Blank’s Ninth-Inning Blast Not Enough To Lift Sacramento River Cats

Sacramento hitters strike out 17 times in 6-4 loss to Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City, OK Kyle Blanks slugged a three-run blast in the ninth inning, but it was too little too late as the Sacramento River Cats (15-22) fell 6-4 to the Oklahoma City Dodgers (19-17) Monday night.

Blanks came on as a pinch hitter with two outs and two on in the ninth and launched a moonshot home run to centerfield. The blast cut the deficit to two runs, but the Dodger’s Brandon Morrow closed out the inning to give Oklahoma City the series opener.

The Dodgers jumped out to an early 6-0 lead against the River Cats and starter Chris Stratton. Oklahoma City’s starter Wilmer Font was perfect through six innings, ultimately striking out 15, the most by a starter against the River Cats in the team’s history.

Orlando Calixte ended Font’s bid for a perfect game with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning. Austin Slater then singled to break up the no hitter and Chris Marrero drove in Calixte, giving the River Cats their first run of the night.

Game two will feature Sacramento’s Dan Slania (0-4, 8.79) against the Dodgers’ Fabian Castillo (1-2, 5.63). First pitch is set for 5:05 pm (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and starting at 6 p.m. on the air on 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign S Marcus McWilson

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed undrafted free agent S Marcus McWilson, the club announced Monday. McWilson signs with the team following participation in the team’s rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis from May 5-7.

McWilson appeared in 41 games over four seasons (2013-16) at Kentucky. His career totals include 173 tackles (81 solo), four interceptions, four passes defensed, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, the 6-foot, 198-pounder attended Cardinal Mooney High School in his hometown.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Fall To Real Monarchs SLC 2-0

Sacramento Republic FC end their second three-match road stretch of the season, falling 2-0 to Real Monarchs SLC at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Real Monarchs SLC came out firing on all cylinders to start the game, putting constant pressure on Sacramento Republic FC’s backline and trying to get the early goal.  Despite a couple of chances and four corners in the first 15 minutes, Republic FC was able to weather the early storm and stay strong defensively.

In the 27th minute, Republic FC had their best chance of the half after forward Trevin Caesar was brought down mere inches outside of the box on the right side.  Midfielder Danny Barrera stepped up to take the free kick and drove a low shot toward the back post, but a Monarchs’ defender was able to stick his leg out just enough to deflect the ball.  The deflection however went right back to Barrera who attempted a one-touch strike on the rebound, but his attempt ended up far wide left of the post.

The Monarchs would break the tie in the 38th minute.  Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez played the ball wide to defender Max Lachowecki who was making an overlapping run on the left side.  Lachowecki sent a cross into the box that found Andrew Brody on the right side of the box.  Brody chested the ball down before sending a strike on goal, that goalkeeper Evan Newton was able to deflect, but the ball hit right off the face of defender Julius James and fell perfectly at the feet of Daniel Haber who was following the play.  Haber then blasted the ball into the roof of the net from about two yards away from goal, putting Real Monarchs ahead 1-0 going into the half.

Republic FC came out the stronger team to start the second half, putting pressure on the Monarch’s backline as they searched for an equalizer. Republic FC would see their best chance of the half in the 49th minute.  Midfielder Agustin Cazarez played a long ball from the middle of the field to the right side where substitute midfielder Elliott Hord was making a run.  Hord took the ball almost to the endline before sending a grounded cross toward the near post where forward Tyler Blackwood was making a run.  Blackwood’s shot was blocked by a sliding defender, but fell right to the feet of defender James Kiffe who was following the play.  Kiffe took a touch before taking a right-footed shot, but it went right to goalkeeper Connor Sparrow for the save. 

The Monarchs would double their lead in the 58th minute.  After a Republic FC corner, the ball was headed back and forth in Republic FC’s attacking half.  The Monarchs’ Kyle Curringa took the final header, that went all the way to the midfield where Chandler Hoffman flicked it on, putting Velasquez in a foot race with Republic FC’s defense. Velasquez won the race, going one-on-one with Newton and sliding a grounded shot past the keeper and into the far side of the goal, putting Real Monarchs up 2-0.

Cazarez had the best look for Republic FC to answer back with his shot in the 90th minute.  After a run by Blackwood was knocked out of bounds, Barrera sent a short corner to Cazarez who was wide open at the top right corner of the box, but the midfielder sent his strong shot just wide left and high of the goal.

 Republic FC will return home on Wednesday, May 17, when they enter the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in a Second Round match against FC Anahuac.  Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park.  Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento Bats Shut Down By Sky Sox

River Cats manage one run in 4-1 loss

Colorado Springs, CO – The Sacramento River Cats (13-21) managed just one run on seven hits in their 4-1 loss to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (21-9) a day after they posted a club-record 13 runs in one inning.

Colorado Springs avenged their blowout loss, coming out hot early by putting up two runs in the first frame off Sacramento starter Tyler Beede. The Sky Sox pushed two more runs across in the third, collecting eight hits in the first three innings. In the fourth, third baseman Ryder Jones was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus, as well as manager Dave Brundage.

The River Cats lone run came in the ninth when catcher Tim Federowicz doubled in left field Mac Williamson, Federowicz’s ninth RBI in his last four games.

Sacramento will look to bounce back tomorrow night as they send right-hander Joan Gregorio (1-2, 1.87). Colorado Springs will counter with right Brandon Woodreuff (5-0, 1.83). They have the sixth and seventh best ERAs in the PCL respectively. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign Three Undrafted Free Agents

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed the following three undrafted free agents following their participation in the team’s rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis, the club announced Monday.

Player                   Pos.             Ht.     Wt.    College

Casher, Chris              DE                   6-3      264     Faulkner

Harris, Najee              LB                    6-1      220     Wagner

Lewis, LaTroy             LB                    6-3      254     Tennessee

Casher: Played in 40 games over five seasons at Florida State (2012) and Faulkner University (2016)…Career totals include 122 tackles (62 solo), 11.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and nine passes defensed.

Harris: Appeared in 40 games over four seasons at Wagner, totaling 156 career tackles…Posted 44 tackles (34 solo), one sack, one fumble recovery and six passes defensed as a senior in 2016.

Lewis: Played in 44 games over four seasons at Tennessee, totaling 77 tackles (45 solo), 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two passes defensed.

In corresponding transactions, the Raiders have waived the following players:

Player                   Pos.             Ht.     Wt.    College

Norman, Dwayne       LB                    6-0      230     Duke

Thomas, Ahmad          S                      6-0      214     Oklahoma

Wade, Jordan             DT                   6-3      319     Oklahoma

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Check Aces In 3-2 Victory

Beede goes five strong, offense does enough to give Sacramento 

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (11-18) took game one of their four-game series against the Reno Aces (18-12) in a closely contested 3-2 ballgame.

Sacramento starter Tyler Beede picked up his second win of the season tonight, pitching brilliantly against the league’s best offense. The right-hander went five innings, allowing one run on three hits while walking two and striking out five. In the fourth, Sacramento put up two runs thanks to an RBI-double by first baseman Chris Marrero and a sacrifice fly by centerfielder Austin Slater. Second baseman Juan Ciriaco extended the lead to two runs after singling in Slater in the seventh.

Right-handers Roberto Gomez and Tyler Rogers each picked up a hold in relief of Beede and hard-throwing righty Kyle Crick earned his second save of the season.

Game two tomorrow afternoon will feature Sacramento’s Joan Gregorio (1-2, 1.95) and Aces right-hander Zach Godley (2-1, 2.25). First pitch is set for 1:05 pm (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Falls to San Antonio FC 1-0

A 64th minute penalty kick proved to be the difference as Sacramento Republic FC fall 1-0 to San Antonio FC, extending San Antonio’s undefeated start to the season.

Republic FC started the match very strong, pressing San Antonio FC’s defense looking for a goal.  They had their best chance on goal in just the 18th minute after forward Sammy Ochoa stole the ball in the attacking third earning himself a one-on-one situation with San Antonio FC goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.  Ochoa looked to beat the keeper with a left footed shot, but Restrepo was there with a foot save.  The ball did bounce back in a dangerous area and found the feet of forward Wilson Kneeshaw in front of goal, but defender Stephen McCarthy was there to make a sliding tackle to clear the ball from danger.

