By Will Hart
July 22: Express defeat Aces 8-4
Win: Wes Benjamin (2-2)
Loss: Ryan Weiss (1-1)
The Aces won the series against the Round Rock Express, taking four of the six games. Here is a rundown of the action.
The Aces took the loss in the opener for the second straight series, losing to the Round Rock Express 8-4.
The Aces opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a sacrifice fly from Drew Ellis.
Reno starter Tyler Gilbert was knocked around early, allowing four runs in five innings, including three in the second inning.
The Aces took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI double off the bat of Juniel Querecuto. Jose Herrera followed with a two-run homer to left field, giving the Aces a 4-3 lead.
That lead was short-lived, with the Express tying the game 4-4 after a run-scoring single by catcher Yohel Pozo. Round Rock extended their lead to 7-4 in the bottom of the sixth against Aces reliever Ryan Weiss, who allowed three earned runs in his lone inning of work. The Express tacked on one more off Shane Carle in the seventh, bringing the score to 8-4.
The Reno offense could not muster anything after that, and the score held as the Aces dropped game one.
July 23: Aces defeat Express 5-3
Win: Keury Mella (1-0)
Loss: Collin Wiles (2-1)
Save: Miguel Aguilar (14)
The Aces got off to a hot start in the second game of the series, taking a 5-0 lead after three innings en route to a 5-3 victory over the Express.
Red-hot designated hitter Jose Herrera came to the plate in the bottom of the second inning with the bases loaded and brought everyone home with a three-run triple to give the Aces a 3-0 lead. Henry Ramos and Jake McCarthy each hit RBI doubles in the bottom of the third inning to stretch the lead to 5-0.
Right-hander Kevin McCanna was solid for Reno, delivering four scoreless innings while allowing just one hit. McCanna has now recorded nine consecutive scoreless innings for the Aces.
Round Rock chipped away at the deficit in the late innings, scoring a run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings against the Aces bullpen.
Closer Miguel Aguilar closed the door on any Round Rock comeback hopes in the ninth inning while notching his 14th save of the season. Aguilar has yet to blow a save in 14 opportunities this year, which is an Aces franchise record to start a season.
July 24: Aces defeat Express 2-1
Win: Keegan Curtis (1-0)
Loss: Jimmy Herget (2-2)
Save: Miguel Aguilar (15)
The Aces completed a dramatic come-from-behind victory in a game that featured dominant pitching from both teams.
Reno starter Humberto Castellanos put forth a solid outing, pitching into the sixth inning and allowing just one run, although he did not earn the win.
Express starting pitcher Drew Anderson was even more impressive, completing six full innings of shutout baseball.
The difference in this game was the bullpens. The Aces did not allow a run after Castellanos left the game, including scoreless performances from Stefan Chrichton, Keegan Curtis and Miguel Aguilar.
The Aces offense finally managed to break through in the seventh inning with an RBI single from Juniel Querecuto that tied the game 1-1. Drew Ellis doubled home Leody Taveras in the eighth to take a 2-1 lead, which proved to be the winning run.
Miguel Aguilar entered in the ninth for Reno and once again got the job done, converting his 15th save of the season after retiring the Express side in order.
July 25: Postponed (Air Quality)
July 26: Aces defeat Express 11-10
Win: Jordan Weems (1-2)
Loss: Jacob Lemoine (5-3)
The Aces posted their second consecutive comeback win, this time scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk off the Express 11-10.
Reno got off to a hot start in the bottom of the second inning, scoring a run on Seth Beer’s 9th homer of the season. The Aces pushed their lead to 2-0 after Michael De La Cruz knocked in Jamie Ritchie with an infield single.
Aces starter Humberto Mejía submitted a quality start, going four innings and allowing just two runs while racking up 7 strikeouts.
Round Rock quickly tied the game in the top of the third after a Charles Leblanc solo home run and an RBI single by highly-touted prospect Nick Solak.
The Aces offense came to life in the sixth inning, scoring five times and taking a 7-2 lead. Nick Heath started the scoring output, doubling home two runs, followed by an RBI triple by Ben Deluzio. The Aces scored once more on a wild pitch and tacked on another with an RBI groundout by Jamie Ritchie.
The Express answered back with a huge inning of their own, crossing the plate seven times to take a 9-7 lead. Aces reliever Ty Tice struggled mightily, allowing four earned runs while recording just one out. Chester Pimentel was not much better, allowing three runs before he was able to finish the inning. Round Rock added an insurance run off Ryan Weiss in the eighth inning to push their lead to 10-7.
The Aces had one more rally in them, scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to secure the walk-off victory. Nick Heath knocked in two runs with a bases-loaded single, followed by a wild pitch and fielder’s choice to tie the score at 10 apiece. Jake McCarthy had the walkoff hit, a single right up the middle to secure a dramatic victory for the Aces.
July 27 (7-inning Doubleheader Game 1): Express defeat Aces 9-6
Win: Brock Burke (1-4)
Loss: Josh Green (6-4)
Reno fell in the first game of the doubleheader, largely due to starting pitcher Josh Green’s rough outing. Green allowed nine runs, all earned, through his three innings of work.
Down 6-0 in the 3rd inning, the Aces scored four runs to bring the deficit to two. Ildemaro Vargas knocked in Jose Herrera with a run-scoring single. Drew Ellis hit his 13th home run of the year to make the score 6-4.
Round Rock tacked on three more in the fourth inning, bringing the score to 9-4. That is all the offense they needed, as the Aces managed just two more runs en route to a 9-6 loss.
July 27 (7-inning Doubleheader Game 2): Aces defeat Express 10-6
Win: Stefan Chrichton (3-0)
Loss: Wes Benjamin
The Aces wrapped the series up with a win after an offensive explosion in a shortened game.
Zach Lee struggled in this start, pitching just three innings while allowing four runs to cross the plate.
The Aces managed to tie the game in the bottom of the third inning, scoring four times. Ildamaro Vargas and Henry Ramos hit RBI doubles, followed by a Christian Lopes sacrifice fly. Reno took the lead the following inning with two more RBIs from Henry Ramos, this time on a single, scoring Jake McCarthy and Drew Ellis. They added four more insurance runs in the sixth with an RBI double by Ildemaro Vargas and Christian Lopes’ 6th big fly of the season to make the score 10-4.
Closer Miguel Aguilar was unusually shaky, allowing two runs in the ninth in a non-save situation. The offense had done enough, however, and the Aces managed to hang on to a 10-6 victory and a series win.
What’s Next: The Aces (45-27) are in Sacramento for a six-game set against the River Cats (30-42).