Aces Fall to Redbirds in Game 2- By David Jarman
With a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning, it seemed to be anyone’s game. After two walks and a costly throwing error by the Aces, Adam Hackenburg of the Red Birds stepped up to the plate with two outs. After hitting a line drive to centerfield in the first inning, he showed his power again by crushing a bases clearing 3-Run RBI double to make the score 4-1. That would be the final after the Aces were shut out in the 9th. It seemed that errors became the deciding factors in the first two games.
“Errors are going to haunt you,” said Head Coach Chris Berset. “ I told the guys that if you give (the other team) free-bees by way of a walk, overthrow, pass ball or error that they will come back to haunt you. You don’t want to make errors, but those things happen. We have to clean them up and get ready for tomorrow”.
Despite the tough loss, there were a few positives for the Aces in tonight’s contest. Setting the tone for tonight’s game was starting pitcher Carter Bosch. The 18-year old Georgetown commit came into tonight’s game with high velocity on his fastball, gaining confidence by gaining strike outs. He pitched five innings of four hit scoreless baseball over five innings of work with four strikeouts. His head coach was pleased with his performance.
“I thought Carter threw the ball very well” said Berset. “He threw the ball hard, kept the (Red Birds) hitters off balance, and elevated his pitches with two strikes. He showed a lot of poise out there for a young kid. I was proud of his tempo as well. He showed that he belonged out there”.
The Aces were able to strike first on the scoreboard, similar to game one, Kris Kremer hit a double and eventually scored on a Sac Fly by Returning Ace, Ethan Cady. Unfortunately, that would be the only run they would score on three hits. That was due to the Red Birds pitching staff keeping the Aces at bay; allowing only one run over nine innings. They struk out the Aces eleven times tonight, five of those strikeouts coming in the first three innings from Red Birds’ starter Ryan Okuda; a highly touted prospect from Virginia Tech.
“They have a really good pitching staff,” added Berset, “but I thought our boys put together good At Bats and hit the ball hard. Hit hit ball after hard hit ball, we just didn’t get our breaks. We put some good swings on the ball and they made plays. Credit to them”.
Despite the 0-2 start, Berset is confident in his young group of Aces to bounce back. “Yeah you don’t want to start 0-2, but these boys are still learning” says Berset. “I was looking for how the team was going to respond after game one, and they answered the challenge. If we play like we did tonight, we’ll win our fair share of ball games. We believe it and once we get one, we can relax and play loose.”
It will sure be a fun atmosphere tomorrow as the Aces play in their home opener at Frank Mann Field in front of their home crowd.
“I know the boys are excited to play in front of the city of Alexandria tomorrow night” added Berset.
First pitch is at 6:30 pm. Coverage will be on Aces Radio and on Twitter @Alexandria_Aces.