Sacramento River Cats Shutout Salt Lake Bees 4-0

Photo by Shawn Jonas

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Playing in a record-setting 105-degree temperature this season at Raley Field, the Sacramento River Cats sweated out game one of the series against the Salt Lake Bees by a score of 4-0. Starter Nik Turley extended a streak of solid starts as he led the River Cats to their third shutout of the season and second in less than a week.

Turley pitched six dominant innings for the third consecutive time en route to Sacramento’s third shutout win of the season. The southpaw scattered just 3 hits and 1 walk across 6 innings while striking out a season-high eight. He threw 84 pitches, 55 of them for strikes. This marks Turley’s first win of the season at Raley Field, improving his home record to 1-2 in four home starts.

After this performance, Turley has now allowed only two runs in his last 18.1 innings, good for a 0.98 ERA. He has struck out 18 and walked 3 during that time. More impressively, Turley’s last two starts have led to River Cats’ shutout wins. They have just three on the season. Overall, Turley is now 3-2 with a 5.45 ERA for the season.

Ryan Lollis continued his torrid streak at the plate, reaching base three times and driving in a run. The left-hander extended his hitting streak to six games with a first-inning single and is now hitting .364. He notched an RBI for the third consecutive game with a run-scoring single to right in the seventh. Over his last ten games, Lollis is hitting .415 (17-for-41) with five doubles, a triple, a home run, and five RBIs.

The River Cats first got on the board in the bottom of the third inning when Adam Duvall doubled on a line drive to left field. He scored two batters later on a Darren Ford single. Mac Williamson scored later in the inning on a Brett Jackson groundout.

Sacramento added another in the seventh on Lollis’ single and their fourth run of the night came on Trevor Brown’s RBI-single in the eighth.

The Bees’ right-hander Corey Rasmus took the loss (0-1, 4.50) in what was his fifth rehab start for Salt Lake. He went 2 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout. Sacramento’s Cody Hall picked up the three-inning save, his second of the season, with Turley (3-2, 5.45) getting the win.

Game two of the series is set for tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. PT. Jack Snodgrass (1-1, 4.22) will make his first start since joining the River Cats from the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels on June 6. Snodgrass will be facing the Bees starter Drew Rucinski (3-4, 5.43).

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Prevent The Sweep; Offense Erupts To Beat Las Vegas 51s 14-7

Photo by Shawn Jonas

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Looking to avoid a series sweep, the Sacramento River Cats came out swinging as they ended their seven game road trip with a 14-7 victory over the Las Vegas 51s. Sacramento was backed offensively by 20 hits, one shy of their season high, as well as a 5-RBI day from Carlos Triunfel.

Sacramento saw offensive outbursts from a number of spots in the lineup. The top three in the lineup for the River Cats combined to go 11-for-20 with 2 RBIs and 5 runs scored. The River Cats also saw four players record at least 3 hits (Tomlinson 3, Frandsen 4, Lollis, 4, Triunfel 4).

One of the key contributors to Sacramento’s offensive surplus was Triunfel. The infielder had a career day as he drove in 5 runs while going 4-for-5 with a walk, triple, and a run scored. The 5-RBI night is tied for the most in a single game by a River Cat this season (Jarrett Parker, 4/11 vs SLC).

After a hot start the River Cats blew the game wide open with a huge six-run 7th inning. The scoring was started as Adam Duvall hit a pinch-hit grand slam following three walks. The home run was Duvall’s 16th of the season which is good for second most in the PCL. Kelby Tomlinson immediately followed Duvall’s blast with his first career Triple-A home run. This was the second time this season Sacramento hit back-to-back home runs.

Right-hander Clayton Blackburn pitched 4.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits while walking none and striking out four. Blackburn’s night was ended at just 78 pitches, as it was his first start since June 9. With the additions of Matt Cain and Jake Peavy over the last month for rehab starts, Blackburn had been pitching out of the bullpen.

