Behind another strong outing by Jesse Hildebrandt, the Tahoe Twins reclaimed first place in the Reno-Tahoe NABA standings with a 7-5 win over the visiting Reno Bandits on Sunday.
The Twins improved to 12-2 while the Bandits, who overtook the Twins atop the wood-bat league a couple of weeks ago, fell to 13-3 and back into second place. The Tahoe Braves, meanwhile, defeated the Hornets 7-5 on Sunday to improve to 7-5-1 on the year.
Hildebrandt threw eight solid innings for the Twins, limiting the Bandits to one run through his first five innings. He scattered 11 hits while allowing five runs total (three earned), with his only snag coming in the sixth inning when the visitors touched him for four runs.
By that time the Twins had already plated seven runs to lead by a comfortable margin. They broke open a 1-1 tie with a four-run third and cushioned the lead with two more runs in the fourth.
“Hildebrandt really stepped up,” said Twins manager Bob Habeger. “We'll try to give him a break this Sunday and throw Joe (Thomas) and Gabe (Sandersius) against the Hornets.”
The Twins managed seven hits and drew seven walks in the game. Cleanup hitter and first baseman Jesse Brown raised his team-leading batting average to .593 with two doubles and three RBIs on a 2-for-3 day at the plate.
Drew Lipnosky, batting leadoff in the absence of Bobby Habeger, who is nursing a sore knee, went 2-for-4. Jamy Habeger, Kevin Decker and Steve Derby each drove in a run, and Cory Munoz had a double. Gabe Sandersius threw a scoreless ninth to record the save.
The Twins have three games remaining on their league schedule, two against the Hornets and one against the Braves, and the Bandits have two, as they close with the Hustlers and Giants.