Aces And Redbirds Split Doubleheader
Aces drop the first game bu rally for big win in game 2
TOWSON, MD – by Lukas Favale – With lots of rain pounding the Northern Virginia area the past few days leaving Frank Mann Field in unplayable condition, the Alexandria Aces were forced to move their double header with the Baltimore Redbirds to Towson, where the Redbirds play their home games. Because the field is turf, the teams were able to play, and split, a doubleheader on Saturday, the only two games that were able to be completed in the league, even in a lite drizzle that persisted in the first game.
In the first of the two seven-inning games, the Aces jumped out to an early lead before the Redbirds put up a big inning in the 5th. Trailing 2-1 entering the inning, the Redbirds put together a big rally against Aces starter Brian O’Neill. Pat Blair and Kyle Neverman both drew one-out walks and Sean Keselica knocked in Blair with an RBI single to tie the game at 2. After O’Neill got cleanup hitter John Gatlin to pop up for the second out, Blake Crohan walked to load the bases. That was followed by a 2-run single for Jack Carey and a 2-run triple for Parks Jordan to put the Redbirds ahead 6-2.
In the top of the 7th, the Redbirds would tact on 3 more against Henry Brooke. After a couple of singles and a walk loaded the bases, Pat Fitzgerald lined a bases clearing triple to right center field to make it 9-3 Redbirds, which would be the final. The Redbirds scored 8 of their 9 runs with two outs in game 1. After the Redbirds scored one in the top of the 3rd on an RBI single from Kyle Neverman, the Aces responded to take to a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 3rd. Alex Buccilli, mired in a slump over the past few weeks coming into Saturday, smashed a 2-run home run down the right field line to spring the Aces ahead. The only other run the Aces would score in game 1 came in the 5th, on a sacrifice fly by Craig Sweeney to cut the Redbirds lead to 6-3 at the time.
In the second game of the double header, the Aces wasted no time to grab the lead. After starter Colin Milon shut down the Redbirds in the top of the 1st, the Aces got a single from Keith Picconi to lead off the bottom of the 1st and a walk by Kevin Francke. With two men aboard, Alex Buccilli slammed a 3-run home run to center field to put the Aces ahead 3-0. It was his second homer of the day, with one in each game, to give him 6 on the season.
In the 2nd, the Aces built on that lead. A lead off walk for Nick Octavi, followed by a sacrifice bunt by AJ Koscelansky, set up Keith Picconi for an RBI single. Two batters later and Alex Buccilli lined an RBI single into right for a 5-0 lead on Buccilli’s 4th RBI of the game.
In the 4th inning the Aces made it 7-0 when Jacob Stockton lined a 2-run single off the wall in left field. Stockton missed a grand slam by a few feet. The 7-0 lead was more than enough for Colin Milon and the Aces bullpen. Milon did give up a run on an RBI single from Pat Fitzgerald in the 4th to make it 7-1 Aces. Then in the 5th, the Redbirds rallied and loaded the bases with one-out, but Corey Haines made a pitching change and Steven Schuler came in to induce a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning. Milon would leave the game after striking out 10 in just 4 1/3 innings.
In the 6th, the Aces struck for 4 more runs, on an RBI single from Jacob Stockton, a 2-run double for Nick Octavi, and an RBI groundout by AJ Koscelansky to make the final score 11-1.
With the split, the Aces moved to 17-19 on the season. They return to action in another double header Sunday afternoon/evening. Game one is against the Vienna River Dogs (in Vienna with the Aces acting as home team) at 4PM. Then game 2 will be at the Herndon Braves (game pushed back from 1PM).
Notes: Game 1: WP – Chris Ellis (3-0); LP – Brian O’Neill (0-4); S – Trevor Kelley (4); Box Score
Game 2: WP – Colin Milon (2-4); LP – Curtis McCombs (1-1); Box Score