Reno Aces Advance to PCL Championship Round
By Thomas Lynch
Andrew Chafin delivered a complete game shutout in Game 2 ofthe PCL playoffs for the Reno Aces. Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
The Reno Aces, the Triple A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, will be heading to their second Pacific Coast League Championship round in three years. The Aces closed out the series on Saturday by winning Game Four over the Las Vegas 51’s by a score of 7-3. Reno took the series 3 games to 1 and will now face the Omaha Storm Chasers for the PCL Championship.
Yanks Go Yard
While the PCL is known as a hitter’s haven, the Aces won this series on the strength of its pitching. Reno dropped Game One as the bullpen could not hold a 3-0 lead and allowed Las Vegas to strike first with a 5-4 victory. Reno left-hander Andrew Chafin needed only 99 pitches to hurl a four hit, complete game shutout to get his team to even the series at One with a 6-0 triumph. Mike Jacobs blasted a first inning grand slam to give Chafin all the run support he needed. Chafin, who pitched in one game for the D’backs this season, did not walk a batter while striking out five batters. Nick Ahmed added a solo shot of his own while going 3 for 5 on the day. As the series shifted to Reno for Game Three, it was again Jacobs who was the hitting star with a three run homer in the fifth inning to give the Aces a lead that they never relinquished, winning by a score of 7-5. Reno second baseman Garrett Weber had a solo blast early with Ahmed going 2 for 3 to offset three errors by the Aces. After Bradin Hagens could not get through five innings, the Reno bullpen allowed only one hit over the final 4 1/3 innings to preserve the victory. In the clinching game, right-hander Charles Brewer kept Las Vegas off the scoreboard until the seventh inning as Reno took the series with a 7-3 win. Weber’s RBI single in the second inning got his team on the board first. Outfielder Danny Dorn‘s two run home run in the fifth inning gave the Aces a commanding 5-0 advantage. Brewer surrendered a three-run blast by the 51’s Allan Dykstra to cut the lead in half. An insurance RBI double by Reno’s Mike Freeman rounded out the scoring.
The PCL Championship Series begins Tuesday evening at Aces’ Ballpark. The first two games of the best of five series will be there before it shifts to Omaha for the next three contests. Reno won the 2012 title by defeating the Storm Chasers 3 games to 1.