The season came to a somewhat disappointing end for the Alexandria Aces as they dropped the one game play in contest to the Herndon Braves by a score of 6-5. The three seeded Aces were unable to maintain a one run lead as the Braves, who led for most of the game, were able to use timely hitting and pitching to defeat an Alexandria team that had beaten them four of the five regular season meetings. With the Braves victory they will face the Baltimore Redbirds in the semi-finals.
The game got off to a rocky start for the Aces as Chesdin Harrington (UVA) relinquished four runs in the first inning. The Aces were able to plate runs in both the first and second innings against the Braves starter Reid Frazier. Frazier was shaky with command but limited the Aces damage, only allowing a single hit in three innings of work. Tyler Morder (Seton Hill) came in to relieve Harrington and worked a phenomenal five innings surrendering just one hit.
With Morder on the mound the Aces continued to plug away, scoring another run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Then in the sixth the Aces got their first lead of the game thanks to an RBI single from Drew Huff (Middle Tennessee State) and an RBI double from Mike Annone (Wilmington U). The Aces lead was short lived however as in the very next half inning, Zach Barron untied the game with a one out double to give the Braves the lead for good.
The Aces threatened in the seventh and eighth and even loaded the bases in the second to last frame but were unable to push the run across they needed to tie the game. They left 14 runners on base and the bats fell somewhat silent as the Aces managed only five hits.
Though the season is now officially over, the Aces, despite the early end to the season, still had a campaign to remember. Alexandria vastly improved on their record of 19-21 from last season, finishing the regular season well over .500 at 23-17. They also made the playoffs improving on last year when they missed out from the postseason. The Aces saw five players head to the All-Star game this year and had one of the best pitchers all summer season long, Chesdin Harrington.
Though the season ended earlier than expected, the Aces still showed tenacity and a grinding mentality that became the teams calling card all the way down to the seasons final strike. With the foundation built by the team this season, Alexandria will have a good foundation to recruit with come next season.
Author: Jack Milewski
The Alexandria Aces and the Herndon Braves will square off in a single-elimination game tonight, with the winner advancing to the Cal Ripken League semifinals. The Aces were 23-17 in the regular season and secured the #3 seed in the playoffs, earning hosting privileges for tonight’s game. The Braves earned the #6 seed by going 18-22 on the season.
The Aces scored 213 runs over the course of the regular season, good for sixth in the league. The Braves, only two runs behind with 211, were seventh. The Aces offense was remarkably consistent, scoring at least four runs in 25 of 40 games and at least ten runs an impressive eight times. The Aces lineup was stacked with offensive threats — six players who appeared in at least 29 games had batting averages over .280: AJ Spencer (Middle Tennessee State – .283), Drew Huff (Middle Tennessee State – .287), Mike Annone (Wilmington – .288), Niko Hulsizer (Morehead State – .295), Cade Sorrells (Lipscomb – .322), and Liam McArthur (Seton Hall – .331). Huff and McArthur tied for the most hits with 45, and Annone led the team in home runs (4) and RBIs (26).
Aces pitching was overall outstanding this season — the pitching staff was third in the league in wins, with 23, as well as third in strikeouts, with 310. The Aces had seven pitchers who appeared in at least six games and had ERAs lower than 4.00: Patrick Finklestein (College of Charleston – 3.63), Danny Ehrsam (SIU-Edwardsville – 3.46), Billy Lescher (UPenn – 3.34), Christian Leckert (James Madison – 2.61), Tyler Morder (Seton Hill – 2.07), Chesdin Harrington (UVA – 1.45), and Jack Hennessy (Catholic – 1.25). Micah Kaczor (Western Kentucky) led the team in strikeouts, with 33, and saves, with 3.
The Aces and Braves faced off five times in the regular season, with the Aces winning four of those contests. The victories were on June 9 (4-2), June 30 (10-5), and a July 10 doubleheader (6-3 and 2-1). The Braves won on June 19 (8-6).
Chesdin Harrington (4-1, 1.45 ERA) gets the start tonight. He not only sports the team’s second-lowest ERA, but had fantastic outings in each of his five starts, never going less than five innings or allowing more than two earned runs. Harrington faced the Braves twice. On June 19, he threw five innings and gave up three runs (one earned) on five hits before the game was suspended and concluded on July 10. He also started the regularly-scheduled game on July 10, throwing six innings of one-run, seven-hit ball. The Braves will send up Reid Frazier, who is 4-2 with a 2.45 ERA. He made two relief appearances against the Aces, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings for a win on June 19 and giving up one run in 2.0 innings for a loss on July 10.
The first pitch at Frank Mann Field is at 7 pm. Come out to cheer on the Aces as they try to extend their season and advance further into the playoffs! If you can’t make it, be sure to follow the game live on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces) or tune into Aces Radio.
Author: Carolina Velloso
After dropping four consecutive games earlier this week, the Alexandria Aces are riding two straight wins into the postseason after an 11-5 victory tonight over the Vienna Riverdogs.
In his first start of the season on the mound, Jack Hennessy (Catholic University), looked tremendous. He tossed a season high five innings, surrendering just two hits and keeping the Riverdogs scoreless. He retired the last seven batters he faced over the final two and a third innings.
The Aces jumped on the Riverdogs early after two walks in a row to Kevin Heiss (University of Rhode Island) and Alex Stephens (Morehead State University). Heiss scored a batter later on a throwing error when Niko Hulsizer (Morehead State University) reached on a fielder’s choice. Heiss also scored the second run of the game in the third inning.
Alexandria scored an additional run in the fourth and fifth innings as well. Zach Cowart (Georgia Southern University) led off the fourth with a single and later came around to score on a fielding error by the third baseman. Drew Huff (Middle Tennessee State University) led off the fifth by reaching on an error and scored on a Cody Miller (Wofford College) sacrifice fly.
The Vienna bats woke up in the seventh when they scored four runs to tie the game, highlighted by a two-run double from the BYU product, Pete Nielsen.
It took just a half inning for the Aces to respond, exploding for five runs in the bottom half of the frame. Drew Bene (Stony Brook University) delivered a clutch two-RBI double to start the rally. Cowart singled for his second hit of the night, and Chris Balogh (Boston College) followed that up with a three-run bomb to right field. It was Balogh’s second long ball of the season, tying him for second most on the club.
Hulsizer led off the eighth with a double and Huff followed with a walk. With two outs in the inning, Cowart delivered a two-run double for the 10th and 11th runs of the night for the Aces.
AJ Spencer (Middle Tennessee State University) tossed a scoreless inning in his first relief appearance of the summer season. Danny Ehrsam (SIU-Edwardsville) closed out the Riverdogs, throwing the final inning and two-thirds, giving up just one hit.
Seven of the 10 Aces who recorded plate appearances notched at least one hit, with Cowart having his first three-hit game of the year.
The Aces completed the regular season tonight with a 23-17 record. Tomorrow will be an off day before beginning the playoffs on Sunday. The opponent is still to be determined with tomorrow being final day of the regular season for some teams. The Aces are the number three seed and will host the play game at 7pm on Sunday. If you can’t make it to Frank Mann Field, action can be caught on Aces Radio or followed on Twitter at @Alexandria_Aces.
Author: Noah Reed
The Aces conclude their regular season with a home game against the Vienna Riverdogs tonight. The 22-17 Aces secured the #3 seeding in the playoffs with a win over the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts last night and will face the #6 seed at home on Sunday.
The 17-21 Riverdogs are in fourth place in the South division and hunting for a playoff berth. The teams will decide the season series tomorrow, as they’ve split their previous four contests.
Yesterday, the Aces pulled out a tight win to secure their playoff seeding, scoring the decisive run in the top of the ninth inning. Kevin Heiss (U. of Rhode Island) walked in the run after the Aces loaded the bases with one out. The Aces scored their first run in the top of the seventh when AJ Spencer (Middle Tennessee State) scored on a passed ball.
The star of yesterday’s game was Aces pitching: starter Evan Flanagan (U. of Rhode Island) tossed six outstanding innings of one-run, three-hit ball. Nick Pedalino (UPenn), Chesdin Harrington (U. of Virginia) and Christian Leckert (James Madison) each contributed a scoreless inning of relief.
The bats were again quiet, and the Aces have not scored more than three runs in a game in their last five contests, resulting in four straight losses before yesterday’s victory. The Aces hope to turn it around tonight against the Riverdogs and head into the postseason with offensive momentum.
Jack Hennessy (Catholic) gets his first start after appearing in nine games as a reliever. Hennessy has been one of the Aces’ best pitchers all season, recording the team’s second-lowest ERA at 1.92. He has made two relief appearances against the Riverdogs, on June 20 and June 27, giving up only one run. The Riverdogs will send up Jacob Christian, who is 1-1 with a 1.44 ERA. He has not faced the Aces.
The first pitch at Frank Mann Field is at 7 pm. Come out and enjoy our last home game of the regular season! If you can’t make it, be sure to follow the game live on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces) or tune into Aces Radio.
Author: Carolina Velloso
The Alexandria Aces (22-17) locked up the third overall seed in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Summer League standings with a win Thursday night over the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts (19-19). The win gave the Aces a firm grasp on the three seed and the guarantee that they will face whoever the sixth seed may be in the one single elimination game on Sunday at Frank Mann Field.
The Aces 2-1 victory didn’t come easy against the T-Bolts, but true to form, Alexandria battled out a hard fought win when they needed it the most. After dropping four straight, the Aces looked to be in danger of backing into the playoffs. However, with a win Friday against the Vienna Riverdogs, Alexandria could head into the playoffs with a small winning streak and momentum for the play-in game.
Evan Flanagan (Rhode Island) got the start for Alexandria and worked six phenomenal innings, surrendering just one run on a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Flanagan worked his fastball with continual success to both sides of the plate as location played a key factor in his success against the T-Bolts. Nick Pedalino (U Penn), Chesdin Harrington (UVA), and Christian Leckert (James Madison) each worked scoreless frames, with Leckert notching his first save of the season in a 1-2-3 ninth.
At the plate, the bats were once again quiet for Alexandria, as timely hitting continues to be the question mark hanging over the teams head. Multiple times in the game the Aces had runners in scoring position with less than two outs and failed to push a run across. AJ Spencer (Middle Tennessee State) scored the first run of the game on a passed ball in the top of the seventh inning. He then came to score the winning run in the top of the ninth as Kevin Heiss (Rhode Island) worked a full count walk with the bases loaded to provide the difference on the scoreboard that the Aces needed.
Though the offense couldn’t muster much, Alex Stephens (Morehead State), Liam McArthur (Seton Hall), and Shane Connahan (Elon) all recorded multi-hit games. For McArthur, it was the 13th time this season in which he has recorded two or more hits and he continued to hit the ball hard against Silver Spring-Takoma as he finished 9-18 with a .500 average in the season series against the T-Bolts.
Though seeding isn’t on the line tomorrow, the Aces will look to ride some momentum into the playoffs as they face off against the Vienna Riverdogs for their last regular season home game. First pitch from Frank Mann Field is at 7pm. If you cant make it to the game, tune in to Aces Radio or follow along on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces).
Author: Jack Milewski