Keyvius Sampson and the Aces pitching staff led the way in Albuquerque Friday night to give Reno the series win. Sampson (1-1. 7.15) got his fourth start of the 2017 season. The right-hander delivered six innings of one-hit baseball, striking out five and walking just one. Offensively the Aces were led once again by Ketel Marte and Ildemaro Vargas. With a 2-for-4 performance tonight, Marte raised his batting average to a remarkable .439. Also, the 23-year-old from Nizao, Dominican Republic now leads all of professional baseball in total hits (29). Vargas (2-for-5, two runs scored) recorded his seventh multi-hit performance of the season.
The Aces wasted little time before getting into the run column tonight. Vargas led off the game with a triple down the right field line off of Isotopes starter Jeff Hoffman. Ketel Marte then followed with a RBI single up the middle to give Reno a 1-0 lead. In the top of the third inning the Pacific Coast League RBI leader and reigning PCL player of the week, Christian Walker, singled to score Vargas. Albuquerque responded, but only because of a series of defensive mistakes by the Aces. An error by starter Keyvius Sampson, followed by a missed tag on a sacrifice bunt put runners on the corners with no outs. A groundout by Raimel Tapia brought across the Isotopes only run of the evening.
Things opened up for the Aces in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back singles by Reymond Fuentes and Carlos Rivero set the table for catcher Hank Conger. Conger, batting left-handed, blasted his first home run of the 2017 campaign to give Reno a five-run lead. The former first-round pick by the Los Angeles Angels entered tonight’s game with just one hit.
Relievers T.J. McFarland and Eric Davis finished out the game, combing for three innings of no-run baseball. The Aces bullpen has been spectacular this season, allowing just 22 earned runs in 66 2/3 innings (2.99 ERA). With the win, Reno won the series against Albuquerque with a record of 3-1. The Aces will travel to play against the El Paso Chihuahuas at 6:05 PM from Southwest University Park.