The Reno Aces will be moving on to the Triple-A Championship Game for the first time in 10 years, as they defeat the El Paso Chihuahuas 6-2. The Aces got a big home run from Jake Hager, the game’s MVP, and capitalized on four El Paso errors.
Brandon Pfaadt did not have his best stuff on the night, as he didn’t have the pinpoint command that he normally has. Nonetheless, Pfaadt was able to battle for 5 innings and held El Paso to just 2 runs thanks to some great defense behind him. Dominic Fletcher and Blaze Alexander connected on a perfect relay to cut down a runner trying to score from first on a double.
The Aces also turned a couple plays, including this beauty from Jancarlos Cintron in the 8th.
Thanks to some miscues in the field, the Aces were able to plate their first run on a bloop single by Dominic Miroglio. Two batters later, Hager launched a 409-foot blast to left center field.
That home run allowed the Aces to play downhill baseball the rest of the way. Pfaadt’s outing was deep enough that Reno could use the bullpen the way they wanted. Tyler Holton fired two scoreless innings, pitching around a pair of walks. In the meantime, the offense put up two valuable insurance runs thanks to some hard-hit drives and more sloppy defense by El Paso.
Alek Thomas laced a double off the center field wall, with Thomas Milone’s second error of the night allowing Alek to advance to third. Dominic Fletcher drove him in. Seth Beer tripled in another run in the 7th on a line drive that was just out of the reach of a diving Connor Hollis in left.
Mitchell Stumpo and J.B. Wendelken each fired scoreless innings to close this game out. The Aces will play the winner of the International League Championship Game, which will be played later tonight, on Sunday in Las Vegas.