Video Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

FSM Essential Recap: Aviators vs Bees – Series 6

Las Vegas Aviators (20-16) | Salt Lake Bees (19-17)


Game 6

A 6-run 3rd inning for the Aviators helped propel the offense and backup the pitching in the 12-7 win over the Bees Sunday afternoon.


Aviators vs Bees
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Bouncing back from Saturday night was vital to this team. After being blown out thrice in the series, forcing a split was only fitting. The struggling Adrian Martinez got the start, hoping to trim his era from the high sevens and leave some pressure off the offense.  The Bees went with Davis Daniel, who’s yet to win a game for Salt Lake this year.  The afternoon was set to kick-off, with the heat at its most intense all season for Vegas.

Both sides would be sent down in order in the 1st; Martinez struck out the Bees’ two hottest hitters in Jo Adell and Dillon Thomas. Kean Wong then put pressure on him in the away 2nd, waling and stealing his 8th bag to set things up for SierraSierra took advantage of the early opportunity and drove in Wong with a single to make it 1-0.

The Aviators were without a hit through the first two innings, allowing the Bees to take the early advantage. Adell followed up his rare strikeout by connecting on a solo shot for his 5th in the third, number 3 of the series alone, which was the last thing Martinez hoped for.  Vegas did not let this beat them down. They more than responded in the home half of the inning.

After Drew Jackson reached and stole himself into scoring position, the lead was split thanks to a run-scoring single from Christian Lopes Skye Bolt followed by choosing the perfect time for his 1st dinger of the year, hammering it to right to put Vegas on top.  Things would only worsen for Salt Lake’s Davis Daniel. Vimael Machin drove in Nick Allen with a single for the 4th run of the inning.  Dermis Garcia ultimately decided to break things open all at once for Vegas, and he later hammered a home run of his own to make it 6-2 just like that.

Salt Lake manufactured two runs in the top of the 5th to bring it back to a ballgame, Dillon Thomas walked to force a run in, and David MacKinon collected another RBI in the series with a sac-fly. Nick Allen responded by crossing the plate again; however, for Vegas, scoring with ease on a wild pitch to make it 7-4.

The Bees remained relentless Sunday in the 6th and 7th innings. They would ultimately have it tied right back at 7.  Jake Palomaki made it a two-run game in the 6th with a run-scoring single before Kean Wong continued to haunt Langeliers on the bases the next inning. He would reach with a single and steal another bag before forcing a balk after reaching third.  Jake Palomaki struck again in the inning by doubling home the tying run to stun the home crowd one last time this week.

The Vegas offense was unwilling to allow another disappointing outing by the pitching staff. They more than came through in the later innings. After two runners reached home in the 7th, Dermis Garcia stepped up again with intentions of more production.  He ripped a double out of Adell’s reach in left, a fitting way for them to jump back on top 8-7.  Billy McKinney followed up Garcia by bringing in two more insurance runs with a single, and the Aviators grabbed an 11-7 lead before the Bees could finally escape.

Salt Lake’s offense had no answer in the final innings. The Aviators would send them down with ease to erase all the struggles endured early in the series; forcing the split was the best possible solution for carrying momentum onto the road. At the same time, Langeliers may have been quiet in the series, but the Aviators picked him up when it truly mattered.


Game 6 Box Score


WP: Norge Ruiz (2-0)

LP: Jose Marte (0-1)

HR: Bees – Jo Adell (5), Aviators – Skye Bolt (1), Dermis Garcia (3)


The Aviators head to Reno this week for a 6-game series against the Aces. First pitch will be at 6:35 Tuesday as the series kicks off.



Game 5

The Aviators only allowed two runs through 9 innings Friday, with the offense staying consistent for the 5-2 win.


Aviators vs Bees
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

After seemingly figuring out the last two games following the rough start to the series, it was back to square one for the Aviators pitching staff. Aaron Brown made another appearance as the starter Saturday night, only making it through 2 innings before the bullpen entered.  Janson Junk went for the Bees, hoping for another onslaught from his offense.

