Reno fell behind early and never recovered Saturday night, dropping an 8-2 decision to the Sacramento River Cats in Game 4 of the Pacific Conference Championship Series. The winner of Sunday's game will advance to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series against the Omaha Storm Chasers, who defeated the Round Rock Express on Saturday afternoon.
In Game 4, Sacramento plated a run in the first and added three more in the second to take a lead it would not relinquish. After the River Cats had taken a 6-0 lead, Reno lit up the scoreboard for the first time in the sixth inning on a two-out, two-run single for Andy Tracy that carved the deficit back down to four. Sacramento got both runs back in the home half of the frame on a Wes Timmons home run, though, and never looked back.
Reno won their first two playoff games at Aces Ballpark, taking Game 1 7-4 and Game 2 by a score of 4-2. Jordan Norberto, who pitched with the Aces this season before getting traded to the Oakland A's, earned the victory for Sacramento in a 5-2 contest. The Aces will need their first ever road playoff victory Sunday in order to advance. LHP Tom Layne gets the nod for Reno and Sacramento has yet to name a starter.
With their backs against the wall, the Missoula Osprey roared out of the gates and ran away with an 11-1 win over the Great Falls Voyagers in Game 2 of the North Division Playoff Series. The winner of Sunday's all-important rubber game will likely know where they will be headed next, as Orem and Ogden will play their decisive Game 3 of the South Division Playoff Series beginning at 4 pm.
The Osprey scored first, on a Ryan Court solo home run in the bottom of the first inning off of Voyagers starter Pete Gehle (0-1). The Voyagers then tied the game in the top of the second on a Kyle Eveland RBI single, but Missoula took control with three runs in the bottom of the third and four more in the home half of the fourth.
That was plenty for the pitching on this night, as the Osprey staff allowed just four hits, and none in innings 4 thru 8. Jesse Darrah (1-0) allowed three hits, a walk, and a hit batsman in six innings of work, striking out eight batters. Victor Lara, Matt Sample, and D.J. Johnson each worked an inning, combining to allow one hit and fan six batters.
The Osprey pounded out 16 hits in the win, including three hits and three RBI from Court, three hits from Tom Belza, and two hits and two RBI from Ty Linton, Jon Griffin, and Eric Groff, whose eighth-inning solo home run closed out the scoring. Linton has played very well in these two playoff contests; he's 3-for-5 with two walks, a double, homer, and five RBI. Belza is batting .625 with two steals.
The Voyagers had taken Game 1 of the series with an 8-3 home victory. The Osprey will send right-hander Raymond Hernandez to the mound Sunday, while the Voyagers will counter with right-hander Stephen McCray.
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