Category Archives: Central Valley Sports

Sacramento River Cats Unveil 2018 Home Schedule

Home opener scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 at Raley Field

West Sacramento, CA – As Minor League Baseball approaches the end of the 2017 season, the Sacramento River Cats are excited to unveil the home portion of the 2018 River Cats baseball schedule. Next season will mark the 19th year of River Cats baseball and the fourth campaign as an affiliate of the three-time World Champion San Francisco Giants.

Sacramento will kick off the 2018 season with an exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, March 24. Two weeks later, the River Cats will welcome the Reno Aces and Tacoma Rainiers to Raley Field for a seven-game opening homestand starting on Tuesday, April 10.

The River Cats will play on multiple holidays next season, including Mother’s Day (5/13), and Memorial Day (5/28). In celebration of Independence Day, the River Cats will once again host the Sacramento tradition July 3rd Fireworks Extravaganza. The River Cats will close their home schedule on Thursday, August 30 before ending the season on the road.

The full home schedule is made up of 70 dates, 33 of which are weekends, including 11 Sutter Health Fireworks Saturdays and 11 Orange Fridays. While game times have not yet been announced, next season’s schedule will also include 16 home day games. To view the full 2018 River Cats home schedule, visit rivercats.com.

The 2017 All-Star break will again take place in the second full week of July from Monday, July 9 – 10 in Columbus, Ohio at Huntington Park, home of the International League’s Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians).

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Left Chasing Omaha In 7-1 Defeat

Heathcott goes 2-for-3, drives in lone run in River Cats debut

Omaha, NE – The Sacramento River Cats (47-63) came in to Thursday night’s game against the Omaha Storm Chasers (51-58) riding a four-game winning streak but were unable to recover after falling behind early in their 7-1 loss.

 Omaha jumped on Sacramento starter Matt Gage in the first inning, tagging the left-hander for two runs. Gage kept the Storm Chasers off the board over his next two frames but ran into trouble again in the fourth. He surrendered five more runs over the fourth and fifth innings before being relieved by right-hander Dusten Knight and of Gage’s seven hits allowed, six went for extra bases.

 Right fielder Slade Heatchott gave the River Cats their lone run on the night by singling home Mac Williamson with two outs in the fifth inning. Heathcott collected two of the team’s five hits tonight in his debut with Sacramento. 

 Right-hander Casey Kelly (5-2, 4.57) will make his second start for the River Cats in game two tomorrow night and will oppose Omaha’s right-hander Christian Binford (4-8, 8.46). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT) and the game can be heard live online at rivercats.com and will air 7:00 p.m. on ESPN 1320.

Press Release Courtresy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

San Francisco Giants Return To Raley Field in 2018

Sacramento River Cats to host exhibition game with major league affiliate Saturday, March 24

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats are excited to announce the return of the San Francisco Giants to Raley Field for the second ever Exhibition Game between the River Cats and Giants. The game is scheduled for Saturday, March 24 of next year at Raley Field.

“Returning to Raley Field is something we’ve wanted to do since making our first trip to Sacramento in 2016,” said Giants President & CEO Larry Baer. “Our partnership with the River Cats and our shared fanbase in the Sacramento region have both grown stronger over the last three seasons and this is another opportunity for us to participate in that community.”

The first River Cats and Giants Exhibition Game took place at Raley Field in March of 2016. The game, which was played in front of a sellout crowd and also televised locally, was a major success on every level.

“The fan reaction in 2016 exceeded even our expectations and we knew we needed to host the Giants again,” explained River Cats General Manager Chip Maxson. “The opportunity to see the Giants of the future alongside your favorite San Francisco Giants in an intimate setting like Raley Field is unlike any other experience.”

In 2016, fans were treated to such Giants as three-time World Champion Buster Posey, Gold Glove winner Brandon Crawford, and two-time All-Star Johnny Cueto. They took the field against River Cats favorites, including Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson, and Ryan Lollis.

The 2018 River Cats versus Giants Exhibition Game is scheduled for Saturday, March 24. Currently, the only way fans are able to guarantee tickets for the Exhibition Game is to become a River Cats Season Ticket Member or to renew a current membership. More information on the membership program can be found at rivercats.com, by emailing tickets@rivercats.com, or by calling 916-371-HITS.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Take The Cake, Sweep New Orleans

Sacramento extends scoreless streak to 20 innings, beat Baby Cakes 6-0

West Sacramento, CA Andrew Suarez pitched seven shutout innings and got plenty of run support from the Sacramento River Cats offense (47-62) as they defeated the New Orleans Baby Cakes (40-69) 6-0 tonight to complete the sweep.

Suarez continued Sacramento’s dominant pitching this series, as he and the bullpen kept New Orleans off the board in tonight’s series finale. Overall, Sacramento pitchers have now thrown 20 straight scoreless innings. The left-hander devoured Baby Cakes hitters tonight, striking out six while allowing two walks and five hits. The No. 11 prospect in the Giants’ organization, Suarez stranded five New Orleans runners on base and left them 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

The River Cats offense pounced early tonight, scoring four runs in the first inning. Chris Shaw highlighted the inning by launching a two-run home run, one of three Sacramento long balls on the night. Tim Federowicz went deep for his sixth home run of the year and Pablo Sandoval smacked his first homer with the club.   

Sacramento will have an off day Wednesday before heading to Omaha to take on the Storm Chasers. Left-hander Matt Gage (0-5, 5.72) will start for game one on Thursday against Omaha. First pitch is set for 5:05 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 Shuts Out New Orleans, Win Third Straight

Flores picks up first win as River Cats defeat Baby Cakes 3-0

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (46-62) made it three in a row Monday night against the New Orleans Baby Cakes (40-68), shutting them out 3-0 at Raley Field. The River Cats have now won six of their last seven games.

Right-hander Jose Flores was stellar on the mound tonight for Sacramento, tossing 6.2 scoreless innings against the Baby Cakes while striking out seven. The Venezuelan native surrendered his only two walks in his final inning, leaving the bases loaded for reliever Reyes Moronta who got out of the inning unscathed. Right-hander Derek Law took over for Moronta in the ninth and earned his team-leading sixth save.

The River Cats and Baby Cakes will wrap up their four-game set tomorrow night as Sacramento sends left-hander Andrew Suarez (4-4, 4.18) to the hill. He will oppose New Orleans right-hander William Cuevas (1-3, 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 

Sacramento River Cats Leave New Orleans Baby Cakes Battered In 6-2 Win

Melancon makes rehab start, Sandoval collects first RBI for Sacramento

West Sacramento, CA – The Sacramento River Cats (45-62) offense pounced on the New Orleans Baby Cakes (40-67) early, scoring four runs in the first inning as they took game two of the series 6-2 Sunday evening at Raley Field.

San Francisco Giants closer Mark Melancon got the start for the River Cats, facing the minimum in his one inning by inducing an inning-ending double play after allowing a walk. In the home half of the first, Sacramento jumped on New Orleans starter and former Giants’ left-hander Mike Kickham for four runs in an inning that including five hits – two for extra bases – and two stolen bases.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval gave the River Cats their first run of the ballgame by driving in Wynton Bernard with a sacrifice fly in the four-run first. Mac Williamson, Chris Shaw, and Trevor Brown each knocked in a run in the frame, as well. Sacramento struck again in the fourth as first baseman Ryan Lollis drove in a pair with two outs to put the game away.

Sacramento will send right-hander Jose Flores (0-1, 4.03) to the hill tomorrow. New Orleans will counter with left-hander Justin Nicolino (4-4, 3.55). 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

Ryder Jones Ices New Orleans The Baby Cakes, Sacramento River Cats Win 4-3

Giants’ #14 prospect homers twice, lifts Sacramento in series opener

West Sacramento, CA Ryder Jones powered the Sacramento River Cats (44-62) to a 4-3 victory Saturday night over the New Orleans Baby Cakes (40-66) in front of a packed Raley Field crowd.

Jones went yard twice for Sacramento tonight, launching his 12th and 13th home runs of the season. His go-ahead, solo home run in the seventh inning proved to be the decisive run, putting the River Cats up for good. The left-handed hitting Jones has been on a tear of late, driving in eight of the club’s last 20 runs.

Right-hander Casey Kelly made his season debut for Sacramento, going five innings while allowing two runs on five hits. The 27-year-old yielded two walks and fanned four New Orleans batters before giving way to the bullpen. Right-hander Tyler Rogers picked up the win, his third, and Derek Law earned his fifth save this season. 

San Francisco’s Mark Melancon will make a rehab appearance with the River Cats tomorrow, pitching the first inning before scheduled starter Roberto Gomez (2-6, 5.10) takes over. Left-hander Mike Kickham (0-0, 4.91) will get the call for New Orleans. First pitch is set for 5:05 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

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 

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