weather icon Clear

Aviators top 10: Fans vote Carlos Perez for Mayor’s Trophy

1. Perez lauded

The Aviators’ in-house awards were made this past week and dominated by Carlos Perez. The catcher/infielder/outfielder from Venezuela received the Mayor’s Trophy, which is voted on by fans and is sort of like Miss Congeniality at the Miss America pageant, if Miss Congeniality could hit a curveball. Perez also was named the Aviators’ Most Valuable Player. Right-hander Ben Bracewell was the team’s other MVP — Most Valuable Pitcher.

2. Doubling down

With three games remaining in the final homestand, Henderson Little League is in line to receive $11,900 from Dollar Loan Center, which contributed $100 to a kitty for every double the Aviators hit at Las Vegas Ballpark. Chuck Brennan, CEO of DLC, bumped the donation to $15,000.

3. Etch-a-Stretch

It is called the Triple-A Final Stretch — 10 games tacked onto the end of each team’s schedule, after which a trophy will be awarded to the one that posts the best winning percentage. But the first two games were more like a pulled hamstring than a stretch for the Aviators, who lost 12-5 to Oklahoma City on Thursday and 13-4 Friday.

4. Inside job

Las Vegas’ highlight on opening night of the Stretch was Luis Barrera’s inside-the-park home run. His long drive in the sixth inning caromed off the fence in front of the swimming pool in right-center field, enabling the outfielder to circle the bases without a play.

5. Deep-sixed by OKC

On Friday night, the Aviators started a pitcher who has two major league no-hitters — and still yielded two six-run outbursts. Only one happened when Homer Bailey, who pitched no-hitters against the Pirates in 2012 and Giants in 2013, was on the hill.

6. Nick at night

After batting .157 in his first 26 games after being recalled from Double-A Midland, Aviators infielder and Olympic silver medalist Nick Allen has raised his average to .227 during a nine-game hitting streak. He collected three hits in each of the two losses to Oklahoma City.

7. Runs in family

UNLV basketball coach Kevin Kruger gave the command to “Play Ball!” before Friday night’s game. Kruger’s dad, former UNLV coach Lon Kruger, was twice drafted by MLB teams and went 1-6 with a 2.81 ERA for the Cardinals’ Class A and Rookie League clubs in 1974 before switching his focus to coaching basketball.

8. Ejection seat

Home plate umpire Lewis Williams III gave his thumb a workout Friday night, ejecting Oklahoma City second baseman and former Aviator Sheldon Neuse, shortstop Zach McKinstry and manager Travis Barbary as well as Aviators skipper Fran Riordan.

9. Frank the Tank: update

Former Aviators first baseman and fan favorite Frank Schwindel improved his big league batting average again this past week. The Tankster went 3-for-7 for the Cubs in a doubleheader loss Friday to the Cardinals to improve to .366 since being acquired from the A’s off waivers July 18.

10. Aviators quick quiz

What former Las Vegas manager once held the National League record for games played at shortstop and still holds the mark for highest fielding percentage?

Answer: Larry Bowa, who managed the Las Vegas Stars to the 1986 Pacific Coast League title, played 2,222 big league games at shortstop and fielded .965 in 16 seasons.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

2-sport star Cody Thomas hits his stride with Aviators

Before his professional baseball career, Thomas was a two-sport athlete at Oklahoma, playing both baseball and quarterback for the Sooners’ football team.