RENO, NV - Mike Jacobs smashed a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning Sunday afternoon at Aces Ballpark, unlocking a 3-3 tie and sending the Reno Aces to a 7-4 victory over Sacramento in the decisive Game 5 of the Pacific Conference Championship Series.
Reno now advances to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series for the first time in franchise history. Game 1 is set for Tuesday night at Aces Ballpark against the American Conference champion Omaha Storm Chasers.
Sacramento took an early lead with two runs in the first, then tacked on another in the fifth to jump ahead 3-0. In the home half of the fifth, though, Reno struck for the first time. Taylor Harbin homered, then Tyler Kuhn and Josh Bell added run-scoring singles to tie the game at three runs apiece.
In the seventh, A.J. Pollock singled, and Josh Bell was walked intentionally to bring Jacobs to the plate, and the Aces first baseman made the River Cats pay. Jacobs deposited a Merkin Valdez offering deep over the wall in right field that put the Aces ahead for good.
Aces starter Brett Tomko held the River Cats to just three runs over 4.2 innings. After his exit, Zach Kroenke (1-0) earned the victory out of the Aces bullpen, and Sam Demel shut the door in the ninth for the save.
Four Aces registered a multi-hit effort on Sunday, including three hits for Harbin.
The final round of the Pacific Coast League playoffs begins Tuesday at Aces Ballpark. First pitch for Game 1 is set for 7:05 p.m. PT.