3 stars: Alex Glenn, Visalia 1 for 3, 2 R, HR (2), 2 RBI, BB
2 stars: Joey Krehbiel, Visalia 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
1 star: Andrew Velazquez, Visalia 2 for 4, R, DBL RBI, SB
0 stars: Clayton Richard, Reno: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, L (0-1)
The Aces dropped the first game in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series, as Clayton Richard laid what can only be described as a fat one, retiring two of the seven batters faced and so being chased before getting through the top of the first inning. He gave up four hits and a walk to the others, resulting in three runs for the Storm Chasers. He was replaced by Bo Schultz, who stranded two runners in the first, but allowed three more to score in the second inning, on two walks, three hits, an error and a wild pitch. He ended up going 4.1 innings with no further damage, but with Reno 6-0 down by the middle of the second there wasn't much hope.
That was particularly the case as they struggled to solve Omaha's Aaron Brooks, who no-hit the Aces over the first four innings, and kept them scoreless until Andy Marte's two-run homer with two outs in the sixth. But that wasn't close to enough, and Reno were held to four hits and one walk all night, with Marte's blast the only extra-base hit. The bullpen did a decent job after the second, working six scoreless innings: Jess Todd struck out two over two frames, and there were also zeroes posted by Kaleb Fleck and Kevin Munson. But the Aces will need to be better all round in Game 2, which takes place tomorrow, with Bradin Hagens starting for them.
The Rawhide used a four-run fourth to break open a scoreless game, and went on to take the fourth game of their series against the Blaze, and with it their first division championship since 2006. It was all the more impressive a win as Visalia starter Andrew Barbosa had to leave the game after two innings with an injured arm - no word on the severity or details at this point. In the early going, Bakersfield had the edge, with three hits through three while Visalia were looking for their first. But in the fourth, the Rawhide got a two-rub double by RF Socrates Brito plus RBI hits from CF Breland Almadova and DH Andrew Velazquez, to blow this open.
A two-run homer from LF Alex Glenn made is 6-0 to Visalia in the fifth, and 2B Kevin Medrano completed the scoring with an RBI single in the sixth. Meanwhile, the Rawhide bullpen was doing sterling work. First, Henry Garcia threw two scoreless, and Keith Hessler also worked two frames, though did allow a pair of runs in the sixth. Kyle Schepel worked a scoreless seventh, before Joey Krehbiel closed things out, striking out three over a pair of hitless innings. Two months ago, the Rawhide had lost 12 in a row and were 41-49. Now, they're on the way to the California League Championship Round,. where they face Lancaster, starting on Thursday in Visalia.