The Aces took control with five runs out of the gates and held on for a 7-4 triumph in front of a small crowd of 3,256.
Walks cost Salt Lake in the first inning, helping end its streak of scoring first in nine straight games. After Cole Gillespie and Brandon Allen drew two-out walks off Bees starting pitcher Bear Bay, Tony Abreu delivered a double to center field, driving in both runners for a 2-0 lead.
Reno made it 3-0 on Evan Frey’s RBI single in the bottom of the second, which scored Konrad Schmidt from second base.
The Aces just kept that momentum going in the third frame. An infield single by Collin Cowgill started the inning. Gillespie got the green light with a 3-0 count and lofted a high fly ball to right field that carried over the fence for a two-run homer, padding the cushion to 5-0 through three innings.
The Bees got two runs back in the top of the fourth. Gil Velazquez singled and Efren Navarro doubled to start the rally. Back-to-back sacrifice flies by Chris Pettit and Jeremy Moore made it a 5-2 game.
The score didn’t stay that way long.
Cody Ransom led off the bottom half of the fourth with a solo shot to right field, increasing the Aces’ lead back up to 6-2.
Salt Lake threatened in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with one out. However, once again, the Bees could only score via a sacrifice fly. Navarro’s fly ball to left field was deep enough to score the team’s third run. Reno starter Barry Enright struck out Pettit swinging to avoid further damage. Enright gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings of work, leaving the game with the Aces leading 6-3.
Moore welcomed Aces reliever Jason Urquidez to the game by tripling to left field. After recording back-to-back outs, Urquidez looked like he would strand the runner at third. But Reggie Willits came through in the clutch, lining an RBI single to left field, cutting the deficit to 6-4.
The Aces pushed the gap back up to three in the bottom of the sixth. Not wanting to strand Andy Tracy at third after his leadoff triple, Mark Hallberg dropped down a bunt that scored Tracy for a 7-4 score.
That’s how the score remained thanks to Jordan Norberto and Kam Mickolio combining to throw three scoreless innings for the home team. The duo allowed one hit and struck out six.
The series concludes today at 7:05 p.m. with LHP Tom Layne (6-1, 4.62 ERA) scheduled to face RHP Eric Junge (3-3, 3.88 ERA).