Aces Win 1st Game of Silver State Diamond Challenge

Reno, Nev.— Rusty Ryal’s three-run home run in the second inning lifted Reno over Las Vegas in a battle of intrastate rivals Monday night at Aces Ballpark, as the Aces took the first of 16 games between the two Triple-A teams from the Silver State.

Reno jumped ahead early with a run in the home half of the first. Alex Romero doubled, and Tony Clark doubled him home with a drive to deep center. After the 51s Brett Harper hit an opposite-field solo homer in the second to tie the score at one, Ryal blasted a three-run shot to left to put the Aces ahead for good. An Ed Rogers sacrifice fly in the fourth scored Ruben Gotay, and Reno’s bullpen held the lead from there.

Aces starter Cesar Valdez (5-4) improved to 4-0 in his last five appearances by throwing seven strong innings, striking out three and walking only one. Doug Slaten and Leo Rosales pitched the eighth, and Bobby Korecky threw a perfect ninth for his eighth save.

Brett Cecil (1-5) threw a complete game in a losing effort for Las Vegas, allowing five earned runs and striking out seven Aces hitters.

The middle game of this three-game series will feature Reno RHP Tony Barnette (4-6, 6.82) facing Las Vegas LHP Fabio Castro (3-1, 2.60 ERA) Tuesday evening. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

Tuesday’s game will be the second game of the sixteen-game Silver State Diamond Challenge, which features the two Nevada Triple-A teams. The winner will receive a custom-made plaque made of Nevada silver, as well as the honor of watching the opposing city’s mayor wear the winning team’s jersey to a City Council meeting.

For tickets, stop by the Aces Ballpark Box Office, call (775) 334-7000 or visit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E

Las Vegas 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 3 8 0

Reno 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 x 5 8 3

WP—Valdez (5-4); LP—Cecil (1-5); S—Korecky (8)

ATT: 4,748 Time: 2:25