By Steve Mullen – firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming off of a successful home stand at Cheney Stadium, the Rainiers travelled to southern Nevada to face the Las Vegas Aviators in a four-game series with a squad that was missing both J.P. Crawford and Shed Long, who were recently called up to the parent Mariners to fill out their roster that was recently bit by the injury bug when second baseman Dee Gordon and utility man Rob Smith both went on the 10-day disabled list.
The team is named after the world-famous recluse and billionaire Howard Hughes. The Howard Hughes Corporation is the majority owner of the team. The Aviators moved into a new stadium this year and have been drawing capacity crowds since the 2019 season began.
As the final game of the series got underway, the Rainiers found themselves on the short end of a 6-0 deficit at the end of the first inning. They chipped away at the Vegas lead with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, with the big blow being a solo home run by recently returned center fielder after a short stint in Seattle. Tacoma would draw even in the sixth with a four-run inning to tie the game at six apiece. In the seventh inning, Bishop would strike again with another solo shot to give the Rainiers a 7-6 lead as the Aviator fans sat stunned in the midday Nevada heat.
After surrendering a run in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game, Tacoma would apply the final touches on an impressive come from behind win with a two-run home run off the bat of Connor Kopach to give the Rainiers a lead they would not relinquish at 9-7. Matt Festa took over on the mound in the ninth inning and he closed it out. The Rainiers came away with a split in the four-game series.
The team began a five-game series in Reno on May 16. The Aces are currently last place in the Pacific Southern Division with a record of 14-25. The Rainiers return to town for a four-game series with Fresno on May 21. With the division lead at stake, this will be more than just a crucial series. Pack up the car, bring the kids and we will see you at Cheney Stadium next week.