The best chance of the first half for San Antonio FC came late in stoppage time, which seemed to extend long past the one-minute allotted.  Defender Ben Newnam stole the ball on the right side of the field and drove toward the touchline before sending in a high-arching cross. Newnam’s cross found the head of midfielder Rafa Castillo who sent a shot toward goal, but the ball went just over the bar keeping the match scoreless at the half.

 Republic FC again came out strong to start the second half, earning two corners and a free kick in the first three minutes.  Danny Barrera’s corner in the 48th minute found the head of Kneeshaw who sent the ball into the box where it was batted around before falling to the feet of midfielder Daniel Trickett-Smith.  The midfielder attempted a right-footed volley, but his shot sailed over the bar.

 Republic FC would have another chance in the 61st minute off a throw-in from the right side.  Barrera received the throw, turned to the middle before sending a cross into the box.  Trickett-Smith found space in the middle of the box, leaping high in the air to connect with Barrera’s cross, and sending a shot toward the lower right corner of the goal.  Restrepo read the header well and again was there to make the diving save.

 San Antonio FC would strike just minutes later.  In the 63rd minute, a San Antonio throw deep in Republic FC’s attacking third sprung a counter attack down the right side.  Kris Tyrpak led the attack down the right side before chipping the ball toward Akwafei Ajeakwa.  The substitute forward attempted to head the ball down, but was tripped up in the box, earning San Antonio a penalty. Castillo stepped up to take the ensuing penalty, firing a strike to the top right side of the goal that just beat the outstretched hand of Evan Newton who had guessed right.   The penalty put San Antonio FC ahead 1-0.

 Republic FC fought valiantly to find an equalizer and looked to have found it in the 84th minute. Midfielder Jeremy Hall played a long ball back into the box after a Republic FC corner kick was cleared to near midfield.  Hall’s long-ball found Emrah Klimenta who headed the ball across goal to Ochoa who was making a run down the middle of the box. Ochoa was able to get a foot on Klimenta’s cross, but Restrepo, who made four saves on the night, was again there for the save.

Republic FC complete their second three-match road stretch of the season when they travel to Salt Lake City to take on Real Monarchs SLC on Saturday, May 13.  Kickoff is 6:30 pm.  The match will be broadcast live on CW31.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Announce Undrafted Free Agent Signings

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed the following 17 undrafted free agents, the club announced Friday.

Player                                      Pos.             Ht.     Wt.    College

Borders, Breon                                   CB                   5-11    189     Duke

Boyette, Paul                                      DT                   6-2      310     Texas

Briggs, Chauncey                               T                      6-6      301     SMU

Brown, Fadol                                      DE                   6-4      282     Mississippi

Brown, Pharaoh                                 TE                    6-5      246     Oregon

Cioffi, Anthony                                   S                      5-11    205     Rutgers

Hatcher, Keon                                    WR                  6-1      212     Arkansas

Humes, Chris                                      CB                   6-0      201     Arkansas State

Jefferson, Rickey                                S                      5-11    208     LSU

Kukwa, Anthony                                 LS                    6-2      231     Lake Erie

Morrow, Nicholas                              LB                    6-0      216     Greenville

Simmons, Jordan                                G                     6-3      339     USC

Thomas, Ahmad                                  S                      6-0      214     Oklahoma

Wade, Jordan                                     DT                   6-3      319     Oklahoma

Whitney, Isaac                                    WR                  6-2      204     USC

Woodson-Luster, Xavier                   LB                    6-1      219     Arkansas State

Zamora, Ishmael                                 WR                  6-3      224     Baylor

Borders: Played four years at Duke, appearing in 49 games with 35 starts…Totaled 148 career tackles (106 solo), seven tackles for loss, one sack, 12 INTs, 34 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Boyette: Played four years at Texas, appearing in 42 games with eight starts…Totaled 100 career tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Briggs: Played four years at SMU, appearing in 39 game with 32 starts on the offensive line… As a senior, helped the offense average 163.2 rushing yards per game…First name is pronounced CHON-see.

