Big Train Rally Past Aces
Walk-off single in 9th caps comeback in 4-3 Big Train win
BETHESDA, MD – by Lukas Favale – For 3 innings, things were looking very good for the Alexandria Aces. The offense had jumped out to quickly take a 3-0 lead, and starter Greg Speiss got through 9 outs without allowing a hit to the Bethesda Big Train. Unfortunately for the Aces on this night, baseball is a 9 inning sport, and the Aces couldn’t hold off the Big Train as they rallied to win 4-3 on Wednesday night.
The Big Train won it on a walk-off 9th-inning single from Michael Bass off of Henry Brooke. Brooke started the inning by allowing a leadoff single to Brennan Middleton, the number 9 hitter in the Big Train lineup. Bass then tried, unsuccessfully, to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but twice he fouled off the bunt attempts. That proved to benefit the Big Train, because after the failed bunts, Middleton stole second and came around to score on the hard hit ground ball single by Bass, to complete the Big Train comeback with the 4-3 win.
That comeback started in the 5th inning off of Greg Speiss. Having given up just 2 soft hits through 4 scoreless innings, Speiss gave up a leadoff single to Avondre Bollar in the 5th. Speiss then retired the next hitters on ground outs, but Bollar was able to move up on both of them. A Bass walk and stolen base set up the Big Train with second and third with two out for Mike Miedzionowski. He delivered with a two-out two-run single to right field to cut the Aces lead to 3-2.
In the 7th the Big Train got the Aces bullpen. After Speiss was lifted after 6 solid innings, Shelby Dixon came on to face the bottom part of the Big Train order. Instead, he issued a leadoff walk to Tucker Tobin and a single to Brennan Middleton. A strikeout and another single loaded the bases and ended Shelby Dixon’s night as Steven Schuler came in to try and wiggle out of the bases loaded one out situation.
Schuler induced a ground ball from Brendan Hendriks to short, but the ball was hit too slowly and after getting the first out at second, the return throw to first was just late, so a run scored on the fielder’s choice. That made it a 3-3 game, which it would remain as Schuler struck out Hunter Renfroe to end the threat.
The Aces wasted little time jumping on the board against Big Train starter Jordan Gross. In the 1st, Gross walked leadoff man Adam Forrer and then Anthony Papio back-to-back. Two batters later, Chris Sweeney hit an RBI single for a 1-0 lead and Kevin Francke capped the 1st inning with an RBI double for a 2-0 lead.
Then in the 3rd, Chris Sweeney hit a long home run over the high wall in dead center field to put the Aces up 3-0. That would be the last run the Aces would score as they wouldn’t get another hit until the 7th. Brock Larson and Will Resnik combined to pitch 4 scoreless innings of relief for the Big Train.
With the loss, the Aces once again dip back below .500 at 16-17. They have alternated win-loss for the past 9 games and look to keep that up with a win Thursday night as they face the Rockville Express at 7PM.
Notes: W – Will Resnik (1-1); L – Henry Brooke (0-1); Box Score