RENO, Nev.— The Reno Aces staged a dramatic ninth-inning comeback Wednesday night to earn a 7-6 walk-off win over the Oklahoma City RedHawks at Aces Ballpark.
Reno scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning without recording an out in the comeback victory. It was just the second time this season the Aces won after they trailed going into the ninth inning.
Tyler Bortnick hit a bases-clearing double in the ninth to tie the game at six, and advanced to third on a throwing error by the right fielder. Mike Freeman followed it with a single up the middle that scored Bortnick and gave Reno its fifth walk-off win of the year.
The scoring began in the third inning when the walks issued by Reno starter Andrew Chafin finally caught up to him. L.J. Hoes drew a one-out walk and moved to second when Kike Hernandez was caught trying to steal third for the second out. The next batter, Domingo Santana, lined a base hit to right to score Hoes and give Oklahoma City a 1-0 lead.
The Aces answered with a big hit from Freeman in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded, he lined a 3-1 pitch off the center field wall for a bases-clearing triple and a 3-1 lead.
Armed with the lead, Chafin allowed three consecutive singles to start the fifth. The first two set up runners at the corners with nobody out for Hoes. He struck a ball that was ticketed for shortstop Nick Ahmed. Instead, the ball caromed off umpire Spencer Flynn and Hoes was awarded a single, loading the bases.
Jess Todd came on to relieve Chafin and quickly struck out Santana for the first out. He then forced in a run when he walked Preston Tucker, and allowed two more on a Gregorio Petit single to right field.
Oklahoma City padded its lead with runs in the sixth and eighth innings. The run in the eighth came on a perfectly executed squeeze play down the third base line.
In the ninth inning, Andy Marte and Danny Dorn each singled, and Blake Lalli reached when he was hit by a pitch. Bortnick then cleared the bags with a double down the right field line, and Freeman drove him home on the very next pitch.
Freeman finished the night 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBI. Bortnick extended his hit streak to five games with his double in the ninth.
Reno and Oklahoma City will square off again tomorrow night at Aces Ballpark. Right-hander Bo Schultz (4-4, 5.33) is scheduled to start for Reno, and Oklahoma City will turn to southpaw Brett Oberholtzer (1-2, 4.88). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m