MiLB AAA Baseball News

Space Cowboys vs. Aviators Series Preview

JJ Watt Charity Classic Softball Game Returns to Sugar Land on May 4, 2024

April 2, 2024 – Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Sugar Land Space Cowboys News Release

SUGAR LAND, TX – For the first time in 2024, the Space Cowboys will match up with the Las Vegas Aviators, the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, from April 2-7. It is one of two series at Constellation Field against Las Vegas in 2024, with the other coming from July 9-14. All told, the Space Cowboys take on Las Vegas 18 times in 2024, with Sugar Land making their lone trip to Las Vegas Ballpark from May 28-June 2.

Sugar Land won on Opening Night in Round Rock against the Express but dropped each of their next two games by a score of 8-6 and enter the series 1-2. Las Vegas lost both of their games to the Reno Aces over the weekend after Saturday night was postponed due to rain. The Aviators dropped their game on Sunday, 15-2.

Probable Pitching Matchups:

Tuesday -LHP Hogan Harris (NR) vs. RHP Ryan Gusto (NR)

Wednesday – RHP Osvaldo Bido (NR) vs. RHP Blair Henley (NR)

Thursday – LHP Jack O’Loughlin (0-0, 4.50) vs. RHP Spencer Arrighetti (0-0, 0.00)

Friday – RHP Aaron Brooks (0-1, 4.15) vs. RHP Misael Tamarez (0-0, 10.38)

Saturday – RHP Joey Estes (0-1, 11.25) vs. RHP Rhett Kouba (0-1, 7.71)

Sunday – TBA vs. TBA

The first two games of the series are scheduled to be the Triple-A debuts for both Ryan Gusto and Blair Henley. Gusto, an 11th round pick by the Astros in 2019 out of Florida Southwestern State Junior College, split 2023 between High-A Asheville and Double-A Corpus Christi, going 5-2 with a 2.93 ERA in 14 outings, 8 starts, with the Hooks in 2023. The recently minted 25-year-old impressed in Spring Training, making two scoreless outings with the Astros, including 2.0 shutout innings against the Mets on March 16 at Cacti Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Henley, a 7th round selection in 2019 by Houston out of the University of Texas, pitched the 2023 season with Double-A Corpus, making 25 appearances, 17 starts, throwing 106.2 innings for the Hooks with 106 strikeouts. Hensley did not pitch at all in the 2022 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Both Henley and Gusto were named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week twice in 2023, with all four honors coming from July to the end of the season.

Prospect Watch (per MLB Pipeline):

Sugar Land – RHP Spencer Arrighetti (#3), OF/INF Joey Loperfido (#6), RHP Rhett Kouba (#14), INF Will Wagner (#15), OF Pedro León (#26) and RHP Misael Tamarez (#30).

Las Vegas – INF Max Muncy (#7), INF Brett Harris (#10), RHP Joey Estes (#12),…

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