Aces Defeat Grays, the Magic Number is Four for the Number One Seed

By Peter Rainey

June 13, 2023

For a second consecutive meeting, the Alexandria Aces (24-2) found themselves having to erase a sizable early deficit versus the D.C. Grays. The Grays, a gutsy South Division rival led by first-year head coach Maurice Bankston, showcased out of the gate that they would not back down to anyone. The Grays loaded the bases with just one out in the top of the first inning, and they would score three runs before the side was retired. Up against a 3-0 deficit with their first chance on the bats, the Aces brought across two runs of their own, courtesy of RBIs from Cory Taylor of Eastern Michigan University and Jonah Oster of Campbell University. 

“I was just trying to simplify things and hit the ball somewhere hard,” Oster said. Oster would go on to tally a team-high three RBIs in last night’s win.

The Grays continued throwing haymakers offensively in the second inning, loading the bases again and this time with no outs; however, only one run came across to score before the side was retired—a blown opportunity for the Grays that would go on to define the outcome of the game. In the bottom half of the inning, the Aces’ offense came through with a five-run rally to put Alexandria ahead for good. After 11 runs were scored in the first two innings, relief pitching stepped in and slowed down the bats on both sides; only three more runs would be scored the rest of the game—two more by the Aces—to book the final score at 9-5. Aces’ reliever Brent Herrmann of Allegheny Community College tallied a relief win last night; he stepped into the game in the third inning and tossed for three full and no earned runs.

“[Herrmann] gave us the zeroes that we desperately needed up there (on the scoreboard) to kinda shut down their offense a little bit,” Aces head coach Chris Berset said. “For him to step in there and shut the door is fantastic.”

The Aces are now just four wins shy of clinching the number one seed in the Cal Ripken League Playoffs (see the article below for more explanation as to what that would mean)—they have nine tries to collect those four. First, they return to action tonight on the road against another in-division foe, the Southern Maryland Senators—at 12-18 on the season, the Senators currently hold second place in the division. The first pitch from Regency Furniture Stadium is set for 7:00 P.M.