On a beautiful day for baseball, the Alexandria Aces split the doubleheader against the Gaithersburg Giants. But there was a golden opportunity for the Aces to steal two wins on the road.
In the first game, the Aces bats continued the offensive firepower they showed Friday night against the Silver Spring Thunderbolts. They jumped out to a 7-1 lead after five and a half innings. Alec Roberts (UNC-Charlotte) started things off in the fourth with a two-run RBI double to score Ethan Cady (East Tennessee State) and Kris Kremer (Penn State), followed by Chris Alleyne (Maryland) scoring Reid Powers (South Alabama) on a sac-fly. Alec Roberts was then credited with an RBI with a bases loaded walk in the fifth inning, and the runs continued in the sixth. Tristen Jorah (Wanye State) hit an RBI single; Justin Kelly (Wayne State) follows with an RBI single to bring home his college teammate, and Powers hits a sac-fly to score Kelly.
Only allowing one run up to this point, the Aces starting pitcher Nicholas Sadd (Bucknell) was pitching well up to this point. While he may have had only two strikeouts, he was able to make his pitches, put the ball in play and have his defense back him up with ground-ball and fly outs. He ran into some trouble in the bottom of the sixth starting with a bases loaded walk to Andreas Machado of the Giants. That was followed by a Giovani DiGiacamo two-run RBI single to cut the Aces lead to three. Sadd was then pulled in relief for Richard Hovde, and the Giants were able to gain more momentum. Inspired by their head coach being thrown out of the game, Nick Yovetich hit a grand slam to give the Giants their first lead of the game since leading 1-0 in the third inning, and would be the difference make in game one.
“We now know that no lead is safe in this League,” said Head Coach Chris Berset. “All the teams in this league are good. It will be a good learning experience for the team.”
As Berset was looking for his team to re-group, he decided to use a different deck of cards to win the second match of the afternoon.
While it was a rocky start for Aces pitcher Robert Corallo (Hillsboro CC) his defense was able to back him up when he needed it the most; in his three innings of work he had the bases loaded with at least one out in each inning. Not only did his defense back up Corallo but the Aces continued to put up more runs on the scoreboard, continuing their offensive power that has been displayed in the past two games.
Getting his first start in centerfield, leadoff hitter and Vanderbilt commit Isaiah Thomas was the spark plug the Aces needed. He finished the game five for five with five hits, two RBI’s, two runs scored, and hit a solo home run that went 380+ feet. His debut increased his batting average to .833; not bad for a kid who just graduated high school.
Thomas’ performance was just as good as Kris Kramer’s performance in the second game. While making spectacular plays in the field with his glove and lateral movement, his bat came through when the Aces needed it the most. With the Aces clinging to a 1-0 lead in the third inning, the Penn State second baseman crushed a pitch to deep left-centerfield for a two run homer to extend the Aces lead to 3-0. The man wearing number four finished with four RBI’s for the Aces, as he and Thomas contributed to six of the nine runs scored against the Giants in the second game. The Giants were not able to have the same offensive performance as they did in the first game, as the Aces win 9-3.