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OKC Baseball Club Game Notes - May 21, 2024

May 21, 2024 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Oklahoma City Baseball Club News Release

Reno Aces (21-24) at Oklahoma City Baseball Club (25-20)

Game #46 of 150/First Half #46 of 75/Home #19 of 75

Pitching Probables: RNO-LHP Blake Walston (3-0, 3.69) vs. OKC-RHP Ben Casparius (1-0, 0.82)

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark | Oklahoma City, Okla. | 7:05 p.m. CT

Radio: KGHM-AM 1340 The Game,, iHeartRadio; Video:, Bally Live

Today's Game: The Oklahoma City Baseball Club returns home from a 12-game road trip to open a six-game home series against the Reno Aces at 7:05 p.m. at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Oklahoma City has won back-to-back games and will try to extend the winning streak to three games for OKC's longest stretch of wins since a season-best five-game winning streak April 21-26...The series opens with Bark in the Park presented by Tito's Handmade Vodka.

Last Game: The Oklahoma City Baseball Club scored four runs in the eighth inning to take the lead in a 6-4 comeback win against the Sacramento River Cats Sunday afternoon at Sutter Health Park in the series finale between the teams. Trailing, 4-2, entering the eighth inning, Oklahoma City strung together six straight hits. A two-run single by Chris Owings tied the score, 4-4. Jonathan Araúz then gave Oklahoma City the lead with a RBI single. Drew Avans followed with another RBI single for OKC for a 6-4 advantage. Oklahoma City closed the game with five answered runs to overcome a three-run deficit. Sacramento had built a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning on a RBI double by Brett Auerbach and a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. In the seventh inning, Avans hit a sacrifice fly to trim the Sacramento lead to 4-2 before OKC put together a four-run eighth inning. The River Cats took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and Oklahoma City scored its first run of the day via a RBI double by Andre Lipcius in the fifth inning.

Today's Probable Pitcher: Ben Casparius (1-0) makes his third start with OKC tonight...Casparius delivered six strong innings May 15 in Sacramento, allowing one run and three hits, with two walks and three strikeouts. The six innings tied Casparius' season and career high and matched the longest outing by an OKC pitcher this season. He began his outing by retiring 11 of the first 12 batters he faced and did not factor into the decision of OKC's 4-1 loss...He made his Triple-A debut May 9 in Sugar Land and pitched five scoreless innings, scattering three singles with three walks while notching five strikeouts and earned the win in OKC's 22-3 victory...Earlier this month he joined OKC from Double-A Tulsa where he made five starts this season, posting a 2-1 record and 3.32 ERA over 21.2 innings pitched with 11 walks and 34 strikeouts. At the time of his promotion, he ranked tied for third in the Texas League in strikeouts, seventh in ERA and eighth in BAA (.217)...Between OKC and Tulsa, Casparius has allowed one run and nine hits over his last three starts, spanning 16.1 innings. He's held opponents 9-for-56 (.161) with 15 strikeouts. Of those nine hits, only one went for extra bases (double)...Last season, Casparius split the season between High-A Great Lakes and Tulsa and played with the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League following the season. He earned two weekly honors in 2023, being named Midwest League Pitcher of the Week April 16 and earning AFL Pitcher of the Week Nov. 4...He was selected by the Dodgers in the fifth round of the 2021 draft out of UConn after starting his collegiate career with UNC Chapel Hill and played in College World Series with the Tar Heels in 2018.

Against the Aces: 2024: 0-0 2023: 9-3 All-time: 43-31 At OKC: 26-16 Oklahoma City and Reno play their first of two series this season - and lone series of 2024 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The teams will also play June 25-30 at Greater Nevada Field to begin the second half of the season...Entering the current series, Oklahoma City has won six of the last seven meetings against the Aces, and OKC won the 2023 season series, 9-3. OKC outscored the Aces, 108-83, last season and batted .340 in the series as a team with 20 home runs in 12 games...Over a six-game series in Reno July 25-30, 2023, OKC scored 61 runs, including four games with at least 13 runs. However, OKC also allowed at least 11 runs in three games during the series...OKC won the home series, 4-2. OKC outscored the Aces, 47-30, batting .324 (67x207) with five homers. During the third game of the series June 1, OKC turned its first triple play since 2005 and the first triple play in the PCL since 2018...Devin Mann led OKC with 16 hits and 16 RBI during the 2023 series...Last season's series victory against the Aces was OKC's first since the 2015 season as OKC went 0-2-4 in season series with Reno from 2016-22.

Turning a Corner?: Oklahoma City scored a combined 11 runs over the final two games in Sacramento after scoring a total of three runs over the first four games of the series...In each of OKC's five wins during the road trip, the team scored a minimum of five runs and scored 48 total runs with 57 hits. However in the seven losses, OKC scored a maximum of four runs and was held to two runs or less six times and to one run or less five times, scoring 10 total runs in the seven losses with 41 hits...Entering Saturday, Oklahoma City had been held to one run or less in four straight games, scoring three runs over the previous four games combined, marking the team's lowest run total over a four-game stretch since the 2006 season - a span of 17 seasons. OKC was last limited to three runs over a four-game stretch June 24-27, 2006 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, including two games against New Orleans and two games against Round Rock. Entering Saturday's win, Oklahoma City had scored one run in the previous 26 innings and two runs in the previous 35 innings...Oklahoma City recorded 12 hits Sunday for the team's highest hit total since May 10 in Sugar Land. OKC had been held to seven hits or less in each of the previous seven games before Sunday and to 38 total hits over the seven games combined, batting a collective .174 (38x219).

