Express comeback falls short against River Cats in Game 1 of PCL Championship


A late rally came up short as the Express lost to the Sacramento River Cats 8-7 in walk-off fashion on Tuesday in the first game of the PCL Championship Series.

Round Rock outfielder Ronnie Dawson blasted a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game at seven runs apiece before Sacramento catcher Ronnie Freeman smacked an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning to give the River Cats a 1-0 series lead.

Express reliever Ronel Blanco suffered the loss after allows one run on two hits out of the bullpen. Starter Kent Emanuel allowed seven runs on 11 this with a pair of strikeouts and one walk over7.2 innings of work.

The two teams face off in Game 2 of the best-of-five series on Wednesday night with Brandon Bleak (8-4, 4.41 ERA) set to get to start for the Express. The series shifts to Round Rock for Game 3 on Friday night.

Taylor Jones drove in a run to give the Express an early lead on Tuesday night before the River Cats scored a pair of runs to take the lead in the second inning.

Round Rock regained the lead int he third when Nick Tanielu and Alex De Goti hit sacrifice flies, but the lead continued to ping pong when Sacramento scored on a solo home run and a sacrifice bunt in the bottom half of the inning.

Again, the Express took the lead with a three-run sixth inning, powered by a two-run home run by Chas McCormick. But again the River Cats answered with a two-run home run in the eighth inning.

Rogelio Armenteros will get the start for Round Rock at home in Game 3. It necessary, Christian Javier will start Game 4, and top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley will take the ball in Game 5 for the Express.

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