by Tai Justice
The Salt Lake City Bees took the field last night at Smith’s Ballpark in front of cheering fans for the first time in almost two years. This game launched their 2021 season as they took on the Reno Aces in the first game of a six game set.
The game started off with a bang as Reno’s lead-off batter Drew Ellis started off the hit a home run to deep center field. This gave the Aces a 1-0 lead after the first inning. The Aces were able to tack on a run in the second as well after the Bees committed two errors (they had three on the night).
The score stayed at 2-0 until the Bees got in on the action in the fifth. They scored their first run in 612 days after the Aces walked in a run, allowing Francisco Arcia to score.
In the sixth, Domingo Leyba added to the lead for the Aces with a deep home run to right field. Even from the stands, it was evident from the moment the ball hit the bat that it was going to land over the fence. This stretched the lead to 4-1 for the Aces in the sixth.
In the seventh, top Angels prospect Jo Adell rocked it a line drive past a diving third baseman into the deep left field corner. This cut the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh. The 7th was an important inning too. The Aces subbed in right fielder Josh Reddick. He was member of the 2017 World Series Champons: the Houston Astros. That team has since received multiple punishments for a sign stealing scandal.
This was a well known fact by Bees fans as some then went down by the right field line and started to chant calling him a cheater.
In the top of the eighth, Domingo Leyba added to his already big night with an RBI double off the left field wall. This opened the lead to 5-2 Aces. That score caused some fans to head for the exits. The Bees players still felt a rally deep in their bones. They went into the bottom of the ninth down 5-2.
Thanks to a two-run hit by Luis Rengifo to deep right-center, it was 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth. It seemed like there was once again a competitive ball game at hand. After Kean Wong walked, the winning run stepped up to the plate. However, Reno was able to get the final couple outs and win their first game of the season. It didn’t help the Bees that they had to have Jake Reed, a relief pitcher, bat in that situation due to only having nine available position players.
The Bees (0-1) and Aces (1-0) are set to meet for game two of the six-game series tonight with the first pitch starting at 6:35 PM Mountain Time. Dillon Peters is set to start the pitching game for the Bees and Seth Frankoff is slated to start for the Aces.
Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune