An announced crowd of 11,036 attended the first game at Las Vegas Ballpark on Tuesday night. A smattering of those spectators endured 40 mph winds to see it conclude.
With a victory for the home team.
The Aviators (5-1) batted around in a five-run second inning, and christened their new stadium with a 10-2 victory over the visiting Sacramento River Cats (4-2). They were subsequently rewarded with a spirited standing ovation from the couple hundred who stayed the entire 2 hours, 57 minutes.
One home game down, 69 to go.
“We started the season on the road for five games. A lot of anticipation to open up the stadium, and it lived up to the hype,” Aviators manager Fran Riordan said. “The stadium looked great. The field looked great. It played great, and I know the guys had a lot of fun with it.”
Las Vegas second baseman Franklin Barreto went 3-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs. Third baseman Sheldon Neuse went 3-for-5 with three runs, and shortstop Jorge Mateo was 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Aviators starter Chris Bassitt walked in a run in the first inning, but found a groove and struck out five while allowing three hits in the three windiest innings. Daniel Mengden (1-0) relieved Bassitt in the fourth inning and was even better in six innings, striking out nine and allowing one hit and unearned run.
“It was crazy. I don’t know if I’ve ever played in conditions like that before,” Riordan said of the wind, and its affect on the game. “Our pitching was really strong tonight, which was huge beacuse I didn’t want to see the ball go open in the air. … Both of our pitchers did a fantastic job.”