Reno, Nev.— Seth Etherton continued his mound dominance Saturday night as he led the Aces to a 9-5 victory in a Silver State Diamond Challenge matchup at Aces Ballpark.
Reno opened the floodgates early with four runs in each of the first two innings. In the first, Brandon Allen contributed a 2-run double and Agustin Murillo added a two-out, two-RBI single up the middle. Reno added four more in the second on a Ryan Roberts RBI-single and a three-run homer by Josh Whitesell. Reno added an insurance run in the fifth on an RBI-groundout by Abraham Nunez.
Aces starter Seth Etherton (7-5) won for the third time in his last four starts, throwing six innings of two-run ball and striking out a season-high-tying seven batters. Travis Blackley was credited with a three-inning save, the first of his career.
Reno knocked around 51s lefty David Purcey (3-3), scoring all nine of their runs off the Vegas starter. Three Las Vegas relievers threw scoreless innings to keep the game close.
Whitesell (2-for-3, 3 RBI) and Allen (2-for-3, 2 RBI) led the offensive attack for Reno, while Murillo contributed two RBI as well.
Sunday’s game between Reno and Las Vegas will conclude this five-game set. The Aces send RHP Hector Ambriz (3-6, 5.74 ERA) to the bump against 51s LHP Davis Romero (1-2, 5.64 ERA). Sunday’s game will feature the time-honored tradition of Christmas in July, so come early and see Santa Claus on vacation, enjoy carols sung by students of St. Terese of the Little Flower and bring non-perishable foodstuffs to donate to Catholic Community Services of Northern Nevada. It is also a Fox 11 Family Day. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.
Sunday is also the 11th of 16 Silver State Diamond Challenge games between Reno and Las Vegas. The series is currently tied at five games apiece. After 16 games, the losing city’s mayor will be forced to wear the winning team’s jersey to a City Council meeting, as well as donating money to the winning mayor’s charity of choice. With only six games to play, anticipation is mounting at a fever pitch as to which Nevada team will claim this highly sought after prize.