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Despite a solid defensive effort and a strong start, the River Cats were defeated by the Reno Aces in the
third game of a four game series at Raley Field Monday night, with a final score of 9-2.
The night was off to a good start for the River Cats, with short stop Eric Sogard scoring off a single from center fielder Matt Carson and bringing the score to 1-0 at the top of the second. But the Aces answered back quickly.
Short stop Cody Ransom made it to second base off a fly ball to left fielder Adrian Cardena, and right fielder Cole Gillespie hit a single to send Ransom home, tying up the game in the second inning.
The teams remained tied throughout the uneventful third inning, but by the fourth, the Aces had shifted into a higher gear, scoring two runs off of a hit from third baseman Sean Burroughs that sailed down the first base line and ricocheted off the right stadium wall, along with a grounder to right field from second baseman Mark Hallberg.
River Cats pitcher Doug Mathis executed a slow and methodical fifth inning, keeping an eye on center fielder Collin Cowgill leading off of second and taking lengthy pauses between throws. The wait seemed to psych out Ransom, who struck out along with Andy Tracy, keeping the Aces scoreless for the inning.
The Cats followed their solid fifth inning defensive effort up with another run. With Sogard on second, a line drive to left field from designated hitter Kevin Kouzmanoff was able to bring him home.
The sixth inning signaled the beginning of the end for the Cats, with the Aces capitalizing on an error from right fielder Michael Taylor and accumulating three more runs.
First baseman Brandon Allen cranked a 420-foot homer past right field, delivering a blow to the morale of Cats fans and bringing the Ace’s lead up to six.
Much of the night’s crowd had thinned out by the seventh inning, but those who remained were loyal to the end, dancing along with Dinger, smiling for the roving jumbo-tron camera and heckling the visiting team like nobody’s business.
Despite the night’s dismal score, the fieldwork of the River Cats was great entertainment.
The Cats’ left fielder Cardenas showed an impressive defensive effort in the fourth inning, catching a fly ball off the wall of the furthest left pocket of the stadium and executing a kind of backpedal sprint in order to reach the ball on time.
Daric Barton, first baseman for the Cats. put any gymnasts in the crowd to shame in the eighth inning with a picture-perfect front split, a flexible feat employed in order to get to a just-out-of-reach toss from the outfield in time to secure a force out.
Unfortunately, Barton’s smooth glove work was not enough to keep the Aces’ scoring at bay.
In the eighth inning, catcher Konrad Shmidt smacked the second homer of the night onto the roof of the stadium’s clubhouse, sealing a seven-point lead the Cats were not able to overcome.
The River Cats close out the home series against the Reno Aces Tuesday at 7:05 p.m., and will face the Tucson Padres Thursday at 7.05 p.m. at Raley Field.
Editorial Note: Corrections have been made to this article after it was published. The incorrect information has been struck out and the correct information has been added.