Coming off of a much needed 5-3 victory Wednesday night against the Silver Springs-Tacoma Thunderbolts, the Aces return home to Frank Mann Field Thursday night to take on the DC Grays. The Aces have split their season series with the DC Grays, who proved to be a tough challenge the last time the Aces faced them when the Aces lost a tough 10 to 5 ball game at the Washington Nationals Youth Academy Field. After last nights win, the Aces moved into second place in the Cal Ripken Collegiate South Division by a half game over the Herndon Braves putting them into playoff picture. The DC Grays who have a record of 8-12 will really look to come out on top tonight as they will be fighting hard to keep their season alive.
Throwing for the Aces will be new starter Jamie Sara who is an imposing 6 ft. 4 right hander out of William & Mary. Sara, who was initially playing summer ball in the Cape Cod League has made his way to the Aces in hopes of getting more playing time for Alexandria. Judging by Sara’s initial offering to Aces fans that should not be to hard of a request as Sara went an inning of work striking out 2 and hitting as high as 96 MPH on the radar gun. The William & Mary right hander will be much needed down the stretch as the Aces look to bolster their starting rotation as the hunt for playoff spots loom.
The DC Grays will throw big right hander Chris Kelly from the University of Sciences Philadelphia. Kelly who’s hometown is West Nyack, New York has a record of 0-2 so far on the season with a 4.37 ERA. With such a small sample size to account for the earned run average, if you take away his one start against the Herndon Braves his ERA would be below 3 at a nice 2.25 so this is definitely a pitcher the Aces will have to zone in for as they really are going to have to lock in Kelly who throws a great combination of pitches most notably his fastball and curveball.
The Aces will continue to look to leadership from catcher Reid Powers who has done a tremendous job behind the plate for The Aces who has really done a great job defensively so far and seems to really be coming around at the plate as he hit the go ahead 2 run homerun against the Thunderbolts last night. The Aces will also look to help from his South Alabama teammate Austin “Goose” Gossman who has taken the closing role for the team and posting an impressive 0.00 ERA in 9 innings of work and 13 strikeouts. It is clear that the Aces will need to continue to lean on these two studs down the stretch to continue to compete for the CRCL (Cal Ripken Collegiate League) playoffs.
Make sure you get to Frank Mann Field on time for the first pitch at 6:30 PM. If not able to make tonights game listen live on Aces Radio at www.mixlr.com/alexandriaaces or follow us on twitter at @Alexandriaaces.