The Alexandria Aces (27-11) will make their second and final trip to Towson, Maryland on Thursday for a game against the Baltimore Redbirds (23-14). Both the Aces and the Redbirds already know their postseason fate, as the Redbirds clinched the North division and will be the second seed, and the Aces lost to the Bethesda Big Train which guaranteed them second place in the South and the third seed overall. So, with that in mind and both teams essentially playing for nothing except experience, different lineups and frequent changes can be expected throughout the game. The Aces are 1-2 against the Redbirds, and the visiting team has won all three games.
Baltimore handed the Aces their first loss of the summer, back when the season was only four games old. The last time the Aces traveled to Baltimore, it was a battle for the ages, and one in which the Aces eventually emerged on top.
The starting pitcher for the Aces will be Shane Ennis (West Virginia University). Ennis, a late addition to the team, has appeared in four games for the Aces in July and has not yet made a start. He allowed four runs in his first appearance, back against the Bethesda Big Train, but he rebounded nicely in the next three, allowing only one run combined over his next 5 and a third innings pitched. He has struck out nine batters and walked six.
The Aces’ all-time record for wins is 27, a mark which they accomplished in 2013 and now in 2017, but in 2013, there were 11 teams in the league. Because of that extra team, the Aces played four extra games – so if the Aces win at least one of their final two, they will set the organizational record for wins in a season, as well as the mark for highest win percentage in a season. While there may not be first place to play for anymore, there is certainly the pride of knowing this team was the best in Aces’ history, and that is exactly what they can prove with a win in their final two games.
Written by: Paul Fritschner