Reno Aces Fall Short in PCL Championship Series
By Thomas Lynch
Andrew Chafin’s six shutout innings gave Reno a 2-1 series lead. Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Despite the results of the last two games, it was still a great season for the Reno Aces. The Triple A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped the final two games of the best of five Pacific Coast League Championship series against the Omaha Storm Chasers. The Aces dropped the deciding Game Five earlier today by a score of 4-0.
Omaha struck first in Aces’ Ballpark taking Game One by a final of 6-2. Clayton Richard started for Reno and was battered for four hits and a walk in the opening frame as the Storm Chasers jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Bo Schultz relieved Richard with two outs in the first inning and, after recording the final out, allowed three runs in the second with a throwing error by catcher Blake Lalli contributing to a 6-0 Omaha cushion. Reno did nothing until the sixth inning when Andy Marte provided the only offense with a two-run home run. Reno evened the series the following day, their final home game of the season. Center fielder Mike Freeman delivered a two-single and shortstop Nick Ahmed provided a two-run double, both in the second inning and the Aces were victorious by a score of 4-2. Bradin Hagens delivered a solid six innings, allowing only one run and no walks while striking out four. Jake Barrett pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to register the save. Designated hitter Mike Jacobs walked four times on the day.
Yanks Go Yard
The series shifted to Omaha where the Aces went up two games to one on the strength of Andrew Chafin‘s dominant performance. The lefty tossed six shutout innings allowing only four hits and a walk while striking out four. It was his second straight scoreless playoff start. The Chasers’ Sugar Ray Marimon matched Chafin zero for zero until the sixth inning when Roger Kieschnick smashed a two-run homer to put Reno in front. Barrett recorded a save for the second straight game but gave up a double and an RBI single before finally shutting the door. The Chasers evened the series on Saturday by pounding out 15 hits in a 11-2 win. They struck for five home runs, scoring a total of eight runs in the third and fourth innings. Reno’s Charles Brewer was the primary victim allowing six runs on seven hits in three plus innings. The Aces’ had ten hits, led by first baseman Danny Dorn‘s three but could not make the most of their opportunities.
With the series tied at 2, Mike Bolsinger tried to pitch the Aces to the PCL title. Unfortunately, a two-run double in the first inning by Omaha’s Brett Hayes and Whit Merrifield‘s second inning RBI single proved to be all the Storm Chasers would need to take the League championship. Omaha added a run in the bottom of the eighth to round out the scoring. Reno managed only two hits on the afternoon, one apiece from PCL All-stars Ahmed and Marte and committed three errors.
Congratulations to the Reno Aces for a tremendous 2014 season.