Brown, F.: Played three years at Mississippi after transferring from FIU…Played in 32 games at Mississippi with 21 starts…Totaled 109 tackles (51 solo), four sacks and 16 tackles for loss.

Brown, P.: Played four years at Oregon, seeing action in 40 games…Totaled 70 career receptions for 1,011 yards with 11 TDs…Two-time All-Pac-12 selection… Also named first-team all-conference by Athlon Sports, ESPN.com and Phil Steele Publications as a junior.

Cioffi: Played four years at Rutgers, appearing in 47 games with 33 starts at both safety positions and cornerback…Career totals include 168 tackles (120 solo), eight INTs, 2.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, 13 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Hatcher: Played four years at Arkansas, seeing action in 47 games with 28 starts…Career totals include 130 receptions for 1,866 yards and 19 TDs…Finished collegiate career ranked fourth on the program’s all-time list in receiving TDs.

Humes: Played four years at Arkansas State, seeing action in 54 games with 39 starts…Totaled 180 career tackles (109 solo), three INTs, 14 passes defensed, two sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries…As a senior, named honorable mention All-Sun Belt Conference.

Jefferson: Played four years at LSU, playing in 37 games with 15 starts…Totaled 87 career tackles (48 solo), one sack, four INTs and 12 passes defensed.

Kukwa: Played four years at Lake Erie, seeing action in 42 games…Named honorable mention All-GLIAC as a junior…Transferred from Ball State, where he redshirted as a freshman.

Morrow: Played four years at Greenville, playing in 34 games…Totaled 222 career tackles (151 solo), five sacks, 38 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, three INTs and 11 passes defensed…Honored as a second-team AFCA NCAA Division III All-American.

Simmons: Played four years at USC, seeing action in 21 games with two starts…As a senior, saw action in 13 games and served as a reserve offensive lineman and played on special teams.

Thomas: Played four years at Oklahoma, seeing action in 51 games with 39 starts…Started final 39 straight games of his career…Totaled 223 career tackles (149 solo), four INTs, one fumble recovery and seven passes defensed.

Wade: Played four years at Oklahoma, playing in 44 games with 22 starts…Totaled 79 career tackles (43 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed.

Whitney: Played two years at USC after transferring from Riverside (Calif.) Community College…Also played at Central Oklahoma…Totaled 11 catches for 144 yards (13.1 avg.) and two TDs at USC.

Woodson-Luster: Played four years at Arkansas State, playing in 47 games with 37 starts…Finished as program’s all-time leader with 293 tackles (165 solo)…Also totaled five sacks, 19 tackles for loss, two INTs, 11 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Zamora: Played two years at Baylor, playing in 23 games with eight starts…Totaled 72 career receptions for 941 yards with 10 TDs…As a sophomore, Ranked second in the Big-12 Conference with 6.3 receptions per game.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raider Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats, Chris Stratton Stifles Grizzlies 4-2

Calixte paces offense with team-leading 4th home run of the season

Fresno, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (10-17) rode a strong start by Chris Stratton and a home run by Orlando Calixte to a 4-2 victory against the Fresno Grizzlies (12-16) Thursday evening at Chukchansi Park.

Stratton was excellent in his return to the River Cats rotation. The righty went 4.1 innings, allowing four hits and a walk, while striking out six. He took a no decision in this one, however, after throwing just 71 pitches (49 strikes).

Shortstop Calixte got the scoring started in the third inning with a two-run homer to left, which was changed from a double after the umpires met to confirm the ball had cleared the fence. Sacramento added a run in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Chris Marrero and Justin Ruggiano, then another on a throwing error in the seventh.

Kraig Sitton came on to relieve Stratton, and after giving up a run on two hits in the 5th inning, the tall lefty retired the final eight hitters he faced. Matt Reynolds threw a clean 8th, before Ryan Webb nailed things down in the 9th to earn his 2ndsave.

The River Cats go for their second series win behind right-hander Dan Slania (0-3, 9.17). The Grizzlies counter with righty Trent Thornton (0-0, 1.50) as they seek a series split. First pitch is at 7:05 and can be heard live online at rivercats.com and on the air on ESPN 1320.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations