Etherton, Whitesell lead Aces past Las Vegas |

Etherton, Whitesell lead Aces past Las Vegas

Provided to the Tribune

RENO – Seth Etherton continued his mound dominance Saturday night as he led the Aces to a 9-5 victory in a Silver State Diamond Challenge matchup with Las Vegas at Aces Ballpark.

Reno opened the floodgates early with four runs in each of the first two innings. In the first, Brandon Allen contributed a two-run double and Agustin Murillo added a two-out, two-RBI single up the middle. Reno added four more in the second on a Ryan Roberts RBI-single and a three-run homer by Josh Whitesell. Reno added an insurance run in the fifth on an RBI-groundout by Abraham Nunez.

Etherton (7-5) won for the third time in his last four starts, throwing six innings of two-run ball and striking out a season-high-tying seven batters.Travis Blackley was credited with a three-inning save, the first of his career.

Reno knocked around 51s lefty David Purcey (3-3), scoring all nine of their runs off the Vegas starter. Three Las Vegas relievers threw scoreless innings to keep the game close.

Whitesell (2 for 3, three RBI) and Allen (2 for 3, two RBI) led the offensive attack for Reno, while Murillo contributed two RBI as well.

Sunday’s game between Reno and Las Vegas will conclude this five-game set. The Aces send right-hander Hector Ambriz (3-6, 5.74 ERA) to the bump against 51s southpaw Davis Romero (1-2, 5.64 ERA). Sunday’s game will feature the time-honored tradition of Christmas in July, so come early and see Santa Claus on vacation, enjoy carols sung by students of St. Terese of the Little Flower and bring nonperishable foodstuffs to donate to Catholic Community Services of Northern Nevada. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m.