Third baseman Jamie Romak knocked game-tying and go-ahead two-out RBI doubles for the Reno Aces (@Aces) in their 4-3 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs Sunday afternoon at Aces Ballpark.
In need of a lengthy start after an early exit and ejection for right-hander Gabriel Arias Saturday night, Aces left-hander Justin Marks provided just that.
The southpaw threw six strong innings and allowed just two earned runs, despite walking four and allowing six hits. Marks induced double plays in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, with the latter two erasing leadoff walks.
New Orleans (24-24) jumped ahead with one run in the third inning. Miguel Rojas singled to center and moved to second on a balk by Marks. Following Marks' second of three strikeouts in the game, former Ace Cole Gillespie lined a run-scoring single to right, giving the Zephyrs a 1-0 advantage.
The Zephyrs doubled their lead with another run in the fourth. Isaac Galloway and Austin Wates strung a double and single together with one away and NOLA pitcher Adam Conley then executed a suicide squeeze to perfection. Galloway's slide narrowly beat the throw from Marks to catcher Blake Lalli (@BlakeLalli) on the play.
Reno (24-26) answered with one run in the home half on two hits and two walks. Romak and Danny Worth singled before Lalli and Marks drew back-to-back two-out walks to make it 2-1.
The Aces tallied another run in the fifth on Romak's first of two RBI doubles, tying the game at two.
With both starters out of the game, it was the Aces' bullpen who out-dueled the Zephyrs' relievers down the stretch.
Romak again delivered in the clutch with a two-run double off of Greg Nappo (0-1) in the seventh, and Evan Marshall (1-1) (@emarsh31) worked a pair of shutdown innings to grab the win. Closer Jake Barrett (@BJBace99) forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the ninth but struck out Vinny Rottino on a 2-2 pitch to end the game.
The finale of the four-game series is set for Monday night at Aces Ballpark. Right-hander Allen Webster (1-1, 11.08) starts for the Aces against right-hander Rob Morey (0-1, 3.31). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.