Both starters got through their respective innings with ease in the 1st before Salt Lake jumped on the board first in the next inning. Kean Wong doubled and later stole third to set things up for the BeesDavid MacKinnon later doubled him home for the game’s first run, and the side would be retired after with no further damage.

Vimael Machin stepped up to tie things in the home 3rd, driving in Nick Allen with a single. It appeared it might be another close game for the two sides, but after Aaron Brown exited, the game would completely spiral out of control.

Ryan Castellani allowed Salt Lake to load the bases in the 4th before an out could be recorded.  He walked MacKinnon to force home a run, giving him his second RBI and causing another pitching change. Gabe Klobosits came on and quickly traded a run for a ground out. Still, after Sierra attempted to steal, Langeliers made the costly error of throwing it away to allow another to come across.

It was a nightmare inning and only getting started. After the 4th run was brought in on a sac fly, Jo Adell stamped his ticket by doubling home two more to make it 7-1. In the inning, there were three walks, two hit-by-pitches, and three hard-struck balls.

After the tough six-run inning allowed by Vegas, Salt Lake brought in another before they could produce any offense.  Langeliers doubled home a run in the 5th, but the game was already too one-sided. Jo Adell stepped it up a notch by blasting one over the wall this time to lead off the next inning. Salt Lake would ultimately be up 11-2 after only 7.

The home crowd was left with nothing to cheer for, even after those who stayed witnessed one final run in the home 9th.  For the third time this series, the Aviators were blown out on both pitching and offense.  While the Bees may be at a higher strength offensively as the Angels torment the AL West, it’s alarming how sudden things get out of hand for Vegas.


Game 5 Box Score


WP: Elvis Peguero (3-0)

LP: Ryan Castellani (2-1)

HR: Bees – Jo Adell (4)



Game 4

The Aviators only allowed two runs through 9 innings Friday, with the offense staying consistent for the 5-2 win.


Aviators vs Bees
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

With the opposing started being Ryan Smith, the Aviators kept his season struggle in mind.  Entering Friday night, Smith had an ERA that sat around six, and the offense looked to keep it rolling after finally getting in the win department last night.  Jared Koenig was handed the ball for Vegas, with his story being more positive this season in terms of production. As we near summer, the Vegas heat begins to make more and more of an appearance, leaving the humidor a part of the equation.

Koenig sent Salt Lake down in order in the first, allowing his offense to strike early. Matt Davidson laced a run-scoring single to open the scoring, but Smith found a way out of the inning before it could worsen.  Davidson is an excellent addition to the lineup; he tormented the Aviators last year in his 20-home run season.

In the middle innings, both offenses would remain quiet to keep it at 1-0, but Koenig had himself a night.  Holding the Bees without a run in the first six innings, he struck out nine batters.  Vegas couldn’t get anything going until the 5th when they began adding on to Smith’s struggles.

Skye Bolt added another run on the board by doubling home Drew Jackson to make it 2-0.  The Aviators got one more in the inning after Langeliers brought the run in with a ground out, setting up the lead nicely for the dominant Koenig.

The insurance runs proved crucial to the Aviators; Brendon Davis would finally figure out Koenig in the 7th.  He blasted his 6th home run of the season for a solo shot, cutting it close in the later innings. Fran Riordan decided to stick by him as his pitcher escaped the inning before any harder contact.  Koenig ultimately went eight much-needed innings for Vegas, with Davis’ home run being the only mistake.

Christian Lopes and Nick Allen later brought insurance runs with base hits in the home 8th, setting up Parker Markel to enter the 9th with little worry. He was greeted by Matt Duffy instead for a solo shot, bringing it back to a 3-run game at 5-2.

The home run to lead off the inning, thankfully, did not prove costly for Markel. He followed by sending the next three batters down and finally secured the win.  The Bees could only muster four hits all game Friday night, leaving the offense with little pressure and more flexibility to perform.

The most significant difference between the past two nights compared to the start of the season has been pitching. Vegas is at its best when it’s under control.  They look to continue on this path to walk away with the series by Sunday.

Game 4 Box Score


WP: Jared Koenig (3-2)

LP: Ryan Smith (0-2)

HR: Bees – Brendon Davis (6), Matt Duffy (1)



Game 3

A 2nd inning grand slam from Dalton Kelly helped wake up the Vegas offense and propel them to the 7-6-win Thursday night.


