Category Archives: Sacramento River Cats

Sacramento River Cats finish 2019 season as Triple-A National Champions

Sacramento becomes the first team to win Triple-A Championship three times

Memphis, TN — The Sacramento River Cats are the Triple-A National Champions after shutting out the International League Champion Columbus Clippers by a score of 4-0 on Tuesday night at AutoZone Park in Memphis, TN. Behind a stellar outing from left-hander, and eventual Most Valuable Player Caleb Baragar, the River Cats became the first franchise to take home their third Triple-A National Championship.

Baragar was nothing short of magnificent for a second straight time this postseason, compiling a combined 2-0 record with a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings, and dominating the Clippers’ offense over his five frames on Tuesday night. Baragar gave up just two hits while fanning five batters to earn MVP honors.

The River Cats jumped on the Clippers early, knocking out Columbus starter Kyle Dowdy in the first inning and tagging the right-hander for three runs. Francisco Peña delivered an RBI-groundout, then a couple batters later Jacob Heyward delivered a two-RBI single to right field. 

Peter Maris would add a solo blast in the sixth inning to expand the lead to four. The swing of the bat was his second home run of this postseason. Levi Michael and Abiatal Avelino would finish the night with three hits apiece to pace the Sacramento offense from the top of the order.

The Sacramento bullpen was nearly perfect on their way to the first shutout of the playoffs from the River Cats. Right-hander Ricardo Pinto delivered two perfect innings while striking out four. Flamethrowing righty Melvin Adon contributed a scoreless inning, allowing one hit to start the ninth. Then lefty Steven Okert would come on to induce a double play and strikeout the final batter to clinch the Championship for the River Cats.

The Sacramento River Cats finished off their 2019 regular season with a 73-67 record – the first winning record since becoming a San Francisco Giants’ affiliate in 2015. The club won their first Pacific Northern division title since 2012, and became the first Giants Triple-A club to win their division since 1998. The River Cats went on defeat to defeat the Las Vegas Aviators in five games, then the Round Rock Express in a sweep to claim their first Pacific Coast League crown since 2008. In a year in which 85 players appeared Sacramento, the River Cats 20th season came to an end on September 17 with a Triple-A National Championship.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats sweep Express to capture PCL Championship

Franchise’s fifth title sends club to Triple-A National Championship Game against Columbus

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento River Cats are headed to Memphis. A three-run eighth inning, fueled by three consecutive walks and a clutch hit from shortstop Abiatal Avelino, paved the way for a 7-5 victory and a sweep of the Round Rock Express to win the Pacific Coast League Championship. The title is the franchise’s fifth in its 20-year history, and first since 2008.

The River Cats and Express went back and forth in the first three innings, with Sacramento twice answering Round Rock’s run with two of their own in the next half inning. The contest entered the bottom of the seventh still knotted up at four when Drew Ferguson’s solo shot gave the Express a slim lead.

But it was a slew of singles and walks for the River Cats on Friday night, who managed to score seven runs without the aid of any extra-base hits. After drawing three straight walks in the eighth inning, Avelino’s soft liner ricocheted off pitcher Ralph Garza’s glove and scooted past a diving second baseman into right field as two runs scored. Mike Gerber’s groundout plated an insurance run before Enderson Franco would emerge once again from the bullpen, this time for an impressive five-out save.

Memphis, Tenn. will be the setting for Tuesday night’s Triple-A National Championship matchup between the River Cats and the Columbus Clippers, Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. It will be the third appearance for Sacramento, and fourth for Columbus. Neither team has announced a starting pitcher for the ballgame. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m. (PT). Watch the game live on FS1. Or listen to all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on Money 105.5 FM beginning at 6:00 p.m. (PT).

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Adames lifts Sacramento River Cats over Express in game two

Sacramento one win away from capturing PCL Championship

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento River Cats (2-0) are on the brink of clinching their first Pacific Coast League Championship since 2008 with a 4-2 victory over the Round Rock Express (0-2) on Wednesday night.

Infielder Cristhian Adames broke a scoreless tie with an RBI-double in the third inning, then launched a solo home run over the center field fence as part of a three-run sixth inning for Sacramento. The eventual winning runs were plated on a bloop single from outfielder Jacob Heyward.

Right-hander Chase Johnson pitched well again for the River Cats, going five or more innings for the second consecutive outing. He struck out four and allowed just one run, making it nine strikeouts and three earned runs in 10 postseason innings for a 2.53 ERA.

Following an off day, right-hander Carlos Navas (1-0, 0.00) will be on the mound for the River Cats as they look to sweep Round Rock and advance to the Triple-A National Championship Game. The Express will counter with righty Rogelio Armenteros (0-1, 4.76). First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. (PT). Listen to all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on Money 105.5 FM beginning at 6:00 p.m. (PT).

