RENO, Nev.— The Aces overcame two separate three-run defecits, and used an eighth-inning inside-the-park home run from Chris Rahl to defeat the Las Vegas 51s 8-7 Monday evening at Aces Ballpark.
Reno trailed 3-0 in the third and 6-3 in the fifth, but rallied for the 8-7 victory, taking an early 1-0 lead in the 2010 Silver State Diamond Challenge. Down 6-4 in the sixth, Pedro Ciriaco cut the lead to one with an RBI-single before Jeff Bailey put the Aces ahead 7-6 with a two-out, two-run single off Jesse Carlson.
After Las Vegas fought back to tie the game at seven, Rahl led off the bottom of the eighth with an inside-the-park homer off the 424-foot sign in right-center field, which proved to be the difference in the game.
Ryan Cook started and made his Triple-A debut for Reno, tossing the first five frames. After newly-acquired Carlos Rosa threw a scoreless two innings, Jason Urquidez (2-0) gave up one run in the eighth before T.J. Beam tossed a perfect ninth for his third save of the year.
Reno knocked 51s starter Zach Jackson out of the game after just three innings. After Sean Henn and Jesse Carlson threw four innings of relief, David Purcey (1-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing Rahl's eventual game-winning home run.
The Aces pounded out 12 hits in the game, led by Mark Hallberg's three-hit night. Ciriaco and Bailey drove in two runs apiece, while Rahl provided a late spark with his first-career Triple-A homer.
Reno and Las Vegas continue the 2010 SSDC Tuesday morning, with a special 11:35 a.m. start at Aces Ballpark. Reno RHP Matt Torra (0-1, 3.32 ERA) will square off against 51s RHP Robert Ray (2-2, 4.57 ERA). Tuesday's game is the first of two Education Days this season at Aces Ballpark, where area schoolchildren will be treated to a pre-game meet-and-greet with Aces players.
Tickets for all Aces games start at just $7, and are available by calling the Reno Aces box office at (775) 334-7000 or by visiting RenoAces.com. The brand-new Freight House District, located just outside Aces Ballpark, is open seven days a week, on both gamedays and non-gamedays.