Sacramento River Cats Fall to Fresno Grizzlies 6-2

Photo By Shawn Jonas

FRESNO, Calif. – The Sacramento River Cats came out of the gate swinging Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to take the series opener with the Fresno Grizzlies as they lost 6-2. Darren Ford and Travis Ishikawa provided early offense with each of them hitting a home run in the first two innings, but defensive miscues allowed Fresno to counter and take the lead and the victory.

Sacramento wasted no time getting on the board, as Ford took the first pitch of the game deep over the left field wall and gave the River Cats a 1-0 lead. The home run was Ford’s sixth of the season, just three shy of his career high. In the second, Sacramento recorded another leadoff home run as Travis Ishikawa started off the inning with a long home run to right. Ishikawa finished the game 1-for-3 with the home run and a walk.

It was an uphill climb from the start on Tuesday, as the defense recorded 3 errors in the first three innings. Fresno recorded 3 hits in the second – with the aid of the Sacramento fielding mistakes – and were able to plate 4 runs to take the lead. The Grizzlies would add another run in the third, but the River Cats avoided additional damage after Fresno had loaded the bases with nobody out.

Chris Stratton was not at his best Tuesday, lasting just 2 innings before handing things over to his bullpen. He finished the day having allowed 4 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks.

The Sacramento bullpen was taxed in the series opener, having to put in 7 innings of relief while using 4 pitchers. Left-hander Jack Snodgrass pitching 3 innings of relief allowing 1 run on just 2 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3.

Luis Cruz earned the win for the Grizzlies, pitching 7 innings while allowing 2 runs on just 4 hits on 3 walks while striking out 6. Cruz was able to bounce back from the early home runs, retiring 8 of the last 10 batters he faced.

Sacramento will get a familiar face back in their bullpen tomorrow night, as the River Cats’ save leader Michael Broadway was recently added back to the roster. Broadway appeared in pitched 4.2 innings with San Francisco, recording a 1.93 ERA with 4 strikeouts.

The River Cats will take the field Wednesday, looking to even up the series with the division leading Grizzlies. It will be left-hander Nik Turley (1-2, 8.34) going for the River Cats. Turley is coming off one of his best starts of the year, having pitched 6.1 innings while allowing 2 runs on 4 hits against the Reno Aces. Opposing him will be righty Jake Buchanan (3-1, 4.75) for Fresno. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats Ride Second Half Surge to Beat Las Vegas Outlaws 63-31

All photos by Shawn Jonas

LAS VEGAS, NEV. – The San Jose SaberCats (12-1) scored 35 unanswered points in the second half to pull away from the Las Vegas Outlaws (4-8), securing a 63-31 road victory on Father’s Day.

The Outlaw’s got out to an early lead, scoring on a three-yard touchdown pass from J.J. Raterink to Will Wright. After the SaberCats evened the score at 7-7 on an Erik Meyer 10-yard touchdown pass to Adron Tennell, Gerald Young returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, as Las Vegas found itself up 14-7 in the first quarter.

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As they have done the entire season, the resilient SaberCats’ defense forced the necessary stops to provide the offense with opportunities. San Jose took its first lead of the game at 21-14, with a 15- yard touchdown pass from Erik Meyer to Darius Reynolds in the second quarter. The Outlaws added a 35- yard field goal at the end of the first half, cutting the SaberCats’ lead, 21-17. Meyer completed 20-of- 28 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns, adding another on the ground.

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Receiving the opening kickoff of the second half, San Jose relied on Tennell and Reggie Gray to matriculate down the field, setting up Meyer for the one-yard quarterback sneak, finding pay dirt as the lead swelled to 28-17. Gray, the leading receiver for the SaberCats this season, hauled in a team- high eight receptions for 67 yards; while Tennell added five receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Making his second appearance of the season, rookie defensive back Fred Obi intercepted a Raterink pass in the third quarter, returning it down to the two yard line. The turnover set up Reynolds for a two-yard rush, spinning off the pile and running in the touchdown, extending the SaberCats lead to 35-17. Darius Reynolds finished with four receptions for 56 yards and three total touchdowns (two rushing).

