Aces celebrate first postseason berth since 2017

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 8:51 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Bottles have been popped at Greater Nevada Field.

The Reno Aces are postseason bound for the fifth time in team history. The club didn’t win their series finale against Sacramento - losing to the River Cats 7-4 - but a Las Vegas loss and a nine game lead in the West Division gives Reno the crown.

Clinching an opportunity to compete for the team’s first national championship since 2012 is just another chapter in a memorable season.

“We’ve had a good team all year,” said manager Gil Velazquez. “We have good players. They root for each other. They play for each other. I would say that’s another big piece of the winning culture that’s been created here.”

An overall record of 77-62 puts the Aces third in the overall Pacific Coast League standings. El Paso and Oklahoma City still have to duke it out out east.

One challenge this season for Velazquez is getting players to remain focused on the task at hand, and not looking ahead to a potential call-up.

“The more they’re present, the more they’re focused on playing baseball here and letting that take care of itself usually things fall in your place if you’re playing well.”

Finding a balance between talent development and winning games is something else Velazquez has to manage. The Aces have done both with a division in hand and multiple stars called up to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“Development happens all the way up until the umpire says ‘play ball!’ Once the umpire says ‘play ball’ you’re trying to win a ballgame. That’s the mindset you want to give these guys. I’m a believer that when a player plays to win baseball games you get the most out of them.”

The Aces will have October baseball, but until then the club still has nine regular season games left.

The next series starts in Vegas on Tuesday.