Tag Archives: PCL Championship Series

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