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 Sacramento River Cats

River Cats Top Oklahoma City, 7-5

April 19, 2024 - Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Sacramento River Cats News Release

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Sacramento River Cats took a sizable lead in the early goings against the Oklahoma City Baseball Club but found themselves in a battle late, ultimately hanging on for their third win of the series by a 7-5 final on Wednesday.

Continuing his momentum from his last start which earned him Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors, River Cats (13-6) starter Mason Black retired each of the first six Oklahoma City (11-8) batters he faced. Combined with the ending of his previous outing, Black had retired 15 consecutive batters while punching out six in that span.

His start provided time for the Sacramento offense, which busted the game open with a four-run third thanks to a pair of homers. The first came from Yusniel Diaz, his second of the year which had an exit velocity of 105.3 mph. After a double from Jakson Reetz and single from Brett Wisely, there to cash in was David Villar as he also hit his second big fly of the campaign when he launched one over the wall in left field.

A Casey Schmitt RBI single made it a 5-0 game in the fifth, then he struck again with another RBI knock in the seventh on a single into center field. Amid an impressive stretch, Schmitt is now the Sacramento RBI leader with 21 runs driven in through the first 19 games of a season.

Following that was Heliot Ramos, as he joined the RBI party thanks to a sharp liner into right center that brought home Trenton Brooks to make the score 7-0.

Though Black's stretch came to an end in the third with a walk, he still finished off another solid night by allowing just two hits with one walk and three strikeouts in 4.0 innings. Taking the baton was Tommy Romero, he got through two scoreless before running into trouble in the seventh.

Things started to turn quickly, as Oklahoma City avoided the shutout with just two batters in the home half of the seventh inning. First it was a Kevin Padlo single, which set the stage for a Ryan Ward homer to right field that made the contest 7-2.

The rally continued in the eighth after a walk to Drew Avans came back to hurt when he scored on a double by Trey Sweeny. Momentum really seemed to turn in the next at-bat when Kevin Padlo sent a ball into the right-field corner, which cleared the tall wall and was originally ruled foul before later being reversed for a two-run homer. In addition to making the score 7-5, it led to the first ejection of the season for manager Dave Brundage, his first since Aug. 15, 2022 when he was ejected by Lew Williams.

Entering to work the final 1.2 innings was Randy Rodriguez (1-0), who was able to earn a strikeout and a line out to escape further damage in the eighth. Though he had to battle through consecutive hits to start the ninth, Rodriguez induced a 3-6 double play before striking out Drew Avans to end the contest. Due to scorer's decision, that earned Rodriguez his first win of the campaign.

Five River Cats notched multi-hit games, which included Villar who not only drove three runs in but also scored three times while finishing 2-for-4 with a double and homer. Schmitt and Brooks were also 2-for-4 with the former driving in two while the latter scored once.

The win earned at least a series split for the River Cats against Oklahoma City, their first since they also split six games from April 19-24, 2022 when they won games three, five and six.

Game five of this series commences at 4:05 p.m. (PT) from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark on Saturday.

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