Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Aces win first PCL championship

D-backs' Triple-A affiliate dethrones Omaha in four games
September 15, 2012

Trevor Bauer was slated to pitch the fifth and final game of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series on Sunday afternoon.

That assignment is now null and void.

Bauer's Reno Aces beat Omaha, 8-2, in Game 4 on Saturday night, ending the Storm Chasers' reign as PCL champions.

It's the Aces' first title since the franchise moved from Arizona in 2009. The Tucson Sidewinders won the title in 2006. Reno will meet the Pawtucket Red Sox on Tuesday in the Triple-A National Championship game in Durham, N.C.

Arizona has had three affiliates crowned this weekend. Double-A Mobile and Rookie-level Missoula won the Southern and Pioneer leagues, respectively, on Friday night.

"Going all the way is a special moment for our organization. It's pretty surreal, to be honest," said manager Brett Butler, who's been at the helm in Reno since 2009.

Then Butler stopped himself. His Aces aren't quite done.

"We see the finish line. We see it, but we haven't crossed it yet," he said.

And -- you guessed it -- Bauer,'s No. 6 overall prospect, will get the ball against the International League champs.

"I just talked to him about it, we're excited. We're going to rally behind him," said leadoff man A.J. Pollock, whose homer helped the Aces gain late separation. "We wanted to play this team from the start of the season. We want to be known as the Triple-A champions."

Perhaps no one wants that as much as Butler, whose club was eliminated in the first round of the 2011 playoffs. When did he begin to believe things would be different in this year?

"For me, it started when my son asked me when this season would be over," Butler said. "I said, 'Well, son, it will be over on Sept. 18.' So he set up his wedding for the last Saturday in September, the 29th."

Thanks to a productive lineup and strong pitching, Butler will be in uniform -- not a tuxedo -- on Tuesday.

The Aces scratched our their first five runs in three consecutive innings, beginning in the fourth. The top of the lineup was productive throughout: Pollock tripled and smacked a solo homer, No. 2 hitter Tyler Kuhn collected four hits, including three doubles, and cleanup man Mike Jacobs added a two-run blast in the eighth.

"Jacobs behind me, that was the big blast," Pollock said. "We feed off each other. To finish the PCL like this was great because this game really epitomized our season."

Starter Charles Brewer (1-0) pitched six scoreless innings before yielding two runs in the seventh. He struck out eight -- twice fanning the Storm Chasers' best hitter, Wil Myers.

"He was challenging hitters," Butler said. "At times, he doesn't do that, but tonight he was going right at 'em."

"He was locating every pitch he was throwing," Pollock added. "We knew we had to scratch a run or two across early because we knew he had his best stuff."

Storm Chasers veteran Doug Davis (0-1) was charged with three runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings.


Andrew Pentis is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB.