Aces start slow – get downed by Big Train (Recap)

A three-run bomb down the left field line by the Bethesda Big Train catcher Jacob Southern was the first – and only necessary – nail in the coffin at Shirley Povich Field as the Alexandria Aces were held scoreless in an 8-0 defeat.
Ryan Peltier (Ball State) carded the Aces lone hit in the fourth inning by beating out a wild throw in an infield single before taking the extra 90 feet into scoring position. Only three other Aces reached the base path in the form of a Riley Cheek (UNC Charlotte) walk to go along with Daniel Brooks (George Mason) and Erek Bolton (Ball State) who were both hit by pitch.
Dalton Ponce and Jack Weeks were dealing for the Big Train retiring 13 Aces on strikes and downing the final 12 hitters in order.
“Credit to [Dalton Ponce and Jack Weeks], they pitched a great game out there,” Skipper Chris Berset said postgame. “I thought our hitters tried to do a little too much tonight… It’s a learning experience.”
Tyler Briggs (UConn) was tagged with the loss after four innings on the rubber for five hits, an equal number of runs, a pair of walks, and four strikeouts. Hugh O’Hara (George Mason), Adam Schwartz (UConn), Connor Campbell (Florence Darlington-Tech), and Justin Offschanka (UNC Charlotte) came in for relief. The quartet equally split four innings allowing three runs despite five punchouts.
“Our relievers are filling up the strike zone and that’s what we need,” Berset said. “You saw toward the end, they battled and kept us in the game late.”
A Carson Wood (Denison) pinch-hit in the eighth inning led to some defense shifts – Cheek and Peltier holding down the middle infield – turning just the second routine double-play of the year.
Berset alluded postgame to a potential new defensive look for these Aces going forward as a result.
“I talked to coach [Bo Robinson] at Charlotte and he said Riley can play the infield. We checked it out and he made a great turn,” Berset said. “If we’re not executing, we’re not just going to be okay with it. Things are going to change if that’s the product we’re putting out.”
Alexandria is playing ball back in the state of lovers Friday night as they set to do battle with the FCA Herndon Braves – a squad the Aces defeated 7-5 in an exhibition matchup just a week ago. The Aces are still looking to find their identity for this 2019 summer campaign along with their springboard victory.
First pitch from South County High School is set for 7 p.m.