Tag Archives: Steven Okert

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

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 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

Three-Run Fourth Propels Sacramento River Cats Past Redbirds

McCarthy, Avelino collect two hits in 5-2 victory

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento River Cats (63-53) used a big three-run fourth inning to take control of the ballgame, going on to beat the visiting Memphis Redbirds (51-65) by a final of 5-2.

Enderson Franco was rolling through three innings before taking a 106-mile per hour line drive off the leg in the fourth inning. The right-hander fought through the pain and finished the inning, but would not come back out for the fifth. Lefty Steven Okert came on to work a one-two-three fifth inning and would go on to earn his team-leading seventh win, while submariner Tyler Rogers worked the final 1.2 innings to pick up his fifth save on the season.  

The River Cats wasted little time taking the lead on Thursday and would not surrender it once they did – Francisco Pena blasted a 426-ft. solo shot in the second frame. Sacramento would expand their lead in the fourth when Joe McCarthy and Levi Michael clubbed back-to-back doubles, plating a combined three runs.

The River Cats will go for the three-game sweep of Memphis with righty Yoanys Quiala (6-7, 6.43) getting the nod. The Redbirds will counter with righty Daniel Pounce de Leon (4-4, 3.90) 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 Explode In Extras To Down Grizzlies

Pena, Rickard both homer in four-run 10th inning

Fresno, CA. — The Sacramento River Cats (55-47) hang on in an extra-inning thriller against Fresno Grizzlies (52-50), winning 8-6 after exploding for four runs in the 10th inning.    

Sacramento got off to a hot start Tuesday, plating four runs in the first three innings. Mike Gerber blasted a first inning two-run homer, his 21st, just inside the left field foul pole, and the River Cats got a run in both the second and third innings on a fielder’s choice and RBI-groundout, respectively. The River Cats led 4-2 after three, but the offense was held in check over the next six frames. 

While Fresno was able to claw back to tie the game with two outs in the ninth, Sacramento came right back in the 10th, exploding for four runs on five hits to take an 8-4 lead. Henry Ramos plated the first run with an RBI-double, Francisco Pena came on as pinch hitter to smash a solo home run, and then Joey Rickard capped off the inning with a two-run jack two batters later.

The bottom of the 10th was not without drama of its own, however. The Grizzlies struck for two runs against lefty Steven Okert before Ray Black came on to slam the door, earning his first save of the season and pushing the River Cats’ division lead to three games. 

The River Cats will be back at it against the Grizzlies tomorrow night, looking for their fifth straight road win. Right-hander Yoanys Quiala (5-5, 6.52) takes the ball for Sacramento on Wednesday night, while Fresno will go with lefty Ben Braymer (0-2, 9.43). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT). Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, on Money 105.5 FM (PT).

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats’ Orlando Calixte Collects Three Hits In Loss To Fresno Grizzlies

Valdez strikes out five of seven batters in stellar relief outing

 FRESNO, CA — The Sacramento River Cats (41-55) were stymied by Fresno Grizzlies (55-40) righty Josh James, who struck out 12 River Cats hitters as they fell 8-3 to their central California rivals.

Shortstop Orlando Calixte led the offensive charge for Sacramento as he recorded three hits, including his 11th double of the season, to give him five hits in his last two games. A pair of two-baggers from Chris Shaw and Ryder Jones in the sixth inning provided the team’s three runs, with Jones’s two-run double extending his RBI streak to four games.

After River Cats starter Daniel Camarena surrendered all eight of Fresno’s runs, right-hander Jose Valdez and lefty Steven Okert teamed up to strike out eight batters in their combined 3.2 innings of work to keep the game from getting out of hand. For Valdez, he sent five of the seven batters he faced packing in 2.1 perfect frames.

Game three of this series on Wednesday will see right-hander Casey Kelly (8-7, 5.20) making his team-high 17th start of the year while the Grizzlies will go with fellow righty Cy Sneed (8-4, 3.11). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. (PT). Catch all of the action live online atrivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and on the air on Money 105.FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Fall To Tacoma Rainiers In Blowout

Austin Slater leads offensive output with league-leading sixth double

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA — The third and fourth innings doomed the River Cats (5-6) on Sunday as 12 runs crossed the plate in the two frames, leading to a 15-4 loss at the hands of the Tacoma Rainiers (5-6).

River Cats starting pitcher Jose Flores issued seven walks in his three innings and allowed nine runs, though only six were earned due to a pair of errors. Things didn’t go well for lefty Steven Okert in relief either, as he finished the third inning with six hits to his name, including two home runs.

The offense did scratch across five runs, including infielder Alen Hanson’s first home run of the season. Austin Slater doubled twice in a three-hit day, giving him six doubles on the year to lead the Pacific Coast League.

The homestand will conclude Monday afternoon with Giants’ No. 10-ranked prospect LHP Andrew Suarez (0-0, 0.00) returning from his spot start in San Francisco. The Rainiers will send RHP Josh Smith (0-2, 7.11) to the mound. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m.

Catch all of the action live online at rivercats.com, on the MiLB First Pitch app, and at 7:05 p.m. on Money 105.5 FM.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Chris Shaw Homers, Extends Hit Streak But Sacramento River Cats Fall

Sacramento can’t keep pace with Cubs in 7-3 defeat

Des Moines, IA – The Sacramento River Cats (49-67) fell for a second straight game to the Iowa Cubs (55-59) in Wednesday’s matinee by a final score of 7-3.

Chris Shaw was the highlight this afternoon for Sacramento, slugging his 13th home run of the year while simultaneously extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Trevor Brown also went deep, launching his first long ball of the season in the eight inning.

Right-hander Casey Kelly got the start for Sacramento, going six innings while allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits. Kelly also struck out six Iowa hitters and yielded two walks before giving way to the River Cats bullpen. Left-hander Steven Okert allowed two runs to follow in the seventh, ending his 6.2 inning scoreless streak, and righty Collin Balester surrendered two more in the eighth.

Right-hander Roberto Gomez (3-6, 4.76) will get the start tomorrow afternoon for Sacramento and will oppose Iowa’s right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng (4-1, 2.10). First pitch is set for 10:08 a.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

Orlando Calixte and Conor Gillaspie Lead Sacramento River Cats To Win In Return

Duo combine to go 3-for-7 with two runs, three RBI in 5-2 win over Reno

West Sacramento, CA Orlando Calixte and Conor Gillaspie made their returns to the River Cats lineup Saturday night, helping lead the Sacramento River Cats (24-37) to a 5-2 win over the Reno Aces (39-24) at Raley Field.

Sacramento took an early 3-0 lead in the second inning and never looked back, getting a bases-loaded walk from Tim Federowicz and a two-run single from Calixte. After Reno got a run of their own in the third, the River Cats responded by scoring two more runs to take a 5-1 lead. Seven of the eight River Cats position players had a base hit in tonight’s win.

The final Aces run came off starter Roberto Gomez who made his third spot-start of the season tonight. He threw a season-high 74 pitches (43 strikes) and held the best offense in the Pacific Coast League to two runs. From there on, the bullpen closed the door with left-hander Kraig Sitton picking up the win, his team-leading fifth of the season. Submariner Tyler Rogers relieved Sitton in the seventh and earned his third hold followed by Steven Okert who earned his first save in the ninth.

The River Cats will send right-hander Dan Slania (0-7, 7.85) to the hill for the third and decisive game of the series. Left-hander Aaron Laffey (2-0, 3.99) will get the ball for Reno. First pitch is set for 1:05 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 Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Joan Gregorio, Clutch Hitting Lift Sacramento River Cats Over Isotopes 5-4

River Cats need extras to collect their third straight win for the first time this season

Albuquerque, NM – The Sacramento River Cats (22-33) earned their third straight victory 5-4 in a back-and-forth, extra inning ballgame against the Albuquerque Isotopes (28-28). The three-game winning streak is their first such run of the 2017 season.

Joan Gregorio was excellent in this one, as he went seven innings, allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out two and walking none. The big righty settled for a no decision, throwing 96 pitches (68 strikes). He dropped his ERA to 2.97.

After a home run in Saturday’s game that was a thing of legend, Mac Williamson hit another bomb on Sunday, this time to dead center. Tonight’s blast came in the 4th inning and tied the game at one.

Sacramento got huge hits up and down the lineup on Sunday. Outfielder Wynton Bernard came up with three big hits, each in critical situations, while veteran Juan Ciriaco had perhaps the biggest play of the game, executing a perfect squeeze play to drive in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning. Steven Okert earned the win as he set the final six Isotopes hitters down in order.

The River Cats head back home tomorrow to face their rivals to the south, the Fresno Grizzlies. For Sacramento it will be the lefty Michael Roth (4-4, 4.44) kicking off the series, and opposing him for Fresno will be the right-hander Trent Thornton (2-2, 4.88). First pitch is set for 7:05 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