That Was Unexpected: OKC took the lead for good with a four-run rally in the eighth inning Sunday, which featured six consecutive hits with one out. Leading up to that inning, OKC was batting .168 (30x179) in the series and had scored more than one run in an inning just once in the preceding 55 innings. The team had not registered an inning with at least three hits in the previous 77 innings. OKC also collected three straight hits at one point with runners in scoring position after going 6-for-44 (.136) with RISP as a team in the series before the eighth inning.

Andre the Giant: Andre Lipcius hit a RBI double in the fifth inning Sunday for OKC's first run of the day as Lipcius recorded a second straight multi-hit game and has now hit safely in four straight games, going 8-for-17 with three multi-hit games, three doubles, two home runs, three RBI and three runs scored. He has now hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, batting 16-for-40 (.400) with nine extra-base hits, 10 RBI and 11 runs scored. He has also reached base in a season-best 10 straight games, has hit three home runs in his last seven games and took over the team lead with 54 hits this season. He is tied for a team-best 18 multi-hit games this season and is tied for the team home run lead with the currently injured Ryan Ward with 12 home runs overall in 2024 - also tied for the second-most home runs in the PCL this season and one off the league lead...Since April 23, Lipcius leads OKC with 35 hits, seven home runs and 22 RBI while batting .368 (35x95) with six doubles, a triple and 21 runs scored with 13 multi-hit games...Lipcius already has 12 homers in 41 games this season after hitting a career-high 13 home runs combined last season at three levels over 117 games. In 2023, Lipcius didn't hit his 12th home run until his 104th game of the season on Aug. 31...Overall this season, Lipcius leads the PCL in total bases (103), ranks tied for second with 12 homers, fourth in hits (54) and SLG (.628) and tied for fourth with 23 extra-base hits.

Close Calls: Sunday's win marked the seventh time during OKC's 12-game road trip that a final score was decided by two runs or less and Sunday was OKC's third win in those close games during the road trip...Each of OKC's first four losses during the road trip between Sugar Land and Sacramento came by one or two runs, decided by a total of six runs...Three of OKC's seven total losses during the trip came in walk-off fashion, including a 3-1 defeat in Sacramento in the series opener...OKC is now 14-13 overall in games decided by two runs or less this season and has played the most games in the league decided by one or two runs so far in 2024. OKC is now 8-5 in games decided by two runs and is 6-8 in games decided by one run.

Back at the Brick: Tonight Oklahoma City will play its first game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark since May 5. Oklahoma City is 11-7 at home and has won four of its last five games at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and is 5-2 in its last seven home games...The team has 3.07 ERA at home this season and is holding opponents to a .238 batting average with seven home runs over 18 games.

Sales Pitch: Sunday was the 14th time in the last 18 games that Oklahoma City's pitching staff limited its opponent to four runs or less. Since April 30, OKC's 129 hits allowed are fewest in the PCL and second-fewest in Triple-A, while the team's 68 runs allowed and 3.32 ERA are second-lowest in all of Triple-A over the 18-game stretch...OKC has held opponents to one home run over the last three games, to nine homers in May and to one or no home runs in 18 of the last 19 games (10 HR total). OKC's 35 home runs allowed total this season are fewest in Triple-A...OKC pitchers have recorded 12 strikeouts in each of the last two games and OKC's 427 strikeouts this season are second-most in the PCL.

Drew Up: Drew Avans finished with a hit and two RBI Sunday. His RBI single in the eighth inning snapped an 0-for-19 slide following a 13-for-28 (.464) start to the road trip. Overall this season, Avans is batting .302 and leads OKC in runs (40), triples (5) and stolen bases (14) while ranking second with 52 hits and tied for second with 10 doubles through 41 games. His 18 multi-hit games this season are tied for most among OKC players with Andre Lipcius...Avans leads the PCL with 40 runs scored this season, ranks second with five triples, fourth with 14 stolen bases and tied for fifth with 52 hits...Throughout this season, Avans has established new OKC Bricktown era (since 1998) career records with 203 walks and 23 triples. He ranks second all-time with 379 games played and 96 stolen bases, while he ranks fourth with 367 career hits and tied for sixth with 69 doubles.

The 8 Ball: Including Sunday's four-run rally, OKC has now scored 49 runs in the eighth inning this season - the team's most productive inning. They are outscoring opponents, 49-17, in the eighth inning and Sunday was the team's third win this season when trailing in the eighth inning...Sunday was also the team's third comeback win of at least three runs this season.

Around the Horn: Hunter Feduccia has hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 10-for-27 (.370) with two doubles, one triple, a home run and eight RBI...OKC has not committed an error in five of the last six games and in 10 of the last 13 games. The team's 28 errors this season are fewest in the PCL...OKC is 2-6 in series openers this season and last won a home series opener in the team's first game of the season at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark April 2 against Albuquerque. The team has lost five of the last six series openers, including the last three straight...In each of the last three instances OKC won back-to-back games the team lost its next game...OKC or their opponent has scored in the first inning in eight straight games, with opponents scoring in five of the eight.

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