Published Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | 12:37 a.m.
Updated Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | 10:11 p.m.
Chalk one up for Northern Nevada.
The Las Vegas 51s were defeated 5-3 Monday night at the Reno Aces in the first game of the inaugural Silver State Diamond Challenge.
The North's Reno welcomed Triple-A baseball to Washoe County this April to create a natural rivalry.
The winning team of the 16-game challenge — each franchise hosts eight games as part of the Pacific Coast League schedule — receives the Silver Plate Trophy, a home plate shaped trophy with plenty of room to be engraved annually with the victorious team's record.
"I think this challenge is great for all the baseball fans in the state and I look forward to watching the action on the field," Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said in a press release.
Goodman and Reno Mayor Bob Cashell have embraced the competition. The mayors have a friendly bet on the series — the losing city's mayor will wear the other team's jersey for a full day of city business, including a city council meeting.
Also, the losing mayor will donate $100 per game for the difference in wins to the winning mayor's charity of choice.
Southern Nevadans might be thankful the mayors don't have a similar bet for college football. UNR has beaten UNLV the past four years.
Brett Harper hit his 11th home run of the season for Las Vegas, but it wasn't enough as Reno scored three runs in the second inning and never trailed.
The 51s (26-39) will look to even the series at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.