RENO, Nev.— John Hester and Chris Roberson each had three hits and two RBI, but it wasn’t enough for the Aces, as Reno fell 12-9 to Las Vegas Wednesday night in the first of a five-game set at Aces Ballpark.
Reno seemed to counter every punch that Las Vegas threw at them. The Aces trailed 4-0 and 7-2 early, but rallied back to send the game to extra innings. The Aces tied the game in the eighth on a Rusty Ryal groundout and an RBI-single by Hester. After relinquishing the lead in the ninth, Trent Oeltjen drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 9-9, but the Aces left the bases loaded. Las Vegas then scored three times in the 10th to secure the victory.
Reno used three relievers to keep it close after starter Billy Buckner threw the first five, allowing eight earned runs and ten hits. Travis Blackley (2-4) suffered the loss in relief, allowing two earned runs, including the eventual game-winner.
The 51s Jonah Bayliss (7-2) earned the win in relief of starter Fabio Castro. Bubbie Buzachero pitched a perfect 10th inning for his first save of the year.
Hester contributed two triples to go along with his game-tying single. Roberson (3-for-6), Brandon Watson and Ruben Gotay all had multi-hit games for Reno.
The second game of this five-game series will be played Thursday evening, and will showcase Aces RHP Cesar Valdez (6-5, 4.67 ERA) against Las Vegas LHP Brain Burres (6-6, 4.91 ERA). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
Thursday’s game is the eighth of 16 between Nevada’s two Triple-A teams. The winner of the season series will win the inaugural Silver State Diamond Challenge Trophy, as well as contributing to the embarrassment of the opposing town’s mayor, as he will have to wear the winning team’s jersey to a City Council meeting.