Aces return for first home series since 2019; club comes back to win 8-5
RENO, Nev. (Reno Aces) - A six-run eighth inning lifted the Aces to their second comeback win of the season, downing the Las Vegas Aviators, 8-5, in the team’s home opener on Thursday evening.
The Aces moved to 4-0 in games where their opponent scored first, having beat Salt Lake three times prior to tonight’s win. Reno also moves to 5-0 on the year in contests in which the team does not commit an error.
Reno faced a five-run deficit through the first five and a half innings, only to make its biggest comeback of the young season. For the second time this season, the Aces have stormed back from being down by at least four and won the game, most recently coming against Salt Lake on May 8 when the team trailed by four tallies after three frames.
Alex Powers made his Aces’ debut, picking up the win and allowing just one walk in his near-perfect two innings of work.
Las Vegas struck first with a two-run homer off the bat of Francisco Peña, scoring Frank Schwindel who had reached on a single.
The Aviators tacked on another pair of runs in the top of the third, increasing the Reno deficit to four. In the fourth, the Aviators would add another on a solo shot by Cody Thomas to make it 5-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Aces’ bats came to life, putting a two-spot on the board and cutting the Las Vegas lead to three, 5-2. Domingo Leyba smacked an RBI double to bring Drew Ellis around to score before Stuart Fairchild’s ground out two batters later knocked in Leyba.
The RBI two-bagger made it seven-straight games with a hit and four-straight with an RBI. On the season, Leyba has failed to record and RBI in just one game.
Following a scoreless seventh and top half of the eighth, Reno would grab its only lead of the contest. After a leadoff walk to Ellis and back-to-back singles from Josh Reddick and Leyba, Seth Beer drove in the first run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Two batters later, Christian Lopes took a ball off the wrist with the bases loaded, earning a painful RBI and slashing the deficit to one, 5-4. In the very next at bat, Bryan Holaday drove a double into dead center to knock in two runs and give the Aces a 6-5 advantage.
Then with Juniel Querecuto up to bat, a wild pitch got away from the Aviators’ catcher and brought Lopes across to score. Francisco Pena tried to throw out Lopes at the plate but made a wide throw, sending the ball down the third-base line, bringing Holaday around to score and extending the team’s lead to three, 8-5.
Ryan Buchter entered in the ninth and picked up his second save of the season with a perfect inning of work and one strikeout.
The Aces return to action on Friday for game two with Las Vegas, beginning at 6:35 p.m. PT at Greater Nevada Field. Jon Duplantier will make his first start of 2021, facing off against Parker Dunshee in game two of the series. Tomorrow’s game can be heard on renoaces.com or KPLY 630 AM locally with Zack Bayrouty on the call.
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