The Grays rallied late, but the Aces held on for the win.
Alexandria, VA – by: Paul Fritschner – In what was one of the longest games of the year for the Alexandria Aces (25-7), it took a late effort to keep the D.C Grays (11-20) at bay. Eventually, the Aces emerged with the rollercoaster of a win, and take some momentum into tomorrow’s game at Bethesda.
The scoring got started early as the first four batters got a hit off Blake Walker (Northern Illinois). Two of them came around to score, but a double play and a strikeout limited the damage. One more run scored in the third, but Drew Holweger (Furman) entered with one out and the bases loaded and got out of the jam. That set the table for a monstrous bottom of the third inning.
Alexandria sent nine batters to the plate in the frame, and were helped by a couple of walks and an error from the Grays. In total, the Aces scored five runs, as Ethan Cady (Lipscomb), Eli Boggess (Morehead State), Mack Nathanson (Wofford), and Kam Smith (Northern Illinois) all had RBI’s. The inning ended with the Aces up 5-3.
In the fourth, Max Schuemann (Eastern Michigan) singled in Todd Elwood (North Carolina Charlotte). Then, the Grays hit Ray Zuberer (Western Kentucky) with a pitch to bring in a run and Nathanson walked right behind him to force in another run. At that point, it was 8-3 Aces. An inning-ending double play with the bases loaded got the Grays out of the inning, but the damage was done. Alexandria did not score the rest of the way, but as it turned out, more insurance wasn’t needed.
The Grays scored one in the sixth to at least get within grand slam range, but things got dicey in the eighth. Chase Evans (West Florida) was charged with three tough-luck, unearned runs, and the Grays were within one. Dom Masullo (Morehead State) came on with two outs in the eighth and did allow one inherited runner to score, but he was able to strand two runners on base. In the ninth, he was his usual dominant self, striking out all three batters to earn the save and lower his ERA to 0.51.
Tomorrow’s game against the Big Train will be the biggest game of the year to date. The Aces will either leave Bethesda tied for first or with a two game lead. If you can’t make it to Bethesda, you can listen to the game on Aces Radio or you can follow along on Twitter at @Alexandria_Aces.