The Aces won yet another game via a walkoff, this time it was a hit-by-pitch that drove in the winning run
Alexandria, VA – by: Paul Fritschner – The Aces (27-10) found themselves trailing in yet another game, but like the Aces from the first half of the season, they found a way to crawl back into the contest. Eventually, after rallying at a couple of different points throughout the game, Mack Nathanson (Wofford) took a pitch off the arm with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to give the Aces the win.
Alexandria trailed to begin the game as they have tended to do recently, with the Giants scoring runs in the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, the first five Aces to go to the plate all had hits. Nick Slaughter (Houston) had an RBI double to drive in Todd Elwood (UNC Charlotte), and Eli Boggess (Morehead State) earned himself another RBI as he drove in Elwood. With no outs, the bases were loaded and the Aces appeared to be in prime position to take the lead, but the Giants worked out of the jam and the Aces had to settle for a tie game at 2-2.
It was a rough top of the fifth for Alexandria as the scoring trend continued. Gaithersburg plated four runs as they exploded out to a 6-2 lead. Three hits in the inning, combined with a walk and a hit-by-pitch contributed to the four-run deficit the Aces now faced.
The Aces got to work quickly on that four run deficit. In the 6th they got two runs when Logan Goodnight (Penn St) doubled which scored Ethan Cady (Lipscomb) and Eli Boggess (Morehead St) who each reached on a single. Just like that the deficit was down to only two.
In the seventh, Eli Boggess (Morehead St) doubled home Max Schuemann (Eastern Michigan) and Todd Elwood (UNC Charlotte) to tie the game. Boggess has been on an absolute tear recently, and this was just the latest in his string of clutch hits. The bases were loaded with one out and looked like they would surely take the lead, but the Giants were able to get a shallow fly-out and a strikeout to get out of the jam. The game would stay tied until the bottom of the 9th.
The bottom of the 9th started with a double off the bat of Max Schuemann (Eastern Michigan). Todd Elwood (UNC Charlotte) was then intentionally walked, and Nick Slaughter (Houston) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position with one out. Gaithersburg chose to walk Eli Boggess (Morehead St) which left a no-less-dangerous hitter Mack Nathanson (Wofford) at the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Nathanson worked the count to 2-0, and then the pitch hit him right on the hip, giving the Aces the 7-6 win over the Giants.
Here’s what the final out looked like:
A walkoff hit-by-pitch by @nathanson09 ends the game as the Aces (27-10) win!
Aces 7, Giants 6 pic.twitter.com/M4S3NIaiyg
— Alexandria Aces (@Alexandria_Aces) July 18, 2017
Andrew Coker (Clemson) got the start for the Aces and threw seven innings in which he allowed six runs (five earned) with one walk and one strikeout. Following Coker, Daniel Buratto (Santa Barbara CC) and Dom Masullo (Morehead St) combined for two scoreless innings out of the pen with Masullo getting the win.
The Aces now turn their attention to the biggest game of the year on Wednesday against the Bethesda Big Train. It will be a must-win game for Alexandria if they have any hopes of finishing in first place and winning the division. If you cannot make it to Frank Mann Field for the game, you can listen to the game on Aces Radio or you can follow along on Twitter at @Alexandria_Aces.