Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
Triple-A Affiliate
The Official Site of the Sacramento River Cats Sacramento River Cats

Cats Come Close, but Aviators Hold for 2-1 Win 

Fitzgerald, Gigliotti Generate Multi-Hit Games and Combine for Four Hits
Cole Waites delivers a pitch during Sacramento's game on May 28. (Ralph Thompson Photo)
June 7, 2023

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Pitching for both sides was stiff in the series-opening contest between the Sacramento River Cats and the Las Vegas Aviators, but despite a run from Sacramento that cut the Las Vegas lead to just one in the eighth, the Aviators held on for a 2-1 victory.

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Pitching for both sides was stiff in the series-opening contest between the Sacramento River Cats and the Las Vegas Aviators, but despite a run from Sacramento that cut the Las Vegas lead to just one in the eighth, the Aviators held on for a 2-1 victory.

There was just one base runner between the two teams in the first two frames, a one-out walk for the Aviators (27-31) that was erased two batters later when River Cats (26-32) starter Sean Hjelle (1-1) induced an inning-ending double play.

Las Vegas also collected the game’s first hit, a Tyler Wade single in the third that he manufactured into a double after stealing second. Despite being the first runner in scoring position, he was left stranded. Sacramento achieved their first man aboard in the bottom of the frame when Colton Welker walked, and their first hit followed shortly after on a Michael Gigliotti single, but all came to a quick end on a double-play ball from Luis Matos.

The story was the same in the fourth with Las Vegas putting two aboard with a single and walk, while the River Cats countered with a two-out walk to David Villar. Still, neither team could come up with a run-producing hit.

It took until the fifth for either team to break through, with Las Vegas starting the inning on a double by Conner Capel that slammed off the wall in center field. He was joined on base when Kyle McCann drew a walk, and both moved into scoring position when the Aviators played small ball with a sacrifice bunt. Immediately the plan paid off, as Max Schuemann lined a ball just past the reach of Ford Proctor at first base that turned into a two-RBI double down the line and a 2-0 lead.

Trying to build an answer, Sacramento responded with their own pair of base runners during their swings in the bottom of the inning. Starting with Welker being hit by a pitch, Gigliotti earned a multi-hit night when he singled into shallow left center, but again Las Vegas kept the River Cats from a timely knock. The formula was nearly duplicated in the sixth with a Fitzgerald single and Villar walk, both with two outs, but neither could advance any further.

Following a quick seventh for both teams, Sacramento trimmed their deficit in half during the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Villar. Scoring on the play was Bryce Johnson, showing off his speed on an infield single and then making it to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run with Fitzgerald.

Despite that run, the Las Vegas bullpen remained steady down the stretch and preserved their one-run victory. Taking the save was Garrett Acton despite yielding a pair of base runners, his third of the campaign, while starter Adam Oller (2-2) was credited with the win after going six scoreless innings with three hits allowed and six strikeouts. Charged with the loss was Hjelle by surrendering two runs on four hits with three strikeouts in five innings.

Both Fitzgerald and Gigliotti had a pair of hits, combining for four of the six Sacramento knocks in the game, while Johnson scored the only run and was 1-for-4. Held hitless for just the fourth time in a Sacramento uniform was Matos, snapping his eight-game hitting streak by going 0-for-5.

Game two between these teams takes place at Sutter Health Park on Wednesday evening with the first pitch at 6:45 p.m.