Aces Lose Opener in Nashville

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The Nashville Sounds used a Jeff Bianchi walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Reno Aces, 2-1, Monday night in Nashville.

The Aces’ loss marked the first time the Aces have lost consecutive games since May 6 and 7 at home against Tacoma.

Reno was held to just four hits in the game, which is tied for the season-low for the team. The other time Reno was held to four hits was on April 20 at Tacoma.

Brad Mills put in a solid start for Nashville, going six scoreless innings and scattering two hits while striking out four and walking four.

The Sounds opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning. Hunter Morris hit a leadoff single, and two batters later made it to third on a Eugenio Valez double that just barely glanced off the glove of Tony Campana in center field. Pete Orr plated Morris with a single to left field in the next at-bat.

Reno finally tied it in the top of the ninth inning on a bizarre play.

With runners on first and second and no outs, Aaron Cunningham bunted down the third base line. The ball was fielded and thrown to second for an out, but the throw to first got away from the Sounds’ second baseman, who was covering on the play.

The error allowed pinch-runner Andrew Chafin to round third and score on the play, but Cunningham was caught in between first and second and was thrown out for the second out of the play.

In the bottom of the frame, an error by Mike Freeman allowed the leadoff runner to reach base safely. After a fielders’ choice put Kevin Madison on first with one out, he stole second and scored on Bianchi’s single up the middle.

Jess Todd took the loss for the Aces. Starter Bo Schultz did not factor into the decision, but tossed five strong innings and allowed just the one run on five hits while striking out three.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow night, with Reno sending right-hander Zeke Spruill (3-2, 5.68) to the mound and Nashville countering with right-hander Ariel Pena (4-5, 4.53). First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.