Aces fall to Big Train 10-3- By David Jarman
Despite cutting the defecit to three runs in the eighth inning, a multitude of walks and unfortunate errors led to an Aces 10-3 loss to the Bethesda Big Train.
Aces starting pitcher Nicholas Sadd pitched sound baseball through three innings only giving up three runs at that point, one of them unearned. For not pitching for many weeks since his season at Bucknell University, head coach Chris Berset was pleased with Sadd’s effort.
“He did well,” said Berset, “it was the first time for him getting in there. I think I threw him into the fire a little bit, but I figured he could manage. He didn’t have his ‘A-Plus’ stuff, but he kept us in the ball game”.
One of the reasons why the Big Train, who averaged 16 runs per game entering tonight’s contest, won was because the Aces Pitching Staff gave them one too many opportunities to score. 17 walks were issued by the Aces and that gave the Big Train scoring opportunities early in the game. This was one of the reasons why Bethesda had a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the third.
“I don’t care if you’re the best offensive team or the worst offensive team,” said Aces Head Coach Chris Berset, “if you give up that many walks, it will hurt you. That’s one of the things we can clean up”.
Yet in the bottom of the third with Chris Alleyne on first base with one out, first baseman Ethan Cady hit a single into left field which advanced Alleyne to second base. Alleyne, who has tremendous speed, decided to advance to third base; running aggressively in order to increase his chances to score in the inning. Unfortunately Alleyne was tagged out at third base, which killed the momentum for the Aces as they were trying to get their first run across the board. Yet the skipper for the Aces had no issues with Alleyne’s aggressiveness on the bases.
“I want our baserunners to be aggressive” said Berset. “That’s how we play the game. We’ll play aggressively and learn from that (situation).”
The Big Train showed why they are the best team in the Cal Ripken Summer League tonight. Starting pitcher Brock Guffey led the way with four scoreless innings and six strikeouts, as the Big Train Pitching staff only gave up one run in the first seven innings of play. They were able to get on base early and had timely hitting with runners in scoring position. Carson Taylor, the freshman from Virginia Tech who leads the league in RBI’s, knocked in the first two runs of the game for the Big Train to establish the 3-0 lead. That was followed by RBI’s from Jacob Westerman, AJ Lee, Tylar Weis, and Cal Ripken Summer League home run leader Justin Wyle to take a 6-1 lead in the eigth inning.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the eigth, Ethan Cady hit a line drive to right field to score Chris Alleyne. With the score 6-2, designated hitter Michael Stygles hits a sacrifice fly to score Kris Kremer. Then Cady commits a costly baserunning error for the second out, and Scott Morgan strikes out to end the inning.
With the Big Train leading 6-3 in the top of the 9th inning, Berset made the call for Cady, his first baseman, to pitch and moved Stygles to first base. The move resulted in the Big Train adding four more runs to seal the victory, yet the move didn’t seemed questionable by Berset.
“We were kind of thin and we used our pitchers earlier this week,” said Berset. “But (Cady) was a top recruited pitcher in high school and at the junior college level and he has a fastball ranging from 80-90 mph. He really wants to be a pitcher, so I gave him an opportunity.”
In the top of the ninth the Aces made two more costly mistakes; one on a misplayed fly ball and another on a ground ball that resulted in the Big Train scoring four runs in the ninth.
“If we don’t make those two errors, it’s still a 6-3 ballgame heading into the ninth” added Berset. “We’ll clean it up