Aces Zap Thunderbolts
7-3 win pulls Aces back to .500 on the season
ALEXANDRIA – by Lukas Favale – With the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts having given up the most runs in the league, it was only a matter of time before the Aces cracked the scoreboard when the two teams faced off Monday night. The Aces finally put together a big inning in the 5th, en route to a 7-3 win to get themselves back to .500 and remain in playoff position.
Trailing 2-1 entering the 5th, Anthony Papio started the Aces half of the inning off with a walk. A pair of fielders choices in a row left Adam Forrer standing on first with two outs. Kevin Francke then singled and Alex Buccilli was hit by a pitch to load the bases against Thunderbolts starter Matt Marley. After getting ahead of Chris Sweeney 1-2, Marley served up a pitch that Sweeney drove into right center field for a bases clearing, 3-run double to put the Aces ahead 4-2. Jacob Stockton followed that with an RBI single to give the Aces a 5-2 cushion.
That was all Ronnie Glenn would need in this one as he fought his way through 6 gritty innings. Without his best stuff and at times struggling with his command, Glenn battled his way through those 6 innings, giving up just 2 runs in the 3rd against a very good hitting T-Bolts team.In that 3rd inning, Glenn quickly retired the first two Thunderbolts hitters before getting into trouble. A two out single from Adam Spires followed by a hit by pitch and walk left the T-Bolts with the bases loaded. Tommy Cunningham came through with a 2-run double to give the T-Bolts a 2-0 lead. That was all they would score against Glenn, who stranded 9 Thunderbolts players on base in his 6 innings. The last three came in the 6th, when they loaded the bases, but Glenn got Adam Spires to pop up at home plate and Nick Octavi made the catch to end the inning, and Glenn’s night with just over 100 pitches.
The Aces cut into the lead in the bottom of the 3rd on an RBI double by Kevin Francke with the bases loaded. On the play, Nick Octavi was thrown out at home, to save a second run, so the Aces trailed 2-1 until the 4-run 5th put them ahead for good. The Aces would tact on to their lead in the 7th. Francke led off the inning with a pop up in the middle of the infield that landed in between everyone for a single. Alex Buccilli then followed that with a 2-run home run to straight away center field to give the Aces a 7-2 lead. For Buccilli it was his 7th home run of the season and his 3rd in 4 games over 3 days.
After Glenn was lifted after six innings, Shelby Dixon worked a scoreless 7th before Steven Schuler came on to pitch the 8th. Chris Thompson hit a long double to center field just off the glove off Anthony Papio who just missed making a spectacular catch. Two batters later Jerry Chavarria hit an RBI single to cut the Aces lead to 7-3.
Nick Marics came on in the 9th to close the door on the Thunderbolts and seal the 7-3 win. Kevin Francke finished the game with 3 hits and Anthony Papio was 1 for 1 with 3 walks.
With the win, the Aces are back at .500 at 19-19 and move to 5th in the standings, 1/2 ahead of the Youse’s Orioles (18-19). The Aces also remain 1 game better than the DC Grays (16-18) as these 3 teams fight for the last 2 playoff positions. The Aces begin a 2-game series with the Grays on Tuesday, in the final scheduled home game of the season. First pitch is set for 7PM.
Notes: WP – Ronnie Glenn (3-1); LP – Matt Marley (1-1); Box Score