In game one Wyatt Rush (Lansing CC) made his first start at Frank Mann Field this season, and was looking to bounce back after his last start against the DC Grays.
In the first game Loudoun scored in the first inning off Rush with an RBI single from Matthew Thomas (William and Mary). The Aces countered with the bat of shortstop Luke Balanger (Radford) when he drove in Isaiah Thomas (Vanderbilt) on an RBI double, and later had a run scored to give the Aces a 2-1 lead. In the second inning, Alec Roberts (UNC-Charlotte) added to the scoreboard with and RBI single of his own to extend the Aces lead to 3-1.
That would be the same score heading into the fifth inning, when things were uneasy for Rush. He was hit around and he walked the bases loaded a few times as the Riverdogs were able to knock Rush around for five runs in the inning to take a 6-3 lead after RBI’s from Brady Lloyd (East Carolina), David Angstadt (William and Mary), Greg Popatak (George Mason), and Caleb Beaty (Pitt CC).
The Aces would crawl back and rally to tie the game at six. In the sixth inning, the 18-year old Thomas lined a deep fly ball to left-center field for a momentum shifting RBI-double. With the score a 6-5 game in favor of the Riverdogs, Balanger’s bat came through again as he tied the game on an RBI single in the eighth inning. Heading into the top of the ninth, the Aces knew they needed to shutout the Riverdogs in order to have a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. Instead, the loud bats of the Riverdogs woke up as they tacked on three runs off the bats of Popatak, Beatty, and shortstop Alejandro Aponte (George Mason).
After a 9-6 defeat in game one, John Cerretani (Sacred Heart) pitched a fantastic game, throwing strikes on the corners of the zone. Balanger tacked on another RBI along with Reid Powers (South Alabama) and Connor Bacon (Boston College) as the Aces would defeat the Riverdogs in the second game of the double-header.
The Aces head into tomorrow’s double-header against Rockville with their bats finally doing some damage at the plate. Hopefully they can stay hot and string together a few more wins heading into the Fourth of July.