Aces down the Gray’s


Amid a gloomy D.C. evening – manifesting itself in a 25-minute rain delay in the seventh inning – the Alexandria Aces left the nation’s capital with a 6-3 victory over the Grays.
The Aces, now a 4-7 record, have won four of their last five and sit 4.5 games out of the lead.
Vanderbilt commits TJ McKenzie and Max Romero drew back-to-back walks kicking off the ballgame. McKenzie scored on two stolen bases and a passed ball to reach home. Romero was brought in from a Ryan Peltier (Ball State) RBI.
Peltier picked up his second RBI of the night two innings later after driving home Jake Heiman (Lansing CC) via single to centerfield. Steven Karis (Eastern Michigan) touched home as well on a walk and a few wild pitches.
The Grays were held silent until the fifth inning thanks to another outstanding Jared Lyons (GMU) start. He allowed just a single run on two hits in five innings of work. The crafty right-hander struck out nine walking just three.
“We were just trying to keep the pitch count low and get our pitchers out of there, especially in this rain,” catcher Max Romero said.
Lyons’ 25 strikeouts on the year now leads the Ripken League – just one punchout ahead of Bethesda’s Dalton Ponce on two less innings thrown.
Alexandria tacked on more offense allowing McKenzie to score again in the fourth on Heilman’s RBI single. Scotty Morgan (GMU) manufactured a run in the sixth after reaching on a single of his own.
Additionally, the Aces bullpen held strong in the rain. Adam Schwartz (UConn), Andre Orselli (Ball State), and Hugh O’Hara (GMU), proved D.C. scoreless on just two hits after middle reliver Nick Sadd (Bucknell) let two come home in the sixth.
Lyons was awarded his first win of the season, and O’Hara his first save after closing out the ballgame’s final at-bat on strikes.
“I told him, word for word, ‘just lean back and let it fly. I want to see 95.’ And he blew it by him, so that was fun,” Romero said.
The Aces are back in action Friday for a double-header at Silver Spring – Takoma. Both ballgames are scheduled for seven innings with first pitch set at 4:30 p.m.