Aces Slip Past River Dogs 4-3
Walk-off single gives Aces franchise best 18 wins
VIENNA, VA – by Lukas Favale – With a two location double header scheduled for Sunday, the Alexandria Aces wanted to avoid extra innings at all costs. They did when Chris Sweeney lined a walk-off RBI single to left field in the bottom of the 9th inning, send the Aces to a 4-3 victory over the Vienna River Dogs. The game was a make up game from Friday night’s rain out in Alexandria, so the Aces were the home team on Sunday.
In the 9th, Adam Forrer, with hits in his previous three at-bats, walked to lead off the inning. Keith Picconi then laid down a sacrifice bunt, his second of the game, to advance Forrer into scoring position. Bruce Hall, manager for the River Dogs, then decided to intentionally walk Alex Buccilli and pitch to Chris Sweeney. Sweeney made Hall pay by hitting the game winning single to bring in Forrer for the walk-off win.
This was a back and forth game throughout. The River Dogs took the lead in the top of the 2nd against Aces starter Jamie Treml. He issued a pair of one-out walks, and after a double steal, Bobby Rice hit an RBI single to put the River Dogs up 1-0. The Aces got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd. AJ Koscelansky led off the inning with a double into right center field. Adam Forrer followed that up with an RBI double into the right field corner. Two batters later, Alex Buccilli smacked an RBI single into left field to put the Aces ahead 2-1.
The River Dogs came right back in the top of the 4th against Treml. Catcher Luke Lowry led off with a single. He then stole second before two wild pitches allowed him to score to tie the game at 2. Then in the 5th, Bret Williams hammered a solo home run to lead off the inning to put the River Dogs back out in front of the Aces 3-2.
The Aces quickly responded. Adam Forrer and Keith Picconi started the 5th inning with singles before Chris Sweeney would hit an RBI single into right field to knot the game at 3. It would remain tied until Sweeney’s walk-off single in the 9th.
Jamie Treml gave up 3 runs in 5 2/3 innings, before Brian Leon and Shelby Dixon pitched scoreless baseball over the last 3 1/3 innings. Leon entered in the top of the 6th, with two men on and two outs, and struck out Johnny Bladel. He also pitched a scoreless 7th and Shelby Dixon pitched the 8th and 9th for the Aces.
With the win the Aces move to 18-19 on the season and remain in 6th place, 1 game ahead of the DC Grays, who swept a double header with the Thunderbolts. The Grays are actually 1 game better in the loss column, at 15-18. The 18 wins for the Aces sets a new franchise mark for wins in a season. The Aces return home on Monday for the first time since July 14th, when they host the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts at 7PM.
The Aces were scheduled to play the night cap of the double header in Herndon against the Braves at 8PM, but the game was postponed just after the Aces-River Dogs game was completed because the field in Herndon was in unplayable condition.
Notes: W – Shelby Dixon (3-0); L – Justin Albright (3-2); Box Score