After losing game one of a doubleheader by a 7-4 score, the Reno Aces cycled their way to a dramatic comeback and 6-4 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas to salvage a twinbill split on Sunday night at Greater Nevada Field. Gabby Guerrero played hero in the nightcap, drilling a two-run walk-off homer to right field for his first Triple-A home run.
In the opener, El Paso (45-32) jumped on the Aces (41-36) and left-hander Anthony Banda (@anthony_banda3) – making his Triple-A debut. The Chihuahuas plated five runs on six hits in the first inning, the big blow being a three-run homer by Austin Hedges which gave the visitors a 3-0 lead. Later in the inning, Diego Goris smacked a run-scoring single to score Jabari Blash, but Aces left fielder Zach Borenstein allowed the sinking liner to skip past him, giving Jason Hagerty plenty of time to race around from first base.
Borenstein redeemed himself in the home half against right-hander Eric Yardley when he split the gap in left-center for a two-run double, pulling the Aces within three at 5-2.
Both Yardley and Banda settled in until the fifth. Reno’s 22-year-old southpaw yielded an RBI double to Carlos Asuaje which made it 6-2, and two batters later, Hedges lofted a sacrifice fly to right to push the Chihuahuas’ advantage back to five.
Reno answered with single runs in the fifth and seventh to provide the game one’s final margin. Tuffy Gosewisch (@santiagosewisch) scored on sacrifice flies by Jack Reinheimer (@Reinheimer_08) and Todd Glaesmann (@toddglaesmann22) in each frame, but the Aces couldn’t fully complete the comeback.
Banda (0-1) surrendered seven runs – six earned – on seven hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out four in defeat. Leonel Campos improved to 2-1 after recording the final two outs in the fifth inning.
In game two, the Aces completed their wildest comeback to date with their latest, and possibly greatest, dramatics.
The Chihuahuas staged themselves to an early 4-2 lead, thanks to a pair of home runs and three RBI by Hector Sanchez. The switch-hitting catcher drilled a two-run shot to right in the first, capping a three-run outburst against Matt Capps (@MattCapps55). In the bottom half, Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19) cleared the right-field wall for his eighth homer in 18 games with the Aces to make it 3-1.
Reno pulled closer in the third when a groundout scored Mike Freeman (@MikeBFree5), but Sanchez’s second blast pushed El Paso’s lead back to two.
The Aces threatened with a pair of runners in the fifth but failed to score. After Evan Marshall (@emarsh31) delivered a scoreless top of the sixth, Reno loaded the bases in the bottom half with two away. Reinheimer was called upon to pinch-hit, but a sharp comebacker was fielded cleanly by Jose Dominguez, keeping the Aces’ deficit at two runs.
Dominic Leone (@DLeone54) pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the Aces, setting up Reno’s fourth walk-off win of 2016.
Haniger opened the inning against Dominguez with a single into center. Moments later, Kyle Jensen (@TheKJensen42) just missed a game-tying homer with a double off the wall in right-center. The two-bagger scored Haniger from first and gave Jensen 37 RBI for the month of June, most in all of professional baseball.
Glaesmann continued the rally and tied the game at four with a triple to the right-center alley. Guerrero – who recorded his first Triple-A base hit with a broken-bat single in the sixth – wasted little time in giving the Aces the win. The 22-year-old blasted a 1-0 offering from Dominguez over the right-field wall, sending the announced crowd of 4,428 into a frenzy.
Leone (4-1) earned the win in relief, while Dominguez (3-3) took the loss. Capps fired four innings and allowed four earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts in a no-decision.
The Aces and Chihuahuas continue their five-game set with game four of the series on Monday at Greater Nevada Field. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. PT. Right-hander Braden Shipley (6-3, 3.21) will toe the rubber for Reno, while righty Bryan Rodriguez (3-1, 4.64) gets the nod for El Paso.
Reno Aces Press Release