By: Paul Fritschner: Last Thursday morning, the Alexandria Aces (18-3) received some exciting news. For the first time ever, they had been ranked in the national poll, debuting at number eight. A week and a day later, an updated poll was released, and the Aces moved up four spots to crack the top five and land at number four.
The rest of the rankings can be found here: http://www.collegiatesummerbaseball.com/top-35-college-baseball-teams/. The Bethesda Big Train were once again the only other Cal Ripken League team to be ranked, and they didn’t move from their number 18 ranking.
“This is a tremendous group of guys to manage,” said Head Coach David DeSilva. “They come to the park every day looking to improve and really enjoy playing the game. Every one of these players has contributed to a strong first half of the season and it’s fun to watch them pick each other up. If one guy has an off night, someone else is there ready to shine. That’s what makes this team special. The club has a never give up mentality and they expect to compete every time they take the field. That’s given us the ability to consistently win the tight games.”
“In my four years with the Aces, this is some of the best baseball I have ever seen them play. It is an exciting time to work with this organization, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.” said General Manager Kimmy McCarthy. “I’m extremely proud of not only the players but the coaching staff and the game day staff. Everyone is out there working so hard everyday and it is clearly paying off.”
Over the last week, the Aces have showed some serious grit and tenacity to emerge with close, one-run victories. They have played six games since the first rankings came out, and have gone 5-1 in those games. The only loss was to the Big Train last Thursday. On their current five game winning streak, Alexandria won the first four games by a single run, including one walk-off win, and the fifth game by two runs. A win is a win no matter how you look at it, and the Aces have continued to motor through the rest of the league.
“The club has a never give up mentality and they expect to compete every time they take the field. That’s given us the ability to consistently win the tight games,” said DeSilva.
If the Aces want to move up even more in the rankings, they can beat the Baltimore Redbirds on Friday. The Redbirds, the only team Alexandria hasn’t beaten, are in first place in the North division and have an outstanding pitching staff that has dominated the Aces in their first two matchups. With one game each against the Redbirds and the Big Train before the next set of rankings come out, it’s another chance for the Aces to prove their mettle and compete against high-quality opponents.
Alexandria just completed their best first half in team history. If you want to read more about that, click here. If you want to read the preview for tonight’s game against the Baltimore Redbirds, click here.