Reno, NV (9/4/21) – A night after the benches cleared, the Tacoma Rainiers (61-44) exacted their revenge on the Reno Aces (61-42) Saturday evening at Greater Nevada Field, stunning the home side with a furious two-out rally in the ninth to win 7-6. Tacoma pulled back within one game of
Reno, NV (9/4/21) – A night after the benches cleared, the Tacoma Rainiers (61-44) exacted their revenge on the Reno Aces (61-42) Saturday evening at Greater Nevada Field, stunning the home side with a furious two-out rally in the ninth to win 7-6. Tacoma pulled back within one game of the West Division lead, very much keeping their Triple-A West regular season title hopes alive with 15 to play, in a three-team race with the Aces and Sugar Land.
Reno catcher Jamie Ritchie broke the ice in the home half of the second, with a solo homer. The lead was short-lived however, as the Rainiers roared back with consecutive homers from Donovan Walton (3-run) and Jantzen Witte (3-for-5, 4 RBI) in the third; the 10th time in 105 games this season that Tacoma has gone back-to-back, and the second time both Walton and Witte have been involved. A Dillon Thomas double and a Luis Liberato walk set the table prior to Walton’s blast, his second in as many games (5 RBI).
Sac flies for the Aces in consecutive innings by Illdemaro Vargas (third) and Nick Heath (fourth) tightened the score to 4-3. Vargas tied the game with a solo shot in the fifth.
Neither starting pitcher would factor into the decision; Reno’s Matt Tabor tossed six innings, allowing four (earned) runs on only four hits and the two Tacoma homers (1 BB, 3 K). Rainiers right-hander Robert Dugger went 5.1 IP, scattering seven hits and three earned runs, with a walk and a strikeout.
The Aces un-tied a 4-4 game in the bottom of the eighth with a pair of homers, the fifth and sixth of the game in the notoriously thin Reno air. Juniel Querecuto’s solo shot made it 5-4, before Jake Hager hit his second homer in as many nights, for a 6-4 Reno lead. Hager was a member of the Rainiers as recently as July 27.
An out away from defeat, Tacoma stunned Reno with a two-out, bases empty rally in the top of the ninth inning. A Thomas walk, a Liberato single and a Walton walk loaded the bases, and all scored on Witte’s go-ahead, three-run double to the wall in center. Witte has seven RBI this series, along with this three-run homer on Thursday.
In the bottom of the ninth, RHP Jimmy Yacabonis retired Reno in order, including a game-ending looking strikeout of Friday night antagonist Henry Ramos, for easily the most emotionally-charged win for the Rainiers this season.
Tacoma will next be in action on Sunday evening, another 6:35 PT first pitch at Greater Nevada Field.
Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto will have full coverage on TacomaRainiers.com. All 2021 Rainiers games, home and away, can also be heard for free on the MiLB First Pitch app. HD video broadcasts of every home game can be viewed with an MiLB.TV subscription. (Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
Single-game tickets for all remaining 2021 Rainiers home games are now available. Questions regarding season tickets can be directed to [email protected].
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.