BY DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO " Marc Kaiser was hoping for a better result in his baseball homecoming.
The former Reno High star gave up five runs, four of them earned, in the Reno Silver Sox's 7-3 loss to the Orange County Flyers on Opening Night of the 2008 Golden Baseball League season at Peccole Park.
The teams continue their three-game series today at 5 with a double-header against the Flyers. Mike Reeves and Steve Russell will start for Reno.
The script was all set for Kaiser to make a triumphant return, and he had a good outing except for a couple of pitches which he left up to Sean Lorentz and Pat Breen that resulted in homers.
"A little bit," Kaiser said when asked if he was hoping for a better script. "At the same time, I felt good. They made me pay for my mistakes. The ball flies out of here. I have to do a better job of working down.
"It's awesome (to be back home). I'm so happy to be home. A lot of people have followed my career, and now they have an opportunity to watch me pitch."
The two homers resulted in three of Orange County's five runs off Kaiser, who struck out seven and walked just one.
"I didn't see him struggle," first-year Silver Sox manager Jeffrey Leonard said. "Except for the two balls he left up, I thought he threw well. He threw better than he did the last time (in an exhibition game)."
Kaiser's teammates gave him a quick 1-0 lead when Steven Wright tripled off the fence in right in the first and scored on Bub Madrid's infield out. Madrid drove in two of Reno's three runs.
That would be the last run that OC starter Andre Simpson allowed. The big right-hander gave up just three hits and struck out six.
"He (Simpson) was pretty good," said Reno outfielder Juan Senreiso. "He was hitting his spots. When a pitcher is doing that it's tough."
"He wasn't anything special," Leonard said. "I expected to see a different performance by our hitters."
Orange County tied the game at 1 in the third on Lorentz's solo homer, and took a 3-1 lead in the fourth.
With two outs, Fernando Pacheco grounded a ball to deep short with Jermy Acey at third. Andre Alvarado air-mailed his throw well over the head of first baseman Steven Alexander which allowed Acey to score from third and Breen, who had reached on a fielder's choice, from first.
The Flyers threatened in the fifth when Mark Okano tripled to the wall in center. He was erased when Kaiser flagged down Dave Bacani's comebacker and caught Okano between third and home for the second out. Acey rolled out to end the inning.
Kaiser wasn't so fortunate in the sixth, however.
Jeff LaRue reached first on an infield single and Breen followed with an off-field homer to left center to make it 5-1. Kaiser retired the next three hitters to end the inning.
Kaiser departed after the sixth in favor of Jesse Hall, who pitched a scoreless seventh before falling victim to the longball himself.
After retiring the first two batters, Hall hit Buddy Morales with a pitch and then gave up a towering homer to right by Pacheco to make it 7-1.
Eric Sheridan came on in the eighth, and Reno took advantage of his wildness to score two runs. Sheridan hit a batter and walked four more while retiring just one hitter. Monte Mansfield came on and got the dangerous John Hattig to hit into a 3-6-1 double play to end the threat.
Mansfield worked the ninth, allowing just one hit to send the Silver Sox home first-night losers.
Notes: Orange County has a new manager this year, as Garry Templeton is no longer with the team. Former Montreal and Mets great Gary Carter is now running the Flyers, and ex-Giant Darrell Evans is his hitting coach ... Only three players returned from last year " Senreiso, Madrid and reliever Scott Schneider, who has yet to be activated this season because of a shoulder injury.