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Nick Allen Collects Three Hits, But Aviators Fall 12-5 to Oklahoma City

September 24, 2021 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Las Vegas Aviators News Release


Nick Allen entered the 2021 season as a consensus top-five prospect in the Oakland A's system. So when Allen joined the Aviators in mid-August after helping Team USA win an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, everyone-fans, coaches, and Oakland's player development and front office staff-was eager to see how the 22-year-old shortstop would hold up against Triple-A pitching.

Unfortunately, the leap from Double-A Midland (Texas) proved extremely challenging for Allen, who batted just .157 in his first 26 games with Las Vegas. Over the past 10 days, though, Allen began to look more like the hitter who posted a .319 batting average in 50 games at Midland-so much so that he carried a seven-game hitting streak into Thursday's game against the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

The 2017 third-round draft pick then went out and stretched that streak to eight, notching the first three-hit game of his Triple-A career in the Aviators' 12-5 loss to Oklahoma City before a $2 Beer Night crowd of 6,472 at Las Vegas Ballpark.

Allen singled leading off the third and fifth innings, then doubled to drive in Las Vegas' last run during a four-run sixth. Although his bid for a perfect night at the plate ended when he popped out leading off the bottom of the ninth, Allen still lifted his batting average above the Mendoza line (.211) for the first time since arriving in Las Vegas.

During his eight-game hitting streak, the San Diego native his hitting .355 (11-for-31) with six runs, four RBI, five walks and two doubles.

Allen wasn't the only Aviators hitter who swung a solid stick Thursday night, as third baseman Vimael Machín (3-for-5, run) also had a three-hit game. Additionally, first baseman Francisco Peña (2-for-5, run, three RBI) and right fielder Luis Barrera (2-for-4, run, RBI) preceded Allen's sixth-inning RBI double by clubbing back-to-back home runs.

Peña's dinger was a two-run blast that sailed over the left-field wall, and Barrera immediately followed by lining a ball to right field and racing around the bases for an inside-the-parker.

In all, the Aviators racked up 13 hits, but it wasn't nearly enough as Oklahoma City scored seven runs in the third inning and one in the sixth to open an 8-0 lead. After Las Vegas sent eight batters to the plate in its four-run sixth to cut the deficit in half, the Dodgers answered with four runs in the eighth to put the game away.

With the victory, Oklahoma City is now 1-0 in the Triple-A Final Stretch, a 10-game postseason sprint involving all 30 Triple-A teams. On the flip side, the Aviators fell to 4-12 in their last 16 games.

GAME NOTES: Outfielder Mickey McDonald (1-for-4, run) has hit safely in five straight games. ... Peña now has 22 homers and 76 RBI, both of which rank second on the team behind fellow catcher Carlos Pèrez. Despite going 0-for-5 Thursday, Pèrez continues to lead Triple-A West with 28 homers and 85 RBI. ... Las Vegas has now scored six runs or fewer in 24 of its last 25 games, including the last 22 in a row. ... Right-hander Brady Feigl struggled in his fifth start with the Aviators, allowing six runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two. ... Among the six Las Vegas pitchers who took the mound, only Argenis Angulo (three hits in two innings) and Aaron Brown (no hits in 1 1/3 innings) didn't allow a run. ... Dodgers right fielder Zach Reeks went 4-for-5, including a three-run homer in his team's seven-run third inning during which Oklahoma City sent 11 batters to the plate and hit for the cycle. In addition to Reeks' homer, the Dodgers collected three singles, a double, a triple, three walks and a sacrifice fly in the frame. ... Oklahoma City tallied 16 hits, half of which went for extra bases (four doubles, a triple, three home runs). The Dodgers' top three hitters-first baseman (and former Aviator) Sheldon Neuse, second baseman Zack McKinstry and designated hitter Matt Davidson-combined to go 6-for-14 with two homers, a double, four runs and six RBI.

ON DECK: Game 2 of the Triple-A Stretch Run is set for Friday at Las Vegas Ballpark, with Homer Bailey (1-6, 7.06 ERA) scheduled to start for the Aviators opposite Oklahoma City's Ryan Pepiot (1-5, 7.12) in a clash of right-handers.

First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., and a fireworks show is slated to follow the game. To purchase tickets, visit the team's ticketing page.

Catch every Aviators game throughout the season on Raider Nation Radio 920-AM, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @AviatorsLV. Follow Aviators beat writer Matt Jacob on Twitter @MattRJacob.


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