In the shortest game of the season, finishing in two hours and 20 minutes, the Aces lose back to back games at home after falling to the Gaithersburg Giants 3-1.
Starting pitcher for the Giants, Jaret Bennett (Charleston Southern University) kept the Aces in check tonight at the plate. He pitched seven innings with seven striekouts, one walk, and only gave up one run. That came off the bat of Aces Third Baseman Ryan Tassone (George Mason) who made his first appearance since injuring his hand in the Aces’ opening game against the Silver Spring Thunderbolts; Tassone smacked a solo home run to left field going 308+ feet in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Aces had more chances to cut the Giants lead later on in the inning; after Tassone’s homer made the score 3-1, catcher Nate Mallot (Ohio) hit a single through the hole between first and second base and Connor Bacon (Boston College) hit a bloop single in left field. With two men on base with two outs, Aces Shortstop Chris Alleyne popped out to first base.
Aces starter Cole Lalonde (Century Community College) pitched for the Aces. The 6’3 right hander pitched five innings giving up three runs with four strikeouts. After shutting out the Giants in the first and second innings, he allowed an RBI double to Saul Garza (LSU). That was followed by an RBI single by Sam Bertelson (Texas) and Ryan Brown (UMBC) stole home after Mallot’s attempt to throw out Bertelson at second base was called safe.
“He had really good command of his fastball,” said Aces Head Coach Chris Berset. “Obviously you would rather go five innings of shutout baseball, but five and (allowing) three (runs) was good enough to keep us in the ballgame.
“The past two nights, we were looking for the big hit,”added Berset. “It wasn’t quite there. That’s the name of the game. You need to come up and hit with runners in scoring position”.
Especially when there aren’t many opportunities against a starting pitcher like Bennett. His fastball ranged from the high 80’s-lo 90’s, and he had a nasty breaking ball that would start heading to the middle of the plate and would shift to the bottom left corner of the zone; the Aces could not muster enough bat speed to hit Bennett’s stuff.
“Hopefully we can find a groove,” says the optimistic skipper. “If we start gathering together a string of wins, we’ll be rolling in a heartbeat. We’ll stay competitive and need to get on a roll”.