RENO, Nevada - The Reno Aces (23-15) scored seven runs in the first inning and never looked back, beating the Round Rock Express (15-23) by a final score of 12-3 in Monday night's series opener.
Express starter RHP Allen Webster (2-3, 9.00) suffered the loss after a disastrous start. The righty gave up 12 runs on 12 hits in only 2.1 innings of work. He allowed three home runs and hit a pair of batters. Aces LHP Aaron Laffey (1-0, 2.57) earned the win in his first start after being signed from the independent Somerset Patriots earlier Monday afternoon. The lefty allowed just two runs on six hits and a walk in 7.0 solid innings of work.
Reno jumped all over Webster in the first inning. The first nine hitters reached base safely in a seven-run frame. SS Ketel Marte drove in the game's first run with an RBI triple. After a pair of RBI from LF Zach Bornstein and 2B Jack Reinheimer , C Hank Conger stepped to the plate and blasted a three-run homer to give the Aces a quick 6-0 lead. RF Kristopher Negron followed up with a solo home run of his own.
In the second, Marte singled, moved to second after 1B Christian Walker was hit with a pitch, and took third on a Jeremy Hazelbaker groundout. An ensuing Carlos Rivero sacrifice fly extended Reno's lead to 8-0. Bornstein then collected the Aces third homer of the night, a two-run shot that gave his team a double-digit lead.
Three straight Reno base hits to open the third inning scored two more runs and chased Webster from the contest. LHP Frank Lopez entered from the bullpen and held the red-hot Aces scoreless on just three hits over 4.2 innings of work. Lopez struck out four without issuing a walk in the impressive performance.
Round Rock jumped on the board in the sixth inning. SS Jurickson Profar led off with a double before sprinting home on a Ronald Guzman single. Three hitters later, LF Matt Lipka recorded his first career Triple-A base hit and RBI with a line drive single to left field, cutting the deficit to 12-2 in the process. E-Train RF Travis Snider collected his second home run of the season in the ninth inning, a towering shot that sailed well above the visitor's bullpen in right-center field, ultimately cutting the final score to 12-3.
Round Rock will look to even the series in Tuesday night's game two. Express RHP Eddie Gamboa (2-3, 6.81) is scheduled to start opposite Aces RHP Braden Shipley (3-1, 4.11). First pitch is set for 8:35 p.m. CDT.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.