Aviators vs Bees
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

With the pitching staff already allowing 21 runs across this series, it all came down to improvement. The Aviators sought out length from Collin Wiles following two poor starts to open the series. Jose Suarez was the opposing starter. The offense looked to get to him early to gain momentum.

The Aviators are right where they want to be in terms of record, but when things get out of hand, it usually comes quickly and before the offense can recuperate.

Wiles got some help from his battery mate Shea Langeliers for a clean 1st inning, sending the side in order after Jo Adell was thrown out trying to steal.  Langeliers followed up with a base hit in the bottom of the inning, but Suarez escaped the inning with nothing to dwell on.  After Wiles posted another zero the next inning, the Aviators decided to strike in the most significant way possible.

Dermis Garcia and Nate Mondou led off the inning with base hits before they would finally have them loaded for Dalton KellyGarcia attacked Kelly in hopes of trading a run for an out. Instead, it was left over the plate for Kelly to hammer.  His grand slam soared over the right-field fence to make it 4-0.

Wiles stayed consistent in the pitching department until the middle innings, holding the Bees scoreless through the first 3.  Dillon Thomas reached him for a dead center solo shot to lead off the 4th, getting the Bees on the board before another run crossed on a sac fly.  Salt Lake was right back in it, and Garcia would not allow Vegas to cash in Mondou again after he was left on third in the home half following a double.

It proved costly for the Aviators for the moment. Dillon Thomas was not entirely done haunting Wiles.  He would get another crack at him, this time with a runner on, and was able to connect on his second home run of the game.  As it cleared center field for the second time, Wiles could only tip his cap. He made it through 6 innings to help the bullpen rest, but the offense needed to take charge.

It only took Vegas an inning to get the lead back. However, back-to-back doubles from Garcia and Mondou put them right back on top 5-4.  Mondou was 3-4 at the plate Thursday to carry the offense, but Christian Lopes provided insurance by driving in the second run of the inning with a single. One final run crossed on a wild pitch, handing the game back to the pitching up by 3.

The Bees refused to go down without a fight. Adell would manufacture a run in the 7th.  After walking, Thomas moved him into scoring position with another hit in light of a 4-hit performance. The pair would double steal to allow Adell to score.  The inning avoided any more damage, but the Bees struck again in the 9th.

Domingo Tapia came in with hopes of closing it out for Vegas but was greeted rather rudely.  After hitting a batter by accident, Adell struck again with a double to have the tying runs in scoring position. Fran Riordan made the wise decision to go to Aaron BrownDillon Thomas blooped a single too shallow to score both runs, allowing Brown to settle in with the lead still intact.

He stepped up to strike out Brendon Davis and ultimately secured the much-needed win for the Aviators.  With the victory finally claimed in the series for the Aviators, they could relax a bit more and focus on closing out this series strong.

Game 3 Box Score


WP: Collin Wiles (3-2)

LP: Wander Suerro(1-2)

SV: Aaron Brown (1)

HR: Bees – Dillon Thomas 2 (5), Aviators – Dalton Kelly (3)



Game 2

The Bees were relentless on offense again Wednesday, leading to the 10-3 loss for the Aviators.


Aviators vs Bees
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

After a tough loss in the series opener, Vegas found themselves falling behind once again early. The Bees went with Jake Kalish as the starter. He answered with 6.1 innings on eight strikeouts to silence Vegas offensively.  Parker Dunshee was handed his second straight loss after only making it through 4 as the starter.  The crowd settled in, hoping for a better display than last game. Unfortunately, things would get out of hand immediately.

Jo Addell greeted Dunshee in the first inning by sending one out to dead center for the solo shot. Adell continued to prove himself after his send down.  Dunshee would be able to hold the damage to just one run through the first two innings, but Vegas had no response offensively.  Kalish held them hitless through 5 innings, with the top 5 hitters combining for six strikeouts to shut down any potential production.