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One of the premier pass rushers in the league and a San Jose native, Francis Maka found himself unabated to Raterink on several instances, finishing with two sacks. The ability to get pressure on the quarterback, while the secondary tightens its coverage is referred to by the SaberCats team as “pressure picks, coverage sacks”. This combination of effective defense has kept San Jose among the leader in the Arena Football League in defensive scoring.

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Odie Armstrong had 3 Touchdowns for the SaberCats

Jumping the receiver’s route, Obi grabbed his second interception of the game, returning this one for a 20-yard touchdown to give San Jose a commanding 56-17 lead at the 9:02 mark in the fourth quarter. Obi finished with a team-high eight total tackles and had the first two interceptions of his AFL career.

Entering the game in relief of Raterink, who threw three interceptions, Dennis Havrilla rushed for 30 yards on his first possession, capping off the fourth quarter drive with a seven yard touchdown run, cutting into the SaberCats 56-24 lead. Additionally, Young also led the team in receiving with six receptions for 95 yards and added a one yard touchdown run in the final minute.

Offensive Player of the Game: SJ WR Darius Reynolds

Defensive Player of the Game: SJ DB Fred Obi
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Game: LV WR Gerald Young
Cutters Catch of the Game: SJ WR Darius Reynolds 15 yard touchdown reception 2nd Quarter Highlight of the Game: SJ DB Fred Obi Interception for a touchdown 4th Quarte

The SaberCats have a quick turnaround, as they will travel to take on Pacific Division rival the Spokane Shock Friday, June 26th with a 7:00 p.m. PDT kickoff. The game can be seen live on ESPN3 or the Watch ESPN app or can be heard on the radio on 1220AM KDOW.

Game Recap Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Peavy Goes Six Strong In Final Rehab Start; Duvall Launches 15th Home Run in Loss, Leads PCL

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Less than 24 hours after the Sacramento River Cats and Reno Aces went down to the wire, Jake Peavy and Gabriel Arias picked right up where the two teams left off in Sunday’s Father’s Day finale. Peavy pitched extremely well through six, but despite the strong start and Duvall’s PCL-leading 15th home run, the River Cats dropped the finale 3-2 to the Aces.

In what was likely his last rehab start with the River Cats, Peavy continued to impress on the mound. The veteran right-hander went 6 strong innings, yielding just 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. He threw 93 pitches on the afternoon, 61 of them for strikes.

Despite not winning a game while with Sacramento, Peavy (0-2, 5.47) continued to improve with every start. His 30-day rehab assignment ends tomorrow, and it remains to be seen what the San Francisco Giants have planned for the former Cy Young winner.

Opposite Peavy, Arias (3-1, 4.33) was equally impressive for Reno. The 25-year-old also went 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. Both runs he allowed came on solo home runs.

Adam Duvall and Hector Sanchez provided the offense for the River Cats, each hitting a home run in Sunday’s loss. Duvall’s was a sixth-inning shot that put the club ahead 2-1 and gave him 15 home runs on the year. That total puts him alone in first place in the PCL, one ahead of Fresno’s Jon Singleton and Reno’s Peter O’Brien. Sanchez’s was a second-inning line-drive home run into the River Cats’ bullpen which put Sacramento ahead 1-0.

Reno took the lead 3-2 for good in the top of the seventh. Trayvon Robinson homered to lead off the inning, tying the game at two. Nick Buss scored a few batters later on a throwing error by Hector Sanchez. The River Cats committed two errors on the afternoon and now have 77 for the season.

Ehire Adrianza went hitless, snapping his hit streak at eight, just one shy of tying his season high. During the streak, Adrianza hit .300 (12-for-40) with two doubles, a home run, and six RBIs.

The River Cats get the day off tomorrow before traveling to Chukchansi Park on Tuesday for a quick three-game series against the first-place Fresno Grizzlies. Getting things started for Sacramento will be the right-hander Chris Stratton (0-0, 2.08). Although he doesn’t have a win at the Triple-A level, Stratton has been excellent since joining the River Cats, allowing just 5 runs (4 earned) in 17.1 innings. For Fresno, it’ll be the southpaw Luis Cruz (3-2, 4.23). First pitch is set for Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.

Game Recap of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Defeat Oklahoma City Energy FC 2-1

Sacramento, California – Sacramento Republic FC won its first match at Bonney Field since May 9th, defeating Oklahoma City Energy FC 2-1 on Saturday night.

Despite creating several chances in the opening minutes of the match, Republic FC conceded on a set piece in the 19th minute. Energy FC captain Michael Thomas headed the free kick past the Republic FC back line to Danni König, who sent it past Republic FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain and into the lower left corner, putting Energy FC up 1-0.

Republic FC continued to control possession and created several scoring opportunities throughout the first half, most notably when Rodrigo Lopez found forward Cameron Iwasa in the center of the box but Iwasa failed to finish his chip attempt as Energy FC goalkeeper Evan Newton’s was there to keep Iwasa’s shot off target.

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Republic FC found an equalizer in the 39th minute, when Octavio Guzman’s cross from the right wing was deflected by Energy FC defender Coady Andrews past Newton near post, and into his own net, tying the score at 1-1 going into halftime.

Newly signed forward Kaleemullah Khan entered for Republic FC in the 66th minute making what is believed to be the first appearance for a Pakistani-born player in a United States professional match. Kaleemullah immediately made an impact, using impressive speed down the middle and creating chances.

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In the 80th minute substitute forward Gabe Gissie broke the tie, scoring his first professional goal. Gissie took the ball down the right wing and slotted his shot into the lower left corner of the goal, putting Republic FC up 2-1 for good.

“WOAH!” said Republic FC forward Gissie when asked about his first professional goal.

Republic FC is back in action on Thursday, June 25th when they travel to Tulsa, Oklha. to face Tulsa Roughnecks FC. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday.

Game Recap/Photos Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Matt Cain Sharp in Second Rehab Start; Sacramento River Cats Fall to Reno Aces 2-1

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. Matt Cain and Jhoulys Chacin battled Friday night, engaging in a pitcher’s duel in front of a full house at Raley Field. With over 400 career major league starts between them, the two hurler’s kept things locked in a 1-1 tie until a Blake Lalli RBI-single in the seventh put the Reno Aces up 2-1 for good.

Cain (0-2, 4.50) went 6.2 innings in his second River Cats start, throwing 89 pitches, 59 for strikes. He gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and no walks while striking out 6. It looked like the Aces were going to strike early, but Cain pitched around a first inning error by Hector Sanchez and stranded Reno’s Nick Buss at third base.

He retired the next eight before the Aces came through with a run in the fourth, tying the game at one. Cain held Reno at one until the seventh, when Lalli singled home Cody Ransom to put the Aces up 2-1.

Overall, Cain looked sharp on the mound, pitching around two errors behind him and keeping the River Cats in the game. He departed with Sacramento trailing and a runner on first with two outs in the seventh but the sold out crowd showed their support for the three-time World Champ with a standing ovation. Cain responded with an acknowledging wave to the crowd.

Opposite of Cain, Reno’s Chacin (1-0, 1.29) was also dealing, allowing just one run over seven innings. He gave up 5 hits, walked 1, and tallied a season-high 9 strikeouts en route to his second win of the season. Chacin made his Aces debut tonight, having just signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization yesterday.

Ehire Adrianza had a big night for the River Cats, both at the plate and on the field. With his third-inning single, the hot-hitting shortstop extended his current hit streak to seven games, two shy of his season high. He also doubled, and was 2-for-4 on the night, raising his batting average to .320 for the season.

On the defensive side of the ball, Adrianza showed off his smooth fielding, making a diving play in the fourth inning and an running, over-the-shoulder catch in shallow center field in the seventh.

