Aces wrap regular season, set for playoffs on Wednesday
Reno, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) —
The Aces (80-62) ended their 2017 Pacific Coast League regular season with a lopsided 13-1 victory over the Albuquerque Isotopes (68-73) Monday afternoon at Greater Nevada Field. Aces righty Matt Koch earned his second win of the campaign after a seven-inning shutout performance while allowing just six hits. Reno's offense cushioned the outing with a 10-run second inning after sending 14 batters to the plate. The playoff-contending Aces finish tied for second for most wins on the year and reached 80 wins for the first time since the 2014 season.
After a harmless first inning on both sides, the Aces broke open the contest with 10 runs supported by five surrendered walks and six hits, marking the first time Reno's offense met the feat since July 7, 2014 against Las Vegas. The Aces sent 14 total batters to the plate, just four shy of batting around twice. A combination of a Socrates Brito leadoff walk, Jack Reinheimer single and Jeremy Hazelbaker walk loaded the bases. Ildemaro Vargas continued the frame with a walk to plate one while Emilio Bonifacio followed with a two-RBI single. With one out, Zach Borenstein knocked his 27th double to add two more. After Brito singled in his second at-bat of the inning, a Reinheimer walk and Hazelbaker single would reload the bases when Michael Perez drilled a triple to deep centerfield to plate all three and make it a 10-0 ballgame.
In the third inning, Reno kept their foot on the pedal with two more runs on a Bonifacio double and Christian Walker triple. The triple marked Walker's ninth total three-bagger of the season while increasing his RBI count to a final 114.
After the Aces plated their 13th and final run of the contest in the seventh inning on three hits, the Isotopes broke the shutout off of reliever Yuhei Nakaushiro with two doubles to get one run and tally a final 13-1 score.
Five Reno batters – Bonifacio, Brito, Reinheimer, Hazelbaker, and Perez – collected mutli-hit games while Zach Borenstein and Perez combined for seven RBI on the day.
Koch's performance marked a season-high and season-low for him, having tossed a high of seven frames and allowing a low of zero runs in his 10th and final start of the regular season. Reno relievers Nakaushiro, Andrury Acevedo, Aaron Laffey, and Joey Krehbiel combined for two innings of three-hit ball while each recorded a strikeout.
The Aces begin the 2017 PCL Pacific Conference championship series this Wednesday, September 6 with a Best-of-5 series against the 2016 PCL champions, the El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego). Home playoff games will be Wednesday, September 6th, and Thursday, September 7th at Greater Nevada Field, both scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Playoff tickets are available for purchase by visiting the ticket office, renoaces.com or by calling (775) 334-7000. Follow the club all season long on Twitter (@Aces) or like the team on Facebook.