis Barrera, who went 1-for-5 with a single, RBI and strikeout.

Barrera came into the contest second in the Pacific Coast League with a .370 batting average.

Mondou would make more noise later as he drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, securing a hit in nine of the 11 games he’s played so far this season.

He ended the night 1-for-3 with a single, RBI, a run scored and a strikeout.

The final run of the night came via a solo home run from catcher Shea Langeliers in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Langeliers extended his team lead in home runs (5) and RBIs (12) en route to a 1-for-3 night with a home run, RBI, a run scored, a strikeout and a walk.

Pitcher Zach Logue made his first appearance this series after pitching for the Oakland Athletics earlier in the week. He also got the win while recording his first Major League strikeout.

In this one, Logue pitched into the fifth inning but was taxed with three two-strike hits in the top of the third to score three runs including an intentionally walked batter..

All runs were scored with two outs.

Logue went four-plus innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

He is still without a decision through three appearances in Triple-A this season.

Pitcher Parker Dunshee (0-1) got the loss out of the bullpen after giving up three runs on five hits in five innings pitched.

All three runs were scored in the seventh inning; first off an RBI sacrifice fly and then a two-run home run from right fielder Trayce Thompson.

Thompson’s home run came with two strikes.

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