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Avelino provides walk-off as Sacramento River Cats take Game 1

Pena’s two-run blast sparks River Cats comeback

SUMMERLIN, Nev. — The Sacramento River Cats (1-0) played a roller coaster ballgame in game one of the PCL Championship Series, with shortstop Abiatal Avelino giving them an 8-7 walk-off win over the Round Rock Express (0-1).

It was a wild opening game to this Championship Series, as the lead changed hands seven different times at Raley Field on Tuesday night. Designated hitter Francisco Peña led the offense, going 4-for-4 with three RBI, while outfielder Jacob Heyward picked up a double, a single, and knocked in two runs. 

Round Rock would get to the River Cats bullpen in the middle innings, as righties Ricardo Pinto and Sam Wolff combined to allow three runs, giving the Express a 6-5 lead in the eighth. With one on and one away in the eighth, however, Pena would deliver a clutch two-run shot down the left field line to give Sacramento a 7-6 lead. 

The stage was set for a Sacramento walk-off after lefty Steven Okert surrendered a solo blast in the ninth to tie the game at seven. Then, with two outs and catcher Ronnie Freeman at second, Abiatal Avelino would deliver the victorious hit, doubling home Freeman to give the River Cats with a huge game one win.

Sacramento will look to take a commanding two games to none lead with right-hander Chase Johnson (1-2, 7.65) getting the ball on Wednesday night. Round Rock will turn to righty Brandon Bielak (8-4, 4.41).  First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. (PT). Listen to all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats take on Round Rock for PCL Championship

Sacramento wins seventh conference title, Championship Series begins tonight at Raley Field

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Sacramento River Cats punched their ticket to the next round of the 2019 Triple-A postseason on Sunday, defeating the Las Vegas Aviators (Oakland Athletics) in a decisive game five of the Pacific Conference Playoff. The series win earned the River Cats an incredible seventh conference title, and the club will now take on the Round Rock Express (Houston Astros) in a best-of-five, Pacific Coast League Championship Series beginning Tuesday, September 10 at Raley Field in West Sacramento.

The River Cats have now reached the PCL Championship Series seven times in their 20-year history, which includes four PCL titles (2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008). With this year’s appearance, the club is back in the Championship Series for the first time since 2011 when they lost to the Omaha Storm Chasers. Going back further, the last time a San Francisco Giants’ Triple-A team claimed a PCL Championship was in 1977 (Phoenix Giants). The Express will be making their third appearance in the Championship Series, and first since 2015. They have not won a league title in their franchise’s 20-year history.

Championship baseball has returned to Raley Field, and fans will once again have the opportunity to experience the excitement when the PCL Championship Series gets under way with Games 1 and 2 on Tuesday, September 10 and Wednesday, September 11 in West Sacramento. Both games have a scheduled first pitch of 6:35 p.m., and will feature a final round of fan-favorite promotions Toyota Family Value Tuesday ($1 hot dogs!) and Wet Nose Wednesday (bring your dog!). The series will shift to Dell Diamond in Round Rock, TX for Game 3 on Friday, September 13. Games 4 and 5 this weekend (if necessary) will also be hosted by the Express.

The winner of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series will face off with the winner of the International League Governors’ Cup Finals between the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays) and the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) in the 14th annual Triple-A National Championship Game on Tuesday, September 17 at AutoZone Park in Memphis, TN.

Tickets are still available for the final two River Cats games of 2019 and can be purchased online at rivercats.com or by visiting the Tri Counties Bank Ticket Office at Raley Field. Fans with questions regarding tickets are encouraged to call (916) 371-HITS (4487) or email tickets@rivercats.com,

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats First-inning homers spark series-clinching win over Aviators

River Cats to face the Round Rock Express in the PCL Championship

SUMMERLIN, Nev. — Shortstop Abiatal Avelino led off the ballgame with a home run for the second time in three days. It set the tone for the first inning, as well as the rest of the game as the Sacramento River Cats defeated the Las Vegas Aviators 7-3 to win the series and advance to the Pacific Coast League Championship.

Following Avelino’s solo shot, Joe McCarthy and Zach Houchins would go back to back to give Caleb Baragar a four-run cushion before even stepping foot on the mound. The left-hander kept the Aviators out of the hit column for the first three innings, and finished his afternoon with eight strikeouts and one earned run in five frames.

Three insurance runs were added in the fifth and sixth innings, including two that were scored on wild pitches. Relievers Steven Okert, Dan Winkler, and Enderson Franco were fantastic out of the bullpen as they kept Las Vegas completely off the bases in the final 3.2 innings.

