Dunshee Fans 9 in Triple-A Debut, Aviators Rally Past Tacoma 4-2
Aviators pitcher Parker Dunshee could've been forgiven if he took a few butterflies to the mound Monday night at Las Vegas Ballpark. After all, he was making the first Triple-A start of his career less than 24 hours after arriving in Las Vegas from Double-A Midland, Texas. And that start was coming in a ballpark that's been giving up runs in bunches ... against an offense that piled up 10 runs a day earlier ... and on a night when a brisk wind was blowing out to right field.
So, sure, Dunshee might have been battling some nerves when he delivered his first pitch against the Tacoma Rainiers. But if those nerves existed, they disappeared rapidly.
In a memorable Triple-A debut, Dunshee struck out nine over six strong innings, and the Aviators (23-16) got seventh-inning home runs from Eric Campbell and Sheldon Neuse to rally for a 4-2 victory before a crowd of 8,393 in the second game of a four-game series.
Facing a Tacoma team that pounded out 15 hits (including eight for extra bases) in Sunday's series-opener, Dunshee recorded seven of his first nine outs via the strikeout. And while the right-hander did allow a two-run home run to Rainiers third baseman Tim Lopes with two outs in the third inning, he finished the night scattering just six hits and two walks over his six innings of work.
Most impressively, the 24-year-old from Zionsville, Indiana, finished strong, retiring seven of the final eight batters he faced. He was also efficient, throwing 63 of his 95 pitches for strikes.
The only negative for Dunshee? He failed to pick up his first Triple-A victory, as Las Vegas trailed 2-1 when he departed the game. But in the seventh, Dunshee's new teammates not only took him off the hook, but they sprinted past the Rainiers (18-21).
Eric Campbell, who scored Las Vegas' first run after walking and scoring on Beau Taylor's double in the fifth, led off the seventh against Tacoma reliever John Niese (1-1) with his fifth home run to knot the game at 2-2. After Taylor immediately followed with his team-leading 25th walk, Sheldon Neuse stepped to the plate and hammered Niese's 2-2 pitch over the center-field wall for his fifth homer and a 4-2 lead.
That was all the Aviators would need, as relievers Ryan Dull and Brian Schlitter held the Rainiers to three hits over the final three innings. Dull picked up his first victory of the season, while Schlitter struck out Tacoma's Mallex Smith for his team-leading seventh save.
With that, the Aviators improved to 6-5 heading into the final game of their season-long 12-game homestand.
Game Notes:. Campbell had a perfect night at the dish, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances as he added three walks to his solo home run ... Neuse (2-for-3) and Dustin Fowler (2-for-4) also had multiple hits for Las Vegas. However, Jorge Mateo's 10-game hitting streak was halted after he went 0-for-4. ... Dull and Schlitter combined for four strikeouts, giving Aviators pitchers 13 for the game. ... Lopes homered for the third consecutive day for Tacoma. He has four long balls in his last five games after hitting just 17 in his first 775 professional contests. ... Veteran lefty Wade LeBlanc started for Tacoma and faced the minimum number of hitters through the first four innings. LeBlanc, who was making a rehab start as he works his way back to the Seattle Mariners, allowed one run on three hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings.
J.B. Arrives in LV: The Aviators bolstered their bullpen Monday with the addition of J.B. Wendelken, who was optioned to Las Vegas when the parent Oakland A's activated pitcher Daniel Mengden on Sunday. A right-hander, Wendelken appeared in 18 games with Oakland, going 1-0 with a 5.57 ERA in 21 innings, during which he walked just six and struck out 23
With the arrival of Wendelken, the Aviators now have a full 13-man pitching staff, including nine relief pitchers.