The 3rd and 4th innings were where the Bees put this one to rest, waking up for six runs during this span.  Dunshee allowed two runners to reach to start the away 3rd on a walk and a hit-by-pitch to set things up for Dillon Thomas. Thomas drove both runners home with a double before Dunshee could escape, seemingly keeping it close before what was to follow.

The next inning worsened the deficit even more for Dunshee. Kean Wong reached and stole himself into scoring position right away.  Already his 6th steal of the year, it set the table for Sierra and Jake Gatewood.  They both drove in runs with singles before the dagger hit.  Colby Finch launched his first home run of the year at the worst time for Vegas, leaving them down seven runs as it cleared right-center.  Dunshee’s night would end with seven earned runs across.

Drew Jackson finally ended the no-hitter to lead off the home 6th, leaving it to new teammate Matt Davidson to drive in their first run of the night on a single. That would be all for the inning, leading to Jo Adell to strike for more damage.  He doubled home two more the next inning before Brendon Davis finally made it 10-1 with a sac fly. The rest of the game played out casually, as the tone was set in the series’ first two games.

The Aviators mustered home two runs in the final innings, but the chance of a comeback was near to none.  A total of 11 strikeouts and 18 runners left on was the prime factor. The pitching struggles continue to kill any momentum Vegas can grab.

Christian Lopes lasered a line drive when they were down to the last out, but it went right to the left fielder to send everyone home.  The struggles in the first two games will be short-lived. The Aviators have battled back from bad stretches before this season.


Game 2 Box Score


WP: Jake Kalish (3-1)

LP: Parker Dunshee (1-2)

HR: Bees – Jo Adell (3), Colby Fitch (1)



Game 1

A 4-run first inning for Salt Lake was the deciding factor as the Aviators opened the series with an 11-2 loss.


Aviators vs Bees
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

One of the best at the AAA level took the opposing mound in the series-opening game last night; Kenny Rosenberg entered with an ERA below 1 for Salt Lake.  The Aviators knew they had a challenge ahead, even coming off a series win on the road against Sacramento with a heavy offense.

Brian Howard took the hill in hopes of setting the tone for this homestand, while Shea Langeliers entered with 11 home runs to his name.  He continues to lead in that category, showing no signs of slowing down.

It suddenly took a turn for the worst in the first inning; however, the Bees would have the first two hitters on base thanks to a walk and an error.  This allowed Dillon Thomas to come up and crank his 3rd home run of the season, opening the floodgate to a quick 3-0 deficit.  Salt Lake placed one more on the board with a run-scoring single before Howard could finally end the inning, leaving the crowd silent and frustrated. Rosenberg would strike out the side in response. Sadly for Vegas, the tone would be set.

With the offense nowhere to be found for the Aviators, thanks to 1 hit through 6 innings, the Bees continued to sting the home crowd’s hopes. Howard had a clean 2nd inning to hold it within a grand slam for the moment, but the night would worsen in the 3rd.  Magneuris Sierra brought in another run with a single, forcing Howard into an early exit.

Five more runs would be brought in during the middle innings, making it 10-0.  Grant Holmes followed Howard by giving up four in the 4th, with Sierra getting his second RBI and Kean Wong doubling home 2.

Two strikeouts on Christian Lopes and Vince Fernandez to start the home 7th showed more signs of the same.  The offense did find a way to produce some runs; however, Drew Jackson doubled home two runs to get the Aviators on the board at long last.  All with two outs, the inning ultimately ended there.

Dating back to the series against the Rainers, the Aviators have shown previous signs of starting homestands slow.  They’ve suffered brutal losses and have found ways to come back. Last night was another example, but Vegas will bounce forward.  In the final innings, they were sent down with ease, closing this one out to everyone’s delight.  A total of 5 hits from the offense and 13 allowed by the pitching staff was all that needed to be defined.

Jo Adell spends time on the Bees as the Angels continue to dominate in the majors, leaving them at a higher strength than usual.  With the new inclusion of Matt Davidson and the tear, Langeliers has been on; the matchup is set to be rather interesting in the coming days.

Game 1 Box Score


WP: Brian Moran (1-0)

LP: Brian Howard (1-1)

HR: Bees – Dillon Thomas (3)


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– Duncan Dye 

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