Sunday was fun day for many as little leaguers barraged Cashman Field for an opportunity to meet and greet their favorite 51’s players, as Las Vegas hosted the Sacramento Rivercats for Day 2 of a four game homestand. It was a beautiful day out at Cashman Field and locals and visitors of all ages made the trek to see their favorites take the field. And the 51’s didn’t disappoint their tiny, tot and teenaged little league fans as they took Sacramento 14-11, ending the game in the best way possible, with sheer excitement and a pinch hitting grand slam.
Las Vegas took the lead early in the game as Sacramento trailed 6-0 by the bottom of the 4th. At the top of the 5th with 51’s Rey Gonzalez pitching , Sacramento managed to tie the game. The Rivercats scored 6 runs off of 5 singles, a wild pitch and error by catcher Raul Chavez and notably, a homerun that drove in two by Rivercat Outfielder and Designated Hitter Jack Cust. After a coaching visit to the mound, Gonzalez was replaced by RHP Marty McLeary.
After a scoreless 8th inning and after having given up their early lead, Las Vegas trailed Sacramento 11-10 in the bottom of the ninth. With Sacramento’s Michael Benacka on the bump and after a long Sunday afternoon, with a man on second and two outs, it seemed as if the 51’s would go home just short of a victory. Chris Aguila stepped into the batters box, and walked. Catcher and designated hitter, JP Arencibia up to bat, who Benacka, also walked. Then, the final exciting play of the afternoon… With the bases loaded, two outs and Las Vegas trailing by a point, first baseman Brian Dopirak pinch hits for David Purcey and hit the game winning grand slam into left field. Las Vegas 14, Sacramento 10 and the Little Leaguers who came out that day could go home and rest assured knowing that heroes still exist, even in baseball.
Some Notes: Brian Dopirak is currently on the 40-man Toronto Blue Jay roster and with 18 games and 63 at-bats and is currently hitting .254 with 3 HR and 14 RBI.
Recent Transactions: 51’s pitchers Rommie Lewis and Josh Roenicke received the call and have made the trek to the Blue Jay Bullpen and will provide some much needed arms in Toronto. Also recently called to the Big League Bullpen, former 51’s pitcher Brett Cecil. New to the 51’s Bullpen, RHP Jeremy Accardo who was optioned to Las Vegas to make room on the 25 man active roster.
Tonight the 51’s end their four game homestand against the Sacramento Rivercats. First pitch off the mound at 7:05pm. The 51’s then take on the Colorado Sky Sox, Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies in another four game homestand beginning Thursday, April 29th.
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