Sacramento finishes the seven game road trip with a record of 3-4. The trip featured several highlights, including the promotions of Kelby Tomlinson, Mac Williamson, and Josh Osich from Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels. The road trip also marked the final rehab starts for both Cain and Peavy.

The River Cats now head home now for the first time in eight days as they begin a short four game home stand against the Salt Lake Bees. Left-hander Nik Turley (2-2, 6.59) will toe the rubber for Sacramento in Tuesday’s series opener. Turley is coming off of his best start of the year, having pitched 6 shutout innings in a winning decision over the Fresno Grizzlies. Salt Lake will send righty Alex Sanabia (1-8, 7.02). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Fall to Las Vegas 51s 4-3 In Extra Innings

Photo by Shawn Jonas

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Right-hander Chris Stratton demonstrated why he was a first round pick in 2012, shutting out Las Vegas 51s through eight dominant innings on Sunday. Despite the excellent performance, the 51s came back late to tie and ultimately handed Sacramento River Cats a 4-3 loss in 10 innings.

Stratton put on a brilliant show Sunday afternoon against the 51s, pitching eight shutout innings and allowing just 5 hits and no walks while striking out a personal season-high six. He threw 96 pitches in the outing, 64 of them for strikes, and did not allow a baserunner to reach second base. Stratton retired the final ten batters he faced.

The start was arguably the best by a River Cats pitcher this season, with Ty Blach’s 8.1 inning, 2-run outing in Colorado Springs the only other eight-inning start by a Sacramento pitcher this season. Stratton contributed at the plate, as well, picking up his first hit at the Triple-A level. Overall, he was 2-for-3 with two singles.

The River Cats threatened early with five singles through the first two innings, but were unable to produce. Their first run came on Ryan Lollis’ third-inning homer, a line-drive shot to right field to give Sacramento a one-run lead. Lollis went 3-for-4 with a home run, a walk, and two singles as the number three hitter in the lineup today.

Stratton watched from the bench as the 51s scrapped across a run in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. After an error – the River Cats’ first in four games – put the 51s’ Wilfredo Tovar at third with no outs in the inning, Brooks Conrad drove a sacrifice fly to center to score Tovar and tie the game at one.

The River Cats put two on the board in the tenth, taking a 3-1 lead on an RBI-single from Lollis and RBI-groundout from Darren Ford. Las Vegas refused to go away, though, scoring three times in the bottom of the inning on Anthony Recker’s two-run home run and an RBI-double by Conrad.

Today marked the River Cats’ ninth extra inning game, the most in the PCL. They are now 4-5 in extra-inning contests.

The River Cats will look to avoid the sweep in tomorrow’s finale against the 51s. Sacramento will send Clayton Blackburn (2-3, 4.23) to the mound, while Las Vegas will counter with Tyler Pill (2-4, 6.78). Blackburn hasn’t started for Sacramento since 6/9, but has made three relief appearances since then. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Fall to Las Vegas 51s 7-1

Photo by Shawn Jonas

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Game time temperature hit triple digits for the second night in a row Saturday as the Sacramento River Cats dropped a 7-1 contest to the Las Vegas 51s. The 51s hit 4 home runs to overshadow the seventh homer of the season by Darren Ford as well as the Triple-A debut of left-hander Josh Osich.

The Sacramento offense was not as hot as the 100-plus degree weather throughout the game. The lone big blow came in the fifth when Ford hit a screaming line drive that just barely cleared the 25-foot wall in the left field. The homer was Ford’s second this week, and seventh of the year.

One of the newest members on the River Cats roster, Kelby Tomlinson, recorded his first career Triple-A base hit with a two out double in the fifth. Lefty Josh Osich – also added to the River Cats roster this week – made his Triple-A debut, pitching a scoreless inning of relief with 1 strikeout.

Sacramento had a chance to narrow the score in the sixth when they loaded the bases with two outs, but a slow dribbler back to the pitcher’s mound ended the inning and any chance of a middle inning comeback. While the River Cats couldn’t find the big hit to put them back in the game, the 51s did as they hit 4 home runs – the most allowed by Sacramento this season – including two from former River Cat Anthony Recker.

