All posts by Shawn Jonas

Sacramento River Cats Drop Finale But Take Series Against Round Rock Express

Sacramento snaps three-game win streak in 7-2 loss to Round Rock

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (43-62) and Round Rock Express (47-59) played another closely contested ballgame Friday night at Raley Field and after taking the first three, Sacramento let tonight’s game get away late in their 7-2 defeat.

The River Cats dug themselves an early hole as starter Matt Gage allowed two runs in the first inning. Gage found his stride from then on, however, allowing just one more run to score while recording all five of his strikeouts in the fourth and fifth innings. The left-hander set a new season-high tonight by tossing 101 pitches (63 strikes) over his 5.1 innings and of the three runs he allowed, only one was earned.

Ryder Jones was the offensive catalyst tonight for the River Cats, driving in the club’s first run with an RBI-groundout in the first and then launching a solo home run in the sixth. The homer was Jones’ 11th on the year, and he now has six RBI in his last five games.

The River Cats will open a four-game set beginning tomorrow night as they welcome the New Orleans Baby Cakes to Sacramento. Right-hander Casey Kelly (5-2, 4.65) will make his first start for the River Cats and right-hander Tom Koehler (1-1, 1.50) will go for New Orleans. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live on the air on ESPN 1320 and online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations 

Oakland Raiders Sign First-Round Pick CB Gareon Conley

NAPA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed first-round draft pick CB Gareon Conley, the club announced Friday. The Raiders’ entire 2017 draft class is now under contract.

Conley was selected by the Raiders with the 24th overall pick in April’s draft. He played in 42 games with 27 starts over three seasons at Ohio State, totaling 91 tackles (66 solo), six interceptions, 15 passes defensed and 0.5 sacks. He was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team by the league’s coaches and All-Big Ten Third Team as a junior in 2016, and helped the Buckeyes win the 2014 National Championship as a freshman.

The Massillon, Ohio, native attended Washington High School in his hometown, playing wide receiver and cornerback as a high schooler.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign Andrew East; Release Austin Howard and Taiwan Jones

NAPA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed LS Andrew East and released T Austin Howard and RB Taiwan Jones, the club announced Friday.

East was with the Raiders during the offseason program in 2016 and training camp, appearing in three preseason games with the team before being waived on August 29. Previously, he had spent time during the offseason program and training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015 and the offseason program with the Seattle Seahawks in 2016.

Howard joined the Raiders as an unrestricted free agent in 2014 and appeared in 40 games with 39 starts at guard and tackle over his three seasons with the Silver and Black.

Jones was originally drafted by the Raiders in the fourth round (125th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. Over six seasons with the club, he appeared in 66 games, seeing time on offense and defense while also playing a key role on all special teams units.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Andrew Suarez Strikes Out Nine, Halts Round Rock Express In 2-1 Win

Timely hitting, strong pitching lead Sac to third straight victory

West Sacramento, CA Andrew Suarez was dominant tonight for the Sacramento River Cats (43-61), shutting down the Round Rock Express (46-59) offense en route to the 2-1 win.

Suarez ran into trouble in the first inning, giving up his only run of the night in an inning that included two hits, a walk, and a wild pitch. The left-hander settled in after that, allowing just two more hits and two walks the rest of the night. He set a season-high tonight with nine strikeouts and at one point retired 14 straight Express hitters.

The River Cats offense backed Suarez’s outing with back-to-back runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Last night’s walk-off hero Ryan Lollis got Sacramento on the board first with an RBI-double and Ryder Jones followed by driving in Orlando Calixte.

Sacramento will send left-hander Matt Gage (0-4, 6.65) to the hill for the fourth and final game of the series tomorrow night. Right-hander Tyler Wagner (1-9, 7.01) will go for Round Rock. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live on the air on ESPN 1320 and online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats, BloodSource Reunite For Annual Blood Drive

Partners celebrate five years of Raley Field blood drives

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats and BloodSource are teaming up yet again for the fifth annual Raley Field Blood Drive on Friday, August 4. Both parties are excited to continue this partnership into its fifth year and beyond.

The River Cats and BloodSource will be open in the Raley Field parking lot next Friday, August 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In celebration of the fifth annual Raley Field blood drive, BloodSource is giving away great prizes all day. Every donor will receive two tickets to a River Cats game and an exclusive San Francisco Giants Blood Donor t-shirt. 

Since August 2013, the River Cats and BloodSource have teamed up to register over 700 donors and collect more than 615 units of blood. Of those 700-plus donors, 315 of them have been new donors, donating blood for the first time at Raley Field.

“We have had incredible success partnering with the River Cats these last five years,” said Heather Sharp, BloodSource Account Manager. “Every year we are thrilled with and proud of the response from the West Sacramento and Sacramento communities. I know that I speak for the River Cats when I say we’re eagerly anticipating our fifth successful drive.”

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and the summer can be a challenging time for BloodSource and other organizations to collect blood. High schools and colleges – where many blood drives are hosted – are on summer break, while many regular blood donors are on vacation and unavailable to donate. In addition, prospective donors often become deferred due to the effects of travel. Drives like the one at Raley Field provide an alternate location and opportunity for regular and new donors.

“This drive has become an important part of both the River Cats family and the Sacramento region,” added Greg Coletti, Vice President, Partner Services for the River Cats. “We’re proud to continue to partner with BloodSource to bring this drive to Raley Field year after year.”

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Ryan Lollis Gives Sacramento River Cats Second Straight Walk-Off

Despite blown lead, River Cats come back for 9th-inning victory

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (42-61) and Round Rock Express (46-58) traded blows Wednesday night at Raley Field, but when all was said and done, Ryan Lollis made sure the River Cats came out on top in their 6-5 victory.

After Round Rock hit a game-tying, two-out home run in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game at five, the River Cats responded by walking off for the second straight night. First baseman Ryan Lollis sent the Sacramento faithful home happy tonight by singling up the middle to score Pablo Sandoval, giving them their fifth walk-off win this season.

Leadoff hitter Jarrett Parker got the scoring started tonight for Sacramento, picking up where he left off from last night by launching a home run in the first inning to put the River Cats up 1-0. Sacramento was not done in the first however, as Chris Shaw hit a two-run blast to make it a 3-0 ballgame. Round rock responded in the fourth inning off River Cats starter Jose Flores, tagging the right-hander for a three-run homer to tie things up. 

Flores yielded his fourth and final run to the Express in the sixth inning but this time it was Sacramento’s turn to respond, and in the bottom half of the frame Ryder Jones helped retake the lead. Jones managed to take advantage of Round Rock’s defensive shift, driving a go-ahead two-run single through the hole on the left side of the infield to give the home side a 5-4 lead. With the win tonight, Sacramento improved their record to 15-18 in one-run games.

Left-hander Andrew Suarez (3-4, 4.69) will get the start for Sacramento in game three and will face Round Rock right-hander James Dykstra (1-4, 8.610). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live on the air on ESPN 1320 and online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign Second-Round Pick S Obi Melifonwu

NAPA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed second-round draft pick S Obi Melifonwu, the club announced Wednesday.

Melifonwu was selected by the Raiders with the 56th overall pick in April’s draft. He played in 48 games with 47 starts over his four-year career at Connecticut, finishing with 351 tackles (224 solo), eight interceptions, 16 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. As a senior, he recorded a career- and team-high 118 tackles with four interceptions, three passes defensed and one fumble recovery on his way to being named to the All-AAC First Team.

The South Grafton, Mass., native attended Grafton High School, where he played running back and defensive back in addition to competing in track and field. Melifonwu was born in London, England, before his family relocated to the United States.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

 Jarret Parker’s Walk-Off Leads Sacramento River Cats In  Pablo Sandoval’s Debut

River Cats derail Express 4-3, snap five game skid

West Sacramento, CA Jarrett Parker played hero Tuesday night in Pablo Sandoval’s River Cats debut, hitting a ninth inning walk-off home run as the Sacramento River Cats (41-61) defeated the Round Rock Express (46-57) 4-3 Tuesday night.

Parker stepped up the plate with two outs in the ninth inning and delivered, blasting a 428-foot solo home run to left-center field to give Sacramento their first walk-off homer this season. Parker’s walk-off was the highlight of the game, but Sandoval left an impression in his own right in his River Cats debut.

Sandoval hit second and started at third base tonight for Sacramento, playing seven innings. The switch-hitter finished the game 1-for-4 with a run and stretched a line drive to right field into a double. His double came off Round Rock right-hander Clayton Blackburn who spent two and a half seasons with Sacramento before being traded to the Texas Rangers earlier this year.

The River Cats will send right-hander Jose Flores (0-1, 3.68) to the hill for game two and will square off against Round Rock’s right-hander David Ledbetter (2-2, 3.86). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live on the air on ESPN 1320 and online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Place Heeney, Helfet On Non-Football Injury List

NAPA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have placed the following two players on the Non-Football Injury List. Both players count against the 90-man roster.

Player                              Pos.             Ht.     Wt.    Exp.   College

Heeney, Ben                           LB                    6-0      230     3          Kansas

Helfet, Cooper                        TE                    6-3      240     3          Duke

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Rally Late But Fall Short 4-3 To Tacoma Rainiers

Sacramento leaves bases loaded in ninth, is swept by Tacoma

Tacoma, WA – The Sacramento River Cats (40-61) loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning against the Tacoma Rainiers (52-50) Monday afternoon, but went down swinging for their final two outs in their 4-3 loss.

Sacramento first showed signs of life in the sixth inning, pushing three runs across to bring them within one run. In the ninth, catcher Trevor Brown led off the inning with a single and was followed by walks to Juniel Querecuto and Carlos Moncrief to load the bases. After Ryan Lollis flied out to left field, River Cats manager Dave Brundage turned to bench for pinch hitter Chris Shaw. Shaw was unable to take advantage however, striking out swinging. Juan Ciriaco also went down on strikes to follow to end the game.

Tacoma touched up starter Kraig Sitton for three runs over three innings today. Sitton, who was making a spot-start for Tyler Beede, was relieved for right-hander Collin Balester who allowed the fourth and final Rainiers run and also went three innings. The River Cats suffered their fifth series sweep this season and fifth straight loss.

Sacramento returns home tomorrow night to open a four game series against the Round Rock Express. Right-hander Chris Stratton (4-5, 5.11) will start for the River Cats and right-hander Clayton Blackburn (4-2, 4.98) returns to Raley Field to face his former team. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live on the air on ESPN 1320 and online atrivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations