After defeating the Silver Spring Thunderbolts in their previous game, the Aces looked to start another winning streak in tonight’s game against the DC Grays. Unfortunately, the Grays pitching staff kept the Aces hitters at bay as the Grays defeated the Aces 3-1 at Frank Mann Field.
Aces starting pitcher Jamie Sara (William and Mary) was making his first start for Alexandria after spending the first part of his summer in the Cape Cod League. The 6’3 Alexandria native showed his MLB potential on the mound in the first inning throwing ‘straight gas’ (said by his teammates) shutting down the Grays first three batters of the game, with his fastball topping 98 MPH on the radar.
The Grays would battle at the plate with a two out rally in the top of the third inning. Jawan McCalister (Longwood University) singled to left field, followed by Mitch McIntyre (BYU) and Jahleel Sewewr (Virginia State) walks, and the dagger came from the bat of Brian Dempsey (Boston College) with a two-run RBI single to centerfield; to make the score 2-0.
DC would add another run in the fourth after McIntyre stole home on a pass ball from Sara to make the score 3-0. The Aces would come back with a rally of their own in the bottom of the inning. With one out in the fourth Scott Morgan (George Mason) walked, last night’s hero Reid Powers (South Alabama) singled to left field, and Ryan Tassone (George Mason) in his third straight game starting lined a double into right field to score Morgan to make the score 3-1. After an Alec Roberts (UNC-Charlotte) walk to load the bases still with one out, Joe Pace (Michigan) grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Aces tried another rally in the bottom of the eighth inning. It started off with a Justin Kelly (Wayne State) walk. After a Kris Kremer (Penn State) fly-out to centerfield, Kelly stole second base, and Morgan advanced to first base on a dropped third strike to put runners on the corners with one out. When the speedy Chris Alleyne (Maryland) came in as a pinch runner for Morgan, he would steal second base with ease for his 10th stolen base this season, leading all Aces players. With two men in scoring position Powers hit a weak pop-up to the pitcher for out number two, followed by a Tassone strikeout to end the inning.
The Grays pitching staff combined for seven hits, one earned run, and seven strikeouts. While the Aces hit the ball hard tonight, they could not take advantage of runners in scoring position (or RISP), which is a key category that can determine wins and losses.
The Aces look to bounce back when they head to Bethesda to take on the best team in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League, the Big Train.