Ty Blach (5-8, 4.27) started out the game strong, retiring the first five batters he saw before allowing all of his runs in a five out period. The left-hander left the night after 5 innings, and allowed 5 runs on just 4 hits (2 home runs). Blach struck out 6 and walked just 1, the first walk he allowed in his last three starts.

The River Cats finished the game with no errors for the fourth consecutive game Saturday. The streak matches the longest Sacramento has had this season (5/8-11 vs. Albuquerque).

Left-hander Darin Gorski (5-6, 5.35) picked up the win, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 4 in 5.2 innings of work. The River Cats are just 9-20 (.310) this season when facing a left-handed starting pitcher.

The River Cats will look to avoid their eighth series loss of the year tomorrow when they send right-hander Chris Stratton (0-1, 2.33) to the mound. Stratton is coming off of a loss his last time out in which he only lasted 2 innings. The right-hander was San Francisco’s first round pick back in 2012. Opposing him will be righty Rainy Lara (0-0, 6.30) for Las Vegas. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Ties Austin Aztex 0-0

Sacramento Republic FC earns a point on the road on short rest, recording their fifth shutout of the season.

Sacramento River Cats Fall to Las Vegas 51s 6-3; Peavy Makes his Final Rehab Start

Photo by Shawn Jonas

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Sacramento River Cats dropped the series opener 6-3 to the Las Vegas 51s Friday evening. Kelby Tomlinson and Mac Williamson suited up as River Cats for the first time while Jake Peavy made his last rehab start for Sacramento.

A five-run first inning from Las Vegas quickly put the River Cats behind and they could not overcome the deficit. Three runs were scattered across the last six innings as Kevin Frandsen went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Jarrett Parker had two runs while going 2-for-4 on the night.

Peavy, 0-3 with the River Cats, struggled on the mound in his sixth and final rehab start for Sacramento, finishing his night with 6 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk with 5 strikeouts in 6 innings. The three-time All-Star, Cy Young winner, and two-time World Series Champion was rehabbing a back injury sustained early in the season. Peavy made just two starts for San Francisco (0-2, 9.39) before being placed on the DL.

Kelby Tomlinson and Mac Williamson, both called up from Double-A today, made their Triple-A debut in tonight’s game. Tomlinson, a 26-year-old infielder, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 12th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University. He had been with Richmond since 2013, where he played in a total of 223 games and accumulated 217 hits and 64 RBI. Tomlinson posted a .324 batting average with the Richmond Flying Squirrels this season prior to being transferred to Sacramento.

Williamson, a 24-year-old outfielder, entered the 2014 season ranked by MLB.com as the San Francisco Giants’ No. 16 prospect. He was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the third round of the 2012 Draft out of Wake Forest University. This year was his first season with Richmond, where he had 76 hits and 42 RBI in 69 games played with a .293 batting average. Williamson went 1-for-3 against the 51s tonight with a walk and a single.

Tonight marked the third consecutive game without an error for Sacramento. The last time they went three straight errorless games was 5/9-11 in Albuquerque. The longest such streak for the season is four, from 5/8-11 in Albuquerque.

Tomorrow will be a battle of the lefties as Ty Blach (5-7, 4.00) takes the mound for Sacramento and Darin Gorski (4-6, 5.66) for Las Vegas. Blach still owns the PCL’s second best BB/9: 0.92 (9 BB, 87.2 IP) and his 87.2 innings pitched are the third most by a starter in the PCL this season. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT).

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Improve To Arena Football League Best 13-1 With 62-27 Win Over Spokane Shock

SPOKANE, Wash. – The San Jose SaberCats (13-1) scored 42 straight points to defeat the Spokane Shock (4-9) 62-27, Friday night at the Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena.

