Sep 8, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Detail shot of the batters box and home plate at Marlins Park before a game between the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

PCL Playoffs: L.J. Mazzilli's hit propels Las Vegas to 5-4 Game 1 victory over Reno Aces

Pacific Coast League Playoffs: Round One – Game One Recap

In Las Vegas, second baseman L.J. Mazzilli‘s 1-out single in the 8th inning plated Cory Vaughn with the go-ahead run during Wednesday night’s opening game of the Pacific Coast League playoffs against the Reno Aces.

For the 51s, Rafael Montero climbed the hill at Cashman Field and was opposed by Reno’s Clayton Richard.  However, neither starter was able to complete 5 innings of work.

Reno second baseman Garrett Weber opened the scoring with a 2nd inning home run.

A lead-off base hit and a pair of 1-out singles in the 5th then gave Reno a 2-0 lead.  A walk to the following batter loaded the bases and ended Rafael Montero‘s night.  John Lannan entered in relief and promptly issued a walk to make it a 3-0 game.

In the bottom of the frame, a lead-off home run by Cory Vaughn and a pair of walks likewise ended Clayton Richard‘s night.  Cesar Puello‘s 1-out single off reliever Jess Todd then plated Daniel Muno to bring the 51s within a run.

Catcher Kevin Plawecki tied the game with a home run to lead-off the 6th.

An inning later, 51s pinch-hitter Brandon Allen‘s clutch 2-out base hit plated Matt Reynolds with the go-ahead run.

Las Vegas’ 4-3 lead did not last long.  With one out in the top of the 8th, Reno shortstop Nick Ahmed tripled off reliever Miguel Socolovich, and scored the game tying run on Roger Kieschnick‘s sac-fly to left.

Fortunately, L.J. Mazzilli‘s game winning hit in the bottom of the 8th made a winner of Miguel Socolovich and the 51s.  In the 9th, reliever Gonzalez Germen faced the minimum to earn the save.

In pitching to a no-decision, Rafael Montero threw 4.1 innings, allowed 3 earned runs on 7 hits and 4 walks, and fanned 6 batters.

Next:

9/4 Thursday, 10:05pm (EST) – Game Two

Reno Aces @ LAS VEGAS 51s

Andrew Chafin (5-6) vs. Matthew Bowman (3-2)

Notes:

  • The Las Vegas 51s posted back-to-back 80-win seasons for the first time in their history (1983-present).  This was also their second straight (PCL) Pacific Southern Division flag, and the organization’s (including Las Vegas Stars) 10th division title overall.
  • For his efforts in 2014, Wally Backman was named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year.
  • Playoffs Recap: The Omaha Storm Chasers whitewashed the Memphis Redbirds 7-0 in Wednesday’s opening game.  Game Two is Thursday at 7:05pm (Central) – Memphis @ OMAHA.

What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas (For Two More Years):

The strong bond created between the Mets and Las Vegas 51s was demonstrated back in August when the clubs opted to forgo the September Open Period, and instead extended their expiring player development contract for another two years.

For the last two seasons, anxieties (justified or not) stemming from desert heat, sun baked infields, high altitude, dry fingers affecting pitcher’s grips, Cashman Field’s inadequate training facilities, and having to summon players several time zones away have been kept to a minimum.  To date, none of the aforementioned variables have caused much concern or any real problems.

Considering the strained relationships maintained between the previous administration and New York’s past AAA affiliates, I find it pleasing this connection (while still not an optimal situation) has been strong.

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Tags: L.J. Mazzilli Las Vegas 51s Pacific Coast League Rising Apple

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