On Deck: The Aviators conclude their four-game series against the Rainiers and their season-long 12-game homestand with a rare Tuesday-morning contest. First pitch for the 16th annual "Smoker's Strike Out School Day Game" is set for 10:35 a.m., with right-hander Jake Buchanan (2-1, 6.00 ERA) scheduled to start for Las Vegas. Tacoma was undecided on a starting pitcher as of Monday night. ... The Aviators will end a stretch of 21 consecutive games without a day off when they get a respite Wednesday before kicking off a five-game series in Salt Lake.
• Discuss this story on the Pacific Coast League message board...
Pacific Coast League Stories from May 14, 2019
- Cantu Announces Arrival with Pair of Homers to Power Chihuahuas - El Paso Chihuahuas
- River Cats fall to Chihuahuas to close out lengthy homestand - Sacramento River Cats
- Puello Leads Bees to Sweep in Reno - Salt Lake Bees
- Aviators Blow Big Early Lead, Fall 9-7 to Rainiers - Las Vegas Aviators
- Dodgers Derail Express 15-6 in Series Finale - Round Rock Express
- Bishop Homers Twice, Rainiers Complete Big Comeback in Vegas Finale - Tacoma Rainiers
- Tacos serve up a series win over Isotopes - Fresno Grizzlies
- Ildemaro Vargas Becomes Aces New Hit King - Reno Aces
- Isotopes Drop Series Final, 10-3, in Fresno - Albuquerque Isotopes
- Chasers Complete Sweep with 8-1 Win over Cubs - Omaha Storm Chasers
- Bees Win Slugfest in Reno - Salt Lake Bees
- Storm Chasers Trounce I-Cubs - Iowa Cubs
- Eleven-Run Inning Rockets Dodgers to Win in Round Rock - Oklahoma City Dodgers
- Redbirds Mash Way to 9-3 Win over Nashville - Memphis Redbirds
- Missions Split with the 'Cakes - San Antonio Missions
- 'Cakes Drop Series Finale to Missions - New Orleans Baby Cakes
- Sounds Drop Series Finale in Memphis - Nashville Sounds
- Las Vegas Ballpark to Host 4A State High School Baseball Championships - Las Vegas Aviators
- Reno Aces Game Notes vs. Salt Lake - Reno Aces
- Missions Begin Five-Game Homestand Thursday - San Antonio Missions
- Game Notes: San Antonio Missions at New Orleans Baby Cakes - San Antonio Missions
- Sounds and Echo Outdoor Power Equipment to Refurbish Local Playing Field with RBI Nashville - Nashville Sounds
- Nashville Sounds Game Information: Nashville Sounds (13-24) vs. Memphis Redbirds (20-18) - Nashville Sounds
- Game Notes: Memphis Redbirds (20-18) vs Nashville Sounds (13-24) - Memphis Redbirds
- OKC Dodgers Game Notes - May 14, 2019 - Oklahoma City Dodgers
- Aces on Wrong Side of Offensive Explosion - Reno Aces
- Dunshee Fans 9 in Triple-A Debut, Aviators Rally Past Tacoma 4-2 - Las Vegas Aviators
- Lopes Homers for Third Consecutive Game in Rainiers Defeat against Aviators - Tacoma Rainiers
- Fresno completes comeback, defeating Albuquerque 8-7 Monday night - Fresno Grizzlies
- Quantrill's Return Sparks Chihuahuas - El Paso Chihuahuas
- Yastrzemski homers again but River Cats fall 5-3 - Sacramento River Cats
- Isotopes Fail to Hold Lead in 8-7 Loss - Albuquerque Isotopes
- Dodgers Slowed By Express Again - Oklahoma City Dodgers
- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent Las Vegas Aviators Stories
- Aviators Cap Homestand in Style, Rout River Cats 15-6
- Sacramento Hands Aviators Third Straight Loss
- Top Prospect Luzardo Shines, But Aviators Come up Short against River Cats
- Neuse Continues Torrid Hitting, But Aviators Fall to Sacramento
- Aviators Rally for Stunning 11-10, Walk-Off Victory over River Cats