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Behind the efforts of defensive back Ken Fontenette, the SaberCats jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Fontenette recovered an Arvell Nelson fumble, leading to a 15-yard touchdown pass from Erik Meyer to Reggie Gray. On the ensuing drive, Fontenette broke up a pass in the end zone on fourth down, intended for Jabin Sambrano, allowing for Meyer and the SaberCats’ offense to take over. Meyer found Gray again, this time on a four-yard touchdown pass. One of the leading quarterbacks in the Arena Football League, Meyer completed an efficient 26-of-34 passes for 277 yards and seven touchdowns against his former team.

Spokane got on the board to open the second quarter, when Nick Truesdell made a one-handed catch in the back corner of the end zone, as the Shock cut the SaberCats lead to 14-7 with 13:46 left in the first half.

Late in the second quarter, Spokane tied the game 20-20 on a fumble recovery for a touchdown, while San Jose scored on a 14-yard touchdown reception by Jeremy Kelley, as well as a five-yard touchdown reception by Ben Nelson, as the SaberCats held a 27-20 advantage over the Shock at halftime. Nelson, a seven year veteran, grabbed 10 receptions for 91 yards and touchdown.

The SaberCats opened the second half with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Meyer to Reynolds. San Jose continued to control the momentum, as David Hyland recovered the ensuing kickoff, which bounced off the cross bar.

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Taking over on possession, Reggie Gray capitalized on an 11-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone, getting one foot in bounds as the play was reviewed by the officials and confirmed the touchdown reception. Continuing to score in the third quarter, Meyer added a 15-yard quarterback run; pump faking as he found pay dirt, extending the SaberCats lead to 48-20 in the third quarter. Gray had a game-high 14 receptions for 154 yards and four touchdowns, continuing to be among the league leaders with 33 touchdown receptions.

Shock quarterback Carson Coffman threw for two touchdowns before leaving the game in the second half with an injury. Arvell Nelson took over under center, but was unable to find success against the SaberCats’ defense.

The best defense in the league responded with great coverage in the secondary, allowing Francis Maka recorded back-to-back sacks of Nelson, bringing his total to 10 sacks on the season. Leading the Arena Football League in tackles, Fontenette added seven more to his total of 105.5 tackles on the season.

With two interceptions last week, defensive back Fredrick Obi followed the Maka sacks by drifting into the end zone, grabbing the interception, giving the SaberCats’ offense an opportunity with good field position to start the fourth quarter. For the second-straight week Obi led San Jose nine tackles.

Recording his fifth touchdown of the season, offensive lineman Rich Ranglin scored on the 19-yard reception, as San Jose scored 25 unanswered points to 55-20.

The Shock scored with under a minute remaining on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Truesdell, cutting the SaberCats’ lead to, 62-27. Truesdell led Spokane with 12 receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

The SaberCats will return from the 4th of July bye week to host the New Orleans VooDoo on Friday, July 10th at the SAP Center, with the game televised live on ESPN2.

Offensive Player of the Game: SJ QB Erik Meyer
Defensive Player of the Game: SJ DB Ken Fontenette
J. Lewis Small Playmaker: SJ WR Reggie Gray
Cutters Catch of the Game: SPO WR Nick Truesdell 1st half
AFL Highlight of the Game: SPO DB Mike McMillen fumble recovery for TD

Game recap by Matthew Dziak 

Courtesy of San Jose SaberCats Medial Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeats Tulsa Roughnecks FC 3-1

Photo by Shawn Jonas

A brace by Rodrigo Lopez and two assists from Octavio Guzman lead Sacramento Republic FC past Tulsa Roughnecks FC and into first place in the Western Conference.

The match started slow for Republic FC as they looked to settle into the match. In the 9th minute, Tulsa Roughnecks FC got their first real chance at goal. Forward Sammy Ochoa received a well-played through ball in front of the net, but Republic FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain came sliding in to make the save.

