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Tuesday, June 30th Preview: Aces v. Big Train

Things are going from bad to worse for the Aces right now.

Losers of four straight, the Aces (7-12) will play the Big Train (18-3) tonight for the second time in three days, with the Redbirds on the horizon. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. but if fans cannot make it, they can tune in to Aces Radio or follow the Aces on Twitter.

The same problems continue to plague this team. Offensively, the Aces only plated two runs last night in the first eight innings. A small ninth-inning rally scored three more to cut the lead to just three runs, but the magic ran out too soon. Defensively, the Aces have committed 12 errors over the last five games and haven’t had an error-free game since June 19th, an eight game stretch.

Last night against the Express, the Aces unraveled in the sixth inning, giving up six runs on eight hits and one error. From there, the home team could not battle back and dropped the fourth game in a row.

Alexandria will try to break the losing streak tonight against the best team in the Cal Ripken League. The Big Train are 9-1 in its last 10 games and have not lost in all 10 games on the road. The memory of the walk-off win for Bethesda is still fresh in the minds of Aces players and fans alike and the Aces already have another matchup with the Big Train.

Wade McNabb will take the mound for the Aces tonight against the Big Train. McNabb (Stetson) gets his second start of the season in his seventh appearance. He started out the year as a late-game reliever, throwing only one inning in each of his first five outings. Since then, McNabb has appeared in the rotation, pitching three no-decision innings in his first start of the year at the Dodgers. McNabb has eight innings pitched with nine Ks and four walks. He has given up six hits but no earned runs.

The Big Train probable pitcher is Tim Yandel. Yandel, a senior RHP out of Tulane, will get his fifth start of the season. Yandel has a 2-0 record with a 1.45 ERA in four appearances. He has struck out 25 batters and only walked three in his 24.2 innings pitched. Yandel has gone at least five innings in each of his four starts. He started the June 7th matchup when the Big Train picked up a 2-0 win over the Aces in Bethesda.

The Aces need to find ways to win ball games and need to find those ways soon. The South division stays open for second place and the Aces have looked good at times this season. The key will be putting everything together.

Come on out to Frank Mann Field and enjoy a beautiful night of baseball, cheering the Aces to victory!

Express Defeat Aces 8-5, Skid Now At Four

The Aces came into tonight’s game against Rockville losers of three straight, and in need of a win desperately. The Aces sent Mike Torres (Wilmington) to the mound for his first start of the season as he usually comes on in relief for coach DeSilva.

Torres started off fantastic as he went six up six down in the first two innings. He ran into a little trouble in the third as two Aces errors ended up costing him a run, although it didn’t affect the ERA as it went unearned. An RBI single in the fourth padded the Rockville lead to 2-0 as Torres surrendered his first earned run of the outing. This concluded his night as his line was four innings pitched allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out one.

The Aces in desperate need of offense started off slow yet again going scoreless over the first three innings. That changed in the fourth as a rally got started with a leadoff single by Malcolm Nachmanoff (Stony Brook) and a walk by Tad Sobieszczanski (Hillsdale). An Anthony Pacheco (Nebraska Kearney) RBI single scored Nachmanoff, as Pacheco now has RBI singles in consecutive games. A Ryan McMillen (Shippensburg) sac fly tied the game at two as he scored Tad from third.

Things unraveled in the sixth as the Express went on a tear scoring six runs on eight hits sending 11 men to the plate in the inning. This made the lead 8-2 heading to bottom six and the Aces seemed to lose their steam from there. Griffin Harms (Wayne St) and Jackson Owens (Florida St) both had scoreless relief appearances for the Aces as they kept the game at 8-2 with the Aces bats remaining silent.

In the bottom of the ninth the Aces scored three runs on a two run double from Danny Pardo (Campbell) and an RBI single from Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg) to cut the lead to 8-5, but that was all as the Aces dropped this one 8-5, and fall to 7-12 on the season.

Monday, June 29th Preview: Aces v. Express

Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Aces had a one run lead over the best team in the league last night. Alexandria had battled the Big Train all night long and looked like it might pick up a pivotal win on the road.

Joe Smidt, the Aces closer from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, headed out to the mound to put the game away. But after giving up one run to tie the game, Smidt gave up a walk-off single to Zach Kirtley to end the game and the Aces chances of breaking the losing streak.

The Aces return home to Frank Mann Field tonight on a 3-game skid entering one of the toughest stretches of the season. The Aces will face the Rockville Express tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. Fans who cannot attend can follow the Aces Twitter or listen to Aces Radio.

The next five games for Alexandria before the 4th of July break will challenge this Aces team. With Rockville home tonight, the Aces host the Big Train, Redbirds, and Braves with a trip to Silver Spring in between.

The Aces (7-11) will face the Express (8-12) for the third time this season. The first matchup was in Rockville but the game was suspended after just one inning. The second matchup was at home with the Aces picking up a 9-2 win.

Mike Torres is the probable pitcher for Alexandria tonight. Torres (Wilmington) has yet to start a game this season in six appearances. Torres has thrown seven innings of relief and has given up seven hits but only one earned run. Torres, typically a 6th or 7th inning relief pitcher, has also struck out seven batters and walked two.

Riley Arnone is expected to take the mound for the Express. Arnone, the sophomore from Winthrop University, has only had two appearances, both starts. He has a 1-0 record with a 1.63 ERA, coupled with 10 Ks and six walks over 11 innings pitched. Arnone’s win came against the D.C. Grays on June 21st and his other appearance was a no decision in a 4-3 loss to the Big Train.

The Aces need to win a number of these upcoming games in order to keep themselves in the battle for the #2 spot in the Cal Ripken South. Not only do the Aces need wins to break the losing streak, but also to build confidence going into the back half of the season. So come on out to Frank Mann to cheer on your Alexandria Aces!

Aces Blow Lead In 9th, Fall To Big Train 6-5

Losers of two straight the Aces came into tonight’s ballgame in need of a win against the best team in all of the Cal Ripken League. The Bethesda Big Train came into the ballgame with a record of 16-3 overall, and 9-1 in their last 10. Two teams going in opposite directions faced-off in what came to be a great game.

The Aces sent Kevin Superko (Georgetown) to the mound to faceoff against Drew Strotman of the Big Train. Superko has been fantastic for the Aces all season with an ERA at 2.38, and 1-2 record. He faced the Big Train in his first start of the season, and went six innings allowing one run on five hits while striking out three. He got off to a rocky start; after a hit by pitch to the leadoff man he retired the next two batters to get two outs. The Big Train then struck for two runs with two RBI singles in a row to take a 2-0 lead.

An Anthony Pacheco (Nebraska Kearney) RBI single scored Tad Sobieszczanski (Hillsdale) in the second to cut the lead to 2-1. Superko then settled down to go four straight scoreless innings and finish his day throwing five innings allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two.

The Aces received a few gifts in the fourth as Strotman walked the first two runners, Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg) and Malcolm Nachmanoff (Stony Brook), who then came around to score on a groundout and pass ball giving the Aces two runs on zero hits and a 3-2 lead.

A Beau Hall (Georgetown) RBI single increased the Aces lead to 4-2 when Danny Pardo (Campbell) came around to score. Jacob Craver (UNC Charlotte) had a rough seventh inning surrendering two runs, and allowed the Big Train to tie the game at 4-4. The Aces came right back in the eighth as Brett Netzer (UNC Charlotte) scored on the Nachmanoff RBI groundout to second. A scoreless bottom of the eighth inning by Kyle Menchaca (Wilmington) sent us to the ninth with the Aces leading 5-4.

After an unproductive ninth inning hitting the Aces turned to closer Joe Smidt (Nebraska Kearney) to finish off the Big Train, and get a much needed win. Smidt retired the first man, but that would be all as the next four hitters all reached on singles to give the Big Train a 6-5 victory.

Sunday, June 28th: Aces @ Big Train

Weather has played a major role in how this season for the Aces has unfolded. The first three games of the season were postponed due to rain. Since then, two additional games have been suspended mid-game and one more has been postponed.

The Saturday double header at Frank Mann Field was supposed to make up for some of those un-played games. But weather again was a deciding factor, with the double header against the Giants postponed as Alexandria saw rain for most of the day yesterday.

The Aces (7-10) will travel to Bethesda tonight to take on the Big Train (16-3) at Shirley Povich Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and fans who cannot attend can follow the game on Twitter or tune in to Aces Radio.

Tonight will be only the second meeting of the season between Bethesda and Alexandria. The Aces will take on a Big Train team that is the best team in the Cal Ripken League, first in the South division, and is 9-1 in its last 10 games. The Aces kept the first meeting close, with action held scoreless until the seventh inning. The Aces gave up one run in the 7th and one in the 8th and would go on to lose 2-0. Kevin Superko took the loss at Bethesda.

Superko will be back out on the mound again tonight to face the Big Train. Superko (Georgetown) saw his first start of the season against Bethesda and will get his fourth start at the same place. The sophomore RHP is 1-2 with a 2.03 ERA through 17.2 innings pitched. The Aces have been shutout in both of Superko’s losses, but put up 11 runs in his sole win over the Baltimore Dodgers on June 13th.

Drew Strotman is expected to take the mound for the Big Train tonight. Strotman, a sophomore from St. Mary’s College, has a 2-1 record with a 0.64 ERA. He has pitched 14 innings, fanning 14 batters and only walking two. He has also only given up one earned run on eight hits. Strotman’s only loss came in a 3-1 loss to the Baltimore Redbirds on June 11th.

The Cal Ripken South division is still anyone’s game, and most likely will be all season. The Aces need to break the two-game losing streak they are on now in order to start making their way back up to second place, behind the Big Train, and back above .500.

Double Header Aces v. Giants POSTPONED

Tonight’s double header matchup between the Alexandria Aces and the Gaithersburg Giants has been postponed due to weather.

The Aces will be back in action at Frank Mann Field on Monday to take on the Express.

Errors Cost Aces Again, Fall To Grays 4-3

The Aces came in to tonight’s game after a much needed night off, and a letdown in Baltimore. Errors cost the Aces a chance at a double header sweep, and they hoped to have a clean game in their return home to Frank Mann.

The Aces sent Jake Wersinger (Wilmington) to the mound in his fourth start of the season, and he was good against the DC Grays. After getting around a run in the first inning, Jake was able to keep the Grays off the scoreboard over his final four innings of work. His final total for the night was five innings with one run on three hits while striking out four.

On offense it seems DeSilva has finally found his right mix in the lineup, as the players on the field have begun to remain the same over the past few games. Brett Netzer (UNC Charlotte) has been the constant all season, Malcolm Nachmanoff (Stony Brook) has been a pleasant surprise of late, and newcomer Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg) has been right at home hitting .429 with the Aces since arriving.

The Aces got on the board in second to tie the game at one on a Netzer sac fly to score Nachmanoff. The Aces stayed silent until the fifth when RBI singles from Marcinko and Nachmanoff gave the Aces a 3-1 lead. The errors returned in the sixth as Trevor Eulenbach (Texas Tech) came on for the Aces and surrendered two unearned runs on three Aces errors. This then tied the game at three apiece.

All went silent until the ninth when the DC Grays were able to take a 4-3 lead on another unearned run. It appeared the Aces were going to come back as they put runners on first and second with no one out. A Danny Pardo (Campbell) sacrifice moved the runners over, and Brett Netzer was only 180 feet from winning the game. Mike Marcinko loaded the bases with a walk, and it was up to Tad Sobieszczanski (Hillsdale) to push them across. He was unable to make contact as he went down swinging, which meant it was up to Jake Kennedy (Shippensburg) with two outs and the bases loaded, but he flew out to center to end the game.

Player Of The Game

Tonight’s player of the game is Mike Marcinko. The newest ace had quite a game with four outs in the field while going 3-4 with a walk and an RBI.

The Aces stay home tomorrow for a double header with the Gaithersburg Giants at 5 PM. These games are weather impending as there is a storm on the horizon.

Friday, June 26 Preview: Aces v. Grays

The Aces head back home tonight to Frank Mann Field to face the D.C. Grays after splitting a double header against the Dodgers on Wednesday and a day off yesterday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. and fans who cannot attend the game can follow the action on Twitter or tune in to Aces Radio.

Alexandria travelled to Baltimore in hopes of extending the win streak past two games in the first double header of the season. The Aces were able to pull out a 4-3 win in the first of the two games behind strong relief pitching from Kyle Menchaca (Wilmington). The second game, the Aces were error plagued and gave up five runs with only one of them earned. The Aces fell 5-3 in the second game, keeping them below .500 and moving them back down into 4th place in the division.

D.C. comes to Alexandria in last place in the South division with the Aces just one spot ahead. Only three games separate the last place Grays and the second place Riverdogs. As has been the case all season long, the second through fifth places in the division are up for grabs. The Big Train have first place locked down, but the rest of the season will see a great deal of shifting between the other four teams.

The Aces (7-9) and Grays (7-12) have split the season series in two previous games. Alexandria began the season at Barcroft Park with a 12-1 win over D.C., the biggest winning margin of the season. The Aces then dropped the second matchup 4-0 when they travelled to Anacostia on June 15th.

Jake Wersinger is the Aces probable pitcher against the Grays tonight. Wersinger (Wilmington) has a 1-2 record and a 3.21 ERA through 14 innings pitched across three starts. He picked up his first win in his most recent start, a 9-2 home win over the Rockville Express. Wersinger has given up 16 hits in three appearances, but has only conceded five earned runs. He has tallied nine strikeouts compared to just two walks.

Zack Irwin is expected to take the mound for the D.C. Grays tonight. The junior LHP from Madison, Mississippi comes in with an 0-2 record and a 5.40 ERA over 15 innings pitched. Irwin has made six appearances this season, with the longest being six innings. Irwin has given up 18 hits and nine ER, but has struck out 17 batters and walked six.

The Aces will be home for six of the next seven games, including a recently added game against the Big Train on Tuesday, June 30th. Come out and cheer the Aces to a victory!

Aces Split Double Header With Dodgers, Remain Two Games Under .500

With the possibility of .500 on the horizon after tonight’s games, the Aces looked to prove themselves worthy of that playoff bid in the future. The Aces traveled to Baltimore to take on the Dodgers franchise in a Wednesday night double-header. Both games were seven innings instead of the traditional nine due to timing complications.

The Aces sent Nick DiEva (Stony Brook) to the mound on the road to try and get the victory in game one. In the top half of the first Brett Netzer (UNC Charlotte) singled after a Danny Pardo (Campbell) leadoff walk to put Aces on the corners. Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg) then hit a sac fly to score Pardo to give the Aces a 1-0 heading to the bottom half of the first inning.

DiEva started out well and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the first to keep the lead at 1-0. The Aces went silent for the next six innings as they were unable to create any chances against Dodgers starting pitcher Brian Bauk. DiEva continued to look sharp until the fourth inning when a leadoff double, a stolen base, and a single lead to the game being tied at 1-1. An error on a potential inning ending double play ball nearly cost the Aces, but DiEva was able to work around it and keep the game tied.

In the fifth inning Aces reliever Kyle Menchaca (Wilmington) took over for DiEva and he was sharp. Menchaca threw three shutout innings with two strikeouts to keep the game tied at one and head to extras. In the top of the eighth the Aces took a 2-1 lead on a Griffin Harms (Wayne St) RBI single. The Aces then scored two more on an error by the Dodgers to take a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom half of the inning.

The Aces turned to closer Joe Smidt (Nebraska Kearney) to try and record a save in game one. It wasn’t pretty as Smidt allowed two runs on three hits, but it got the job done. The Aces therefore moved themselves within one game of .500 for the first time since they were 1-1.

In game two the Aces sent Wade McNabb (Stetson) to the mound for his first start of the season. Game two started like game one; the Aces scored in the first. Netzer leadoff the game with a single and Ryan McMillen (Shippensburg) followed that up with a walk. After the next two batters were unable to advance the runners, Mike Marcinko (Shippensburg) hit a two out double to score both runners and give the Aces the lead.

McNabb was solid in his spot start as he went on to pitch three innings of baseball while allowing two unearned runs. His line for the night was three innings, two unearned runs on five hits with three strikeouts. The Dodgers scored two unearned runs in the third inning on two Aces errors that then tied the game at two runs apiece.

Billy Lescher (Penn) took over in the fourth inning for McNabb. After two quick outs it appeared a 1-2-3 inning was in order, but an unlucky bounce off the first base bag allowed the runner to advance to second. He then scored on a base hit to right field to give the Dodgers the lead. Fortunately for the Aces, the runner was thrown out trying to advance to second to end the inning trailing 3-2.

The Aces remained quiet for the fifth and sixth innings on offense, and it appeared they were going to head the seventh trailing 3-2, but an error with two outs in the inning allowed two runners to score giving the Dodgers a 5-2 lead heading to the final inning.

An Aces rally scored one run, but that was all as they dropped the second game of the double header 5-3. Errors were the key in this game as four of the five runs the Dodgers scored were unearned.

Players Of The Game

For game one the clear choice was Kyle Menchaca. He came on in relief to pitch three scoreless innings and earn the win while striking out three. His clutch outing allowed the Aces to earn the extra inning victory in game one of the double header.

For game two Brett Netzer earned the honors with his 2-3 performance at the plate while scoring and driving in a run. Netzer had two of the four Aces hits in the game and was the reason two of the three runs scored. He seems to do it all everyday both at the plate and on the field and is certainly making a case for mid-season Aces MVP and a Cal Ripken League All-Star nod.

The Aces return home Friday for a three games in two days stretch before their showdown with the first place Bethesda Big Train on Sunday night in Bethesda.

Wednesday, June 24: Double Header- Aces @ Dodgers

The storm clouds rolled in over Frank Mann Field about ten minutes before the scheduled first pitch last night as the Aces were preparing to take on the Gaithersburg Giants. Those clouds then dumped plenty of water on the field, accompanied with enough persistent thunder and lightning to postpone last nights’ matchup.

The Aces were looking to extend its win streak to two games last night but were unable to do so. With the win streak in mind, Alexandria (6-8) will travel to Baltimore tonight to take on the Dodgers (5-10) in the first double header of the season. The first game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 and will be seven innings. The second of the double header, also seven innings, is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. but the start time will depend on the end time of the first game. Aces fans can follow the action on Twitter.

The Aces lead the season series against the Dodgers one game to nothing. Alexandria hosted Baltimore at Frank Mann on June 13 in an 11-1 victory, the second largest margin for the Aces this season.

Nick DiEva is expected to start for the Aces in the first game. DiEva (Stony Brook) has had two appearances, one start and one relief assignment, both of which have been against the Braves. He will come into this second start of the season with a 1-0 record and a 0.00 ERA. DiEva has pitched eight innings over his two appearances with six hits given up, eight Ks and only one walk.

Harold Myles is scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers against DiEva. Myles, a junior at Southern U A, will pick up his first start of the season against the Aces. Myles has a 4.35 ERA through ten and one-thirds innings pitched. He has given up five earned runs on 13 hits, but has struck out 14 batters and walked five.

Wade McNabb will take the mound for the second game in the double header. The senior RHP out of Stetson U will get his sixth appearance of the season and his first start. McNabb has thrown one inning in each of his five outings, giving up only one hit and no runs. McNabb, with six Ks and four walks, will try to insert himself into the Aces rotation as Coach DeSilva is still looking for one or two more starters.

McNabb will face off against Brian Bauk. Bauk (Appalachian State) has 9.1 IP across two games, with a 0-1 record and a 7.71 ERA. His loss came against the Redbirds on June 12th, and his win came in D.C. against the Grays on June 18th. Bauk has given up eight runs, all earned, on 12 hits, but has struck out eight batters and only walked one.

After the double header, the Aces will take the day off on Thursday and return home to Frank Mann on Friday to face the D.C. Grays.

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