An early 4-0 lead for the Reno Aces quickly vanished during a six-run third inning by the El Paso Chihuahuas Friday night at Greater Nevada Field. The Chihuahuas recorded four hits and capitalized on three errors and two walks during the frame, eventually holding on for an 8-6 win over the Aces to even the four-game set at one game apiece.
The Chihuahuas (1-1) batted through the lineup in the third, with five of the six runs scored being unearned. Alexi Amarista doubled off Aces starter Tyler Wagner (@_TylerWagner_) to ignite the outburst. A groundout followed, but an error committed by shortstop Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08) allowed Amarista to score from third. After a fielder’s choice for the second out, Wagner issued back-to-back walks to load the bases. El Paso’s Hunter Renfroe then rocketed a single to left and was credited with two RBI. A third run scored on the play and Renfroe raced to third base when his single scooted underneath Peter O’Brien’s glove, rolling all the way to the outfield wall.
Moments later, newly-acquired first baseman James Loney broke the 4-4 tie with a run-scoring single and Austin Hedges added another run on a single to make it 6-4.
In the fourth, Carlos Asuaje belted a two-run homer off right-hander Seth Simmons (@SizzleSimmons), extending El Paso’s lead to four.
Zach Borenstein cut Reno’s deficit in half in the fifth with a two-out, two-run shot of his own, but Reno’s bats were silenced down the stretch. A two-out double by Evan Marzilli (@marzooch) in the sixth was the Aces’ lone baserunner over the final 4.1 innings.
Reno grabbed their brief 4-0 lead in the first inning. Consecutive doubles by Reinheimer and Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5) resulted in the first run. Two batters later, Kyle Jensen singled home Freeman, pushing the lead to two. After a Borenstein double, former Nevada Wolf Pack standout Brett Hayes (@bretthayes12) answered the call with a two-run single.
Wagner was tagged with the loss in his Triple-A debut. He lasted just 2.2 innings and yielded six runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks.
El Paso starter Daniel McCutchen (1-0) benefitted from the six-run third and Asuaje’s home run. He earned the win after dealing five innings of six-run ball.
The Aces’ pitching staff issued eight walks in the defeat.
The four-game series continues between the Aces and Chihuahuas Saturday night. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. at Greater Nevada Field. Right-hander Braden Shipley (@shipley25), who, like Hayes, attended the University of Nevada and starred for the Wolf Pack baseball team, will make his Aces and Triple-A debut. He will be opposed by El Paso right-hander Carlos Pimentel who was named as the Pacific Coast League’s 2015 Pitcher of the Year while playing for the Iowa Cubs.
Reno Aces Press Release