Never Say Die Las Vegas 51s Win in 10, 6-3
There is no doubt that Las Vegas is a great place to be entertained. There are shows and performances of virtually every type imaginable. Apparently the Las Vegas 51s decided that same kind of entertainment value should extend to the baseball field. Friday night the club battled back with a run in the ninth inning to tie the game, and scored three runs in the top of the 10th to win 6-3 over the Tacoma Rainiers. It was truly an entertaining contest.
Tyler Pill started for Las Vegas and got off to a bit of a rough start. After retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the first inning, he allowed a single to Ketel Marte. Stefen Romero then stepped to the plate and blasted his eighth home run of the season over the left field wall. That tied Romero for fourth in the Pacific Coast League. He now has 26 RBI which puts him in sixth in the league.
In the top of the second Las Vegas got a run back against Stephen Landazuri. With one out Brandon Allen, Travis Taijeron, and Danny Muno singled to load the bases. Kyle Johnson followed with a ground out scoring Allen to make it 2-1.
In the top of the fourth the Las Vegas 51s tied the score. Taijeron led off the inning with his sixth home run of the year. The 51s right fielder continues his torrid start with a 3-5 evening. He is now hitting .344, fourth in the PCL.
The tie score lasted a very short time. In the bottom of the fourth inning Romero doubled with one out. Following a wild pitch, Jesus Montero hit a sacrifice fly putting Tacoma back on top.
Five runs had been scored in the first four innings, and the game had the appearance of a real slugfest, however, both staffs calmed down and kept each other off of the scoreboard for the next four innings. Pill had allowed four hits and three runs in the first four frames, but then dominated the Rainiers, allowing just one hit over the next four. He finished with 8 innings pitched, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs, while striking out 5.
Landazuri was nearly as impressive. He left after pitching 6 innings, allowing 7 hits and a walk, while striking out 3. Tony Zych pitched the seventh and eighth innings for Tacoma, and he was stellar. He gave up two hits while striking out two.
Dominic Leone relieved for Tacoma in the ninth, but could not hold the lead. Leone retired the first batter, but then gave up a single to Taijeron. Muno followed with a double that scored Taijeron and the game was tied.
Leone remained in the game in the 10th inning, and the Las Vegas 51s continued to have success against him. Darrell Ceciliani singled to lead off the inning. One out later Matt Reynolds singled, and Cory Vaughn followed with a line drive single to center field to score Ceciliani. Vaughn stole second base, and Brandon Allen followed with a single that scored Reynolds and moved Vaughn to third. That was it for Leone. Yoervis Medina relieved and gave up a ground out to Taijeron that allowed Vaughn to score.
Up by three entering the bottom of the 10th inning, the Las Vegas 51s turned to closer Chase Bradford. He retired the Tacoma Rainiers in order to preserve the three-run lead. Zach Thornton (3-1) earned the win with a perfect ninth inning of relief. Leone (0-1) took the loss.
Taijeron was not the only one who had a huge game at the plate. The club pounded out 15 hits, and Allen also had three hits. Ceciliani, T.J. Rivera, Reynolds, and Muno added two hits apiece. Taijeron scored two runs and drove home two others.
These two clubs will face off again tomorrow at 1:35 Tacoma time. The Las Vegas 51s send Matt Bowman (2-3, 8.13) to the hill against Justin Germano (2-1, 1.74) for Tacoma.
By Robert Pannier