After fending off the Iowa Cubs on Sunday afternoon, the Round Rock Express advanced from the other side of the bracket. Neither the River Cats nor the Express have announced probable starters for Tuesday’s series opener at Raley Field. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. (PT). Listen to all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Luzardo Shuts down Sacramento River Cats in game three

Sacramento on brink of elimination after 11-4 loss

SUMMERLIN, Nev. — The Sacramento River Cats faced a tough task on Friday night as they met top pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo. The left-hander cooled off Sacramento’s bats in an 11-4 victory for the Las Vegas Aviators

Shortstop Abiatal Avelino led off the game with a solo shot but that was it for the River Cats offense until the eighth inning as Luzardo struck out seven batters pitching into the sixth inning. Sacramento would strike for a trio of runs late in the game to cut the lead to four only to watch the Aviators match them in the bottom half of the inning.

Right-hander Carlos Navas will look to help force a game five as he’ll take the ball on Saturday night for the River Cats. The Aviators will go with righty Grant Holmes in what will be just his second Triple-A start. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT). Listen to all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

McCarthy Breaks Out Of Slump To Help Sacramento River Cats Even Series

Right fielder collects three hits and drives in two runs in 8-6 win

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento River Cats bounced back from their game-one loss to defeat the Las Vegas Aviators 8-6 on Thursday night to send a deadlocked series to Las Vegas.

Outfielder Joe McCarthy, who entered tonight’s ballgame with 16 strikeouts to just one hit in his last 30 plate appearances, laced three hits including a two-run double in the bottom of the third. The club’s five-run inning looked worthy of holding until the Aviators plated five runs of their own in the fifth and sixth innings.

But the River Cats would immediately take back the lead as infielders Zach Houchins and Abiatal Avelino each knocked in a run with singles in the bottom half of the sixth. Relievers Dan Winkler and Williams Jerez teamed up to fend off the Aviators in the final three innings, with Jerez securing a four-out save.

As the series shifts to Las Vegas, right-hander Brandon Lawson will be making his River Cats debut as he takes the ball for game three. The Aviators will go with Oakland Athletics No. 1-ranked prospect, left-hander Jesus Luzardo. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT). Listen to all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Drop Playoff Series Opener To Aviators

Outfielder Mike Gerber goes 3-for-4 with two RBI in 9-3 defeat

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento River Cats (0-1) opened up the 2019 Pacific Conference playoffs on Wednesday, dropping game one to the Las Vegas Aviators (1-0) 9-3 despite matching hit totals with the visiting Athletics affiliate.

The River Cat tallied eight hits on the evening, but struggled with runners in scoring position, finishing just 2-for-9. Mike Gerber drove in runs in the first and third, accounting for two of his three hits on the night. Catcher Francisco Peña picked up a pair of hits, including a double, but Sacramento stranded 10 baserunners as a team on Wednesday.

Right-hander Ryan Halstead got the start in what was just his second Triple-A appearance of the season and his first since August 3 against Round Rock. Halstead got through the first two innings with the score knotted at one, but Las Vegas dropped a five-spot in the third to take the lead for good at 6-1. Flame-thrower Melvin Adon and lefty Sam Selman combined to toss two perfect innings of relief in the loss.

The River Cats look to even the series tomorrow night with righty Chase Johnson (1-2, 7.64) taking the hill for game two. Las Vegas will counter with right-hander Parker Dunshee (4-5, 5.38). First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. (PT). Listen to all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Late Aces Rally Dooms Sacramento River Cats In Series Opener

Avelino, Davis homer for Sacramento in tough 6-5 loss

RENO, Nev. — The Sacramento River Cats (64-58) dropped game one of a crucial four-game set with the division rival Reno Aces (58-64) by a final score of 6-5. The River Cats now lead the Pacific Northern division by six games over the Aces and by nine over the Fresno Grizzlies with 18 games remaining.

Reno jumped out to a 4-1 lead after taking advantage of two Sacramento errors in the second inning, but the River Cats would crawl back. Shortstop Mauricio Dubon’s two-run single in the third cut their deficit down to one, and outfielder Joe McCarthy’s RBI single tied the game an inning later. Then, second baseman Abiatal Avelino crushed a solo shot in the sixth to put his club ahead by one on what was their fourth unanswered run. 

But in the bottom of the seventh, left-hander Sam Selman was one out from escaping a jam when Aces outfielder Jamie Westbrook doubled home a pair of runs. Sacramento’s offense was shut down in the final three frames as the Reno staff retired ten in a row to close out the ballgame.

It will be left-hander Conner Menez (2-0, 4.06) on the bump for Sacramento looking to even the series while Reno will send righty RHP Taylor Clarke (3-1, 6.63) to the mound. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT). Listen to all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations