The Aces Enforce Mercy Rule in First Playoff Win of 2023

By Peter Rainey

July 24, 2023

The Alexandria Aces opened their postseason run last night about as well as any fan, coach, or player could ask for—a 18-4 mercy rule-enforced victory after seven innings in game one of a best-of-three League Semifinal Series against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. Six Aces hitters recorded multiple RBIs in the win last night; leading all hitters with four RBIs was Aces’ Dylan Grego of Ball State University.

“We were just trying to set the tone early, just hit the baseball, get runners on, and get them over,” Grego said. “I was lucky enough to be in situations where I could do [that] job.”

While it was already a comfortable 9-4 lead for the Aces prior to the bottom of the sixth inning, it was a nine-run offensive explosion that doubled the Aces run total and put the mercy rule in play for the seventh. The 18-run total for the Aces as the game went final was good for a season-high.

“Coach Berset talked about the importance of game one, so we really took that to heart, and we came out here and played Aces baseball,” Aces’ Tim Nicholson of George Washington University said. “I think we could’ve played a lot better than we did [last night], which is kind of scary.” Nicholson recorded three RBIs on two base hits in the win.

The Aces, now leading the series 1-0, have the opportunity tonight to close the series on the road in Silver Spring, Maryland, at Montgomery Blair High School. A win tonight in game two of the series would clinch a third consecutive trip to the League Championship Series for the Aces.

“The boys are ready to play . . . we’re just trying to win a ball game anyway we can,” Aces’ head coach Chris Berset said. “[Thunderbolts’ head coach] Brock [Hunter] is gonna get those guys rolling over there, so we gotta answer his energy and hopefully go right back at them.” The first pitch for game two is slated for 7:00 p.m.