It’ll be a Father’s Day matinee finale tomorrow afternoon as the River Cats look to avoid the sweep behind right-hander Jake Peavy (0-2, 5.70). Peavy made the best start of his rehab assignment his last time out, throwing 7 innings (95 pitches) and allowing 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 5. The Aces will counter with their right-hander Gabriel Arias (5-2, 2.94). First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Fall To Reno Aces 6-3

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Reno Aces brought their bats to the ballpark Friday night, hitting three home runs off Sacramento’s starter Ty Blach. The homers were more than the Sacramento River Cats could keep up with, as they dropped their second straight to Reno, 6-3.

All of the Aces’ six runs on Friday came via the long ball, as they took Blach deep three separate times. Right fielder Peter O’Brien struck first, hitting a solo shot to deep left field. The homer was O’Brien’s 14th of the season and tied the game at one in the fifth inning.

First baseman Nick Evans was next, launching a three-run shot out to left-center and putting the Aces ahead 4-1 in the sixth. For Evans, it was his tenth of the season and RBIs 57, 58, and 59. The Aces hit their third home run in the seventh, a two-run homer off the bat of veteran Cody Ransom. For Ransom, the home run gave him four on the season and put the Aces ahead 6-1.

The River Cats looked to mount a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs. Ehire Adrianza came through with a big two-out, two-run single up the middle to score Ryan Lollis and Kevin Frandsen, cutting the Aces’ lead to three. That was all they could get, though, as Adam Duvall popped out in foul territory to end the inning.

Trevor Brown picked up two hits in the loss, recording his seventh multi-hit game of the season. For Adrianza, his two RBIs give him three multi-RBI games on the season.

Jack Snodgrass made his fourth appearance for the River Cats, throwing a scoreless ninth inning. Since joining Sacramento from Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, Snodgrass is 1-1 with a 4.17 ERA and 7 strikeouts in 7.1 innings. Snodgrass made nine starts with Richmond, but had only appeared out of the bullpen since being promoted to Triple-A.

Blach took the loss, falling to 5-7 with a 4.00 ERA. The win went to Reno’s lefty Justin Marks (4-6, 5.68). Matt Stites recorded his second save.

Game three is scheduled for tomorrow night as the Giants’ right-hander Matt Cain (0-1, 8.10) takes the mound for his second rehab start. Cain struck out seven in 3.1 innings in his last start and will look to pitch deeper into tomorrow night’s game. For Reno, it will be the right-hander Edgar Garcia (2-1, 5.65). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign Second-Round Draft Pick Mario Edwards Jr.

Photo by Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed second-round draft pick DE Mario Edwards Jr., the club announced Friday.

With Edwards Jr.’s signing, the Raiders have now signed all 10 draft picks from the 2015 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-3, 280-pounder was selected 35th overall by Oakland in the 2015 NFL Draft. He played three seasons at Florida State, appearing in 36 games with 26 starts. Edwards Jr. totaled 89 tackles (52 solo), eight sacks, seven passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, helping the Seminoles win the 2013 BCS National Championship.

Edwards Jr. was named to the All-ACC First Team as a junior in 2014, setting a career high with 44 tackles (25 solo), including 11 tackles for loss. He was also named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week twice last season.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

San Jose SaberCats To Host Arena Football League Hall of Fame Game

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – The 2015 Arena Football Hall of Fame Game is set to kick off on Friday, July 31 in San Jose, Calif. as the San Jose SaberCats host the Arizona Rattlers on CBS Sports Network.

The festivities will begin with the induction ceremony on Thursday, July 30 where family, friends, and Arena Football fans will be invited to celebrate the careers and contributions of four of the AFL’s all- time greats. This year’s induction Class includes: FB/LB ANDRE BOWDEN, a three-time All-Arena selection and three-time ArenaBowl champion; WR DAMIAN HARRELL, a five-time All-Arena selection and two-time Offensive Player of the Year; OL/DL KYLE MOORE-BROWN, a three-time All-Ironman selection and two-time ArenaBowl champion; and DB OMARR SMITH, a four-time ArenaBowl champion and two-time All-Arena selection.

The inductees will also be honored the following night at halftime of the Arena Football Hall of Fame Game between the Arizona Rattlers and San Jose SaberCats on CBS Sports Network. Kickoff is set for 10:30 p.m. ET/ 7:30 p.m. PT.

CBS Sports Network will also once again air an Arena Football Hall of Fame television special, featuring each member of the newest Arena Football Hall of Fame Class, as well as highlights from the induction ceremony and Hall of Fame Game.

Further details on the ceremony and Hall of Fame television special will be announced in the coming weeks.

Photo By Shawn Jonas

Press Release Courtesy of the San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Fold as the Reno Aces Rally Late

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A four-run first inning wasn’t enough for the Sacramento River Cats as the Reno Aces rallied to a 6-4 win in front of 9,210 Thursday night at Raley Field. Despite an impressive start from Nik Turley – who struck out a season-high six – Sacramento watched their lead disappear late as they dropped the series opener 6-4 to the Aces.

Turley looked dominant on the mound for Sacramento, shutting out the Aces through six innings while allowing just two hits and a walk. Pitching in the seventh inning for the first time this season, Turley gave up a two-run home run to Aces’ third baseman Jamie Romak before being replaced by Cody Hall. For the most part, Turley kept the Aces off the bases and off the board, allowing just the 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6 through 6.1 innings.

Turley’s 6 strikeouts were his most in a start this season, passing his previous high of 4 (6/2 at Oklahoma City). He lowered his ERA from 10.47 to 8.34 with the outing.

The River Cats jumped out early, scoring four times in the bottom of the first inning against Reno’s starter Caleb Clay. The big hit of the inning came from Hector Sanchez, who lined a two-out double to left field scoring Ehire Adrianza and Adam Duvall. Ryan Lollis followed with an RBI-double and Carlos Triunfel added an RBI-single before the inning was over.

Overall, Sanchez was 1-for-4 and tallied his second multi-RBI game of the year. Triunfel was 3-for-4 on the night, raising his season average to .260.

Reno rallied past the River Cats in the eighth inning, scoring four times on three this, two walks, and an error to take a 6-4 lead. The Aces sent nine men to the plate in the inning against Sacramento’s relievers Braulio Lara and Cody Hall. Both Cody Ransom (1-for-3) and Romak (2-for-4) drove in two for the Aces on the night.

Lara took the loss for Sacramento, falling to 0-5 on the season. Matt Reynolds (2-4) picked up the save for Reno and Kaleb Fleck recorded his second save.

Sacramento will look to even this four-game set tomorrow night behind lefty Ty Blach (5-6, 3.63). Blach has been very good at home, posting a 3-3 record and a 2.89 ERA. Opposing him will be another lefty, Reno’s Justin Marks (3-6, 6.08). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Sign Forward Kaleemullah Khan

SACRAMENTO, Calif.Sacramento Republic FC have agreed to a contract with forward Kaleemullah Khan. The Pakistani National Team captain is believed to be the first Pakistani-born player to sign a contract with a professional U.S.-based soccer club, based on current record keeping.

“The signing of Kaleemullah demonstrates the continued mission of Republic FC to bring the best players from around the world to our Capital City,” said Republic FC Technical Director Graham Smith. “His scoring prowess is well documented, but it may also still take a little time for him to both learn the style of play in the U.S. in addition to Preki’s coaching style.”

Kaleemullah joins Republic FC after spending last season with Dordoi Bishkek of the Shoro Top League, the Kyrgyz First Division. He appeared in 17 matches for Dordoi Bishkek, who went on to win the Shoro Top League title. Kaleemullah was the MVP and Golden Boot winner after leading the league in scoring with 18 goals in 2014. Prior to his one-year stint in Kyrgyzstan, Kaleemullah appeared in 94 matches in five Pakistan Premier League seasons, scoring 72 goals. He won the Pakistan Premier League Golden Boot after setting the record for goals (31) and hat tricks (7) in a single season in 2013.

In 2014, Kaleemullah was named captain of the Pakistani Men’s National Team. He has appeared in 25 matches for Pakistan since 2011, scoring four goals.

With the signing of Kaleemullah, Republic FC players now represent 12 different countries, from five different continents.

For full player bios and stats, visit SacRepublicFC.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations