Angel Berroa homered twice and drove in four runs for Reno Wednesday night, leading the Aces to a 7-4 victory over the Sacramento River Cats in Game One of the Pacific Conference Championship Series at Aces Ballpark.
Berroa homered in the second and fourth innings—his second and third long balls in his last two games—helping stake the Aces to a 5-1 lead after five innings. The Cats clawed their way back, however, cutting the Aces' lead to 5-4 with two runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh.
Reno answered in the home half of the eighth, when Ryan Langerhans hit a two-run homer to center field against former Aces reliever Jordan Norberto, extending Reno's lead to 7-4. Mike DeMark kept Sacramento off the scoreboard in the ninth, earning his first postseason save and giving the Aces a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Zach Kroenke (1-0) started and picked up the win for Reno, surrendering three runs—two earned—over 5.1 innings of work. Kroenke struck out five and walked two, scattering six hits. Kyler Newby and Kam Mickolio earned holds before DeMark worked a hitless ninth for the save.
The loss fell to River Cats starter Graham Godfrey (0-1), who allowed five earned runs on nine hits in five innings. Godfrey—the Pacific Coast League's regular-season wins leader with 14—struck out three and walked three, allowing two home runs.
Berroa finished 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored, and now has driven in 10 runs over his last three games. Langerhans chipped in with two hits and a pair of RBI and Cole Gillespie added two doubles, driving in two runs and scoring once.
The Aces and River Cats square off in Game Two Thursday night at Aces Ballpark. RHP Barry Enright toes the slab for Reno, while the River Cats will counter with RHP Tyson Ross. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. PT
- Chris Carter, who was a D-back for 11 days in December of 2007, homered off Newby in the 7th
- Norberto allowed just one run in 8.1 innings with Sacramento in the regular season prior to surrendering two in one frame Wednesday
- Mark Hallberg committed two errors at third base after committing just three in 129 regular season games
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