Republic FC seemed to take over after the 15th minute, dominating possession and constantly pressuring the Roughnecks’ backline. In the 20th minute, Republic FC broke through the line to take the lead. Midfielder Octavio Guzman received right outside of the box from Gilberto. Guzman took the ball to the right edge of the box before sending a grounded, square cross in front of goal. Forward Justin Braun stepped over the ball, leaving it for David Estrada, who made a run toward the ball off the back post. Estrada took a one-touch shot with his right foot from about three yards out, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0.

Republic FC continued to pressure the Roughnecks in the second half as they looked to double their lead. In the 37th minute, Guzman was again the crucial playmaker for Republic FC earning his second assist on the night. Guzman took the ball through an open midfield before sending a great through ball to Rodrigo Lopez who sent a right footed strike under Roughnecks goalkeeper Zac Lubin and into the lower left corner of the goal to put Republic FC ahead 2-0.

The Roughnecks had one final chance at goal in the 45th minute after a foul in the middle of the field. Former Republic FC midfielder Chad Bond stepped up for the Roughnecks and sent a looping ball toward the back post, but the header went straight to McLain who made the save to keep the score 2-0 going into the half.

Republic FC would start the second half slowly, with the Roughnecks taking early control of the half. In the 48th minute, the Roughnecks would get their first real chance of the second half when midfielder Iarfhlaith Davoren sent a cross to Steven Miller whose header went off the bar. The Roughnecks would gather the rebound but the ensuing shot was deflected just wide left of the goal.

The Roughnecks would find the net in the 72nd minute. Newly signed Tulsa native Cristian Mata scored after receiving a perfectly weighted pass over the top of the defense by forward Sammy Ochoa. Mata, who had come on in the 50th minute cut the Republic FC lead in half, making it 2-1.

However, Republic FC would respond quickly to the goal. Midfielder Danny Barrera took a strong run down the middle of the field before being taken down about 25 yards from goal in the 75th minute. Lopez stepped up the ball and sent a textbook bending shot into the left side of the goal for his second goal of the match, giving Republic FC a 3-1 lead over the Roughnecks.

In stoppage time, Republic FC forward Kaleemullah Khan almost increased the lead further after making a nice touch near midfield. Kaleemullah then took the ball straight through the middle of the defense before sending an open shot toward goal, but Lubin was able to deflect the ball away keeping the score 3-1.

Republic FC defender Emrah Klimenta needed to be helped off the field after coming down awkwardly on his left ankle in the 69th minute. Klimenta will be evaluated over the next day to further evaluate the extent of the injury.

Republic FC will travel to Austin, Texas and take on the Austin Aztex in their next match on Saturday, June 27. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relatio

Sacramento River Cats Defeat Fresno Grizzlies 1-0

Photo by Shawn Jonas

FRESNO, Calif. – The Sacramento River Cats evened the series at one apiece with a 1-0 win in Fresno Wednesday night. Sacramento’s second shutout win of the season – their only other shutout was on Opening Day – was sparked by a phenomenal performance from starting pitcher Nik Turley and closed by Mike Broadway.

Turley was a major factor in the shutout, putting together his third quality start of the season. He finished his evening with no runs on 2 hits and 1 walk with 4 strikeouts in 6 innings. Turley retired 12 consecutive batters, spanning the second through sixth innings. With the win, Turley moves to 2-2 on the season with a 6.59 ERA.

The bullpen combined for three scoreless innings behind Turley, highlighted by the return of Mike Broadway to the Sacramento relief corp. In his first appearance back from San Francisco, the hard throwing right-hander tossed a scoreless ninth, retiring Grizzlies 1-2-3 as he picked up his sixth save of the season.

Broadway spent the last week with the San Francisco Giants, making his Major League debut on June 13th vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks. He threw a scoreless inning, including retiring All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

River Cats pitchers allowed just two hits in the win, a new season low. Prior to tonight, the fewest hits allowed was three, also against Fresno.

Sacramento put leadoff hitters on base in six innings and collected ten hits from six players. The River Cats jumped out to a 1-0 lead after starting off the third inning with a double from Ryan Lollis, who was eventually sent home on a wild pitch from Fresno’s Jake Buchanan.

After five scoreless innings, the River Cats scored again, thanks to another Lollis double. The designated hitter led off the ninth with a double to right and later scored on Adam Duvall’s single, putting the River Cats up 2-0.

Matt Cain (0-2, 4.50) will make what is expected to be his final rehab start in tomorrow night’s series finale at Fresno. In his last outing, Cain threw 6.2 innings and gave up 5 hits, 2 earned runs, and no walks while striking out 6. Fresno will counter with Brady Rodgers (5-3, 4.55). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT).

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Game Preview: San Jose SaberCats vs. Spokane Shock

ALL photos by Shawn Jonas

SAN JOSE, CALIF.The National Conference leading San Jose SaberCats (12-1) will play on the road for the second straight week to take on the Spokane Shock (4-8) on Friday, June 26, with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. PDT.

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The Pacific Division rivals have squared off twice this season, with San Jose outscoring Spokane by a combined score of 138-54. The third time around will feature quarterback Erik Meyer’s first game at Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena as a SaberCat. Meyer, who spent the first five seasons of his career with the Shock, winning the 2013 Arena Football League Most Valuable Player award, has thrown for 61 touchdowns and ranks in the top-five of nearly every passing category this season.

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While San Jose possesses a former league MVP, the starting receivers have been the catalyst for the offense. Setting the pace is Reggie Gray, whose 110 receptions, 1,195 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns leads the SaberCats and is also among the top-five in the league.

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Additionally, Adron Tennell has been critical to the success of the offensive attack. Tennell, who won the 2013 AFL Receiver of the Year as a member of the Shock, is second on the team with 18 touchdowns and has added 586 receiving yards, providing the ability to move the chains as well as be a threat in the red zone.

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A versatile playmaker, Darius Reynolds has excelled as a receiver, on special teams and occasionally, filling in defensively. Reynolds has totaled 13 touchdowns, hauling in nine touchdown receptions adding four on the ground, while notching 12 tackles this season. Averaging 59.4 points per game, the SaberCats’ potent offense remains the best in the league.

Offensively, Spokane has turned to Carson Coffman as the starter under center. Coffman led the Shock to a 69-54 victory over the Portland Thunder, completing 20-of-32 passes for 328 yards and a season-high nine touchdowns.

Last month, Spokane added receiver Jabin Sambrano to go along with Anthony Amos and Nick Truesdell. Sambrano, who has spent the past three seasons in the National Football League, most recently with the Atlanta Falcons, led the Shock last week with eight receptions and 125 yards, adding two touchdowns.

Similarly, Truesdell is coming off his best performance of the season last week against the Thunder. Entering the matchup, Truesdell (6’7” 240) had 12 touchdowns through nine games, but in a breakout performance, he added five touchdowns on seven receptions and 124 yards. Meanwhile, Amos currently leads the team among active players with 70 receptions for 758 yards.

Defensively, the SaberCats are led statistically, by Ken Fontenette, Jason Stewart and Francis Maka. Fontenette has had a nose for seeking out the football, leading the league with 98.5 tackles and is second in the league with 10 interceptions. Meanwhile, Maka ranks third in the AFL with 8 sacks, two safeties and has added 17 tackles his season. The 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, Jason Stewart has been a menace in the middle of the SaberCats’ pass rush. Stewart is right behind Maka with 7.5 sacks and has 17.5 tackles with eight going for a loss. The crushing San Jose defense has allowed just 37.2 points per game, to lead the AFL, though they will be tested against a Shock offense that is coming off a 69 point outing last week.

San Jose’s defense has a league-high 24 interceptions and has only surrendered 48 passing touchdowns, the fewest in the Arena Football League by a margin of 11.

The Pacific Division matchup can be seen live on ESPN3, the Watch ESPN app or on radio 1220AM KDOW.

Game Preview Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations