July 1st Preview: Aces vs. Giants

The Aces travel to Gaithersburg to take on the Giants tonight, hoping to extend their winning streak to four games. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they beat the Express twice before defeating the Herndon Braves, 10-5, at Frank Mann Field in last night’s contest. The 13-9 Aces are in second place in the South division, 1.5 games ahead of the Braves and 1.5 behind the Big Train.

After winning both of their games against the Express with timely hitting and excellent pitching, the Aces offense broke out in a big way yesterday, recording 13 hits and 10 walks to score at least one run in all but three innings. Liam McArthur (Seton Hall), Drew Huff (Middle Tennessee State), Cade Sorrells (Lipscomb), and Niko Hulsizer (Morehead State) all had multi-hit games. The four, along with AJ Spencer (Middle Tennessee State), have been the Aces’ best hitters, all sporting batting averages above or around .300.

Making his first start after working out of the bullpen for the first half of the season, Drew Morrison (UNC – Charlotte) pitched a strong first three innings, allowing only an unearned run. He was a little shakier in his fourth and final inning, giving up an additional four runs. Nick Pedalino (UPenn) and Danny Ehrsam (Southern Illinois U. – Edwardsville) combined to blank the Braves the rest of the way.

Tonight will be the third meeting between the Aces and Giants. The Aces pounded out a 10-1 victory at Frank Mann Field on Opening Night, June 7, while the Giants had their own home victory on June 17, defeating the Aces 6-2. AJ Spencer (2-1, 1.92 ERA) takes the mound for the Aces. He not only holds the team’s second-best ERA, but also has the team’s third-highest batting average at .340. His last outing, on June 24 against the Thunderbolts, was a dominating effort in which he pitched five hitless innings and struck out seven. The Giants will send up Truman Thomas, who is 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA.

The first pitch at Criswell Automotive Field is at 7 pm. If you can’t make it, be sure to follow the game live on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces). Unfortunately, the game will not be broadcasted tonight. We apologize for the inconvenience that this will cause.

Author: Carolina Velloso

Extra Base Hits Lead Aces to Third Straight

The Alexandria Aces continued their winning ways at Frank Mann Field as they defeated the Herndon Braves 10-5. In the first game in over a week that the Aces reached double figures, the pitching staff settled in during the later innings for what was a comfortable victory. With the win, the Aces moved to 13-9, still one and a half games back of the Bethesda Big Train but now a full game and a half away of the third place Braves who moved to 11-10.

Drew Morrison (University of North Carolina – Charlotte) got the start on the mound for Alexandria, his first of the season. He went four innings of work and gave up all five runs that the Braves scored, but was backed by nine runs from Alexandria and left with the lead. Nick Pedalino (U Penn), who picked up the win for the Aces, went three scoreless innings of relief as he surrendered just two hits. Danny Ehrsam (Southern Illinois – Edwardsville) closed the game down for the Aces surrendering two hits over two innings. The Aces have now gone 13 consecutive relief innings without surrendering a run, one of their longest stretches this season.

After a stretch where Alexandria went 3-7, the team has turned it around and are now 7-3 in their last 10. Though the pitching has been stellar for the Aces, the bats have also awoken from an early season slumber and continue to power the Aces to victory with timely hits. The Aces clobbered eight extra base hits in the contest, all doubles, their highest output of the season. Cody Miller (Wofford College), Cade Sorrells (Lipscomb), and Drew Huff (Middle Tennessee State) all recorded two doubles in the game. Both Miller and Huff also contributed with two RBI nights as well. Mike Annone (Wilmington U), despite having an 0-3 night at the dish, continued to produce for Alexandria. Annone recorded two RBI’s giving him a team leading 12 on the season despite missing over a week of play at the beginning of the year.

The Aces hammered the Braves early and often in the game, scoring two runs in the first three innings. Herndon put up a four spot in the top of the fourth inning aided by two long balls off of Morrison, but that’s all they would score as the Aces answered right back with three of their own in the bottom half. The bullpen then slammed the door the rest of the way as the Braves only recorded four hits in their final five innings.

For Alexandria, the win marks their second at home in a row and they have now won 8 of 10 at Frank Mann. The home cooking will continue for Alexandria as five of their next six games will be at Frank Mann. The Aces travel on the road tomorrow to face the Gaithersburg Giants. If you can’t make the game, you can follow the action on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces) or tune into Aces Radio.

Author: Jack Milewski

June 30th Preview: Aces vs. Braves

After a walk-off victory last night, the Aces look to continue their momentum against the Herndon Braves. Winners of four of their last five games, the Aces are 12-9 and 1.5 games behind the Big Train in the South division. The Braves are 11-9 and trail the Aces by only half a game. The Aces and Braves are familiar foes this season. They played an exhibition game on June 5, a 4-1 Aces victory. On June 9, the Aces beat the Braves 4-2, and on June 19, the Braves won the first game of a doubleheader 8-6 before the second was suspended due to a power outage. The conclusion of that game will be played on July 10 before the teams’ regularly-scheduled game.

The Aces were walk-off winners yesterday for the second time this season, plating the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on a couple of singles and a crucial error from the Express first baseman. Alex Stephens (Morehead State) led off the inning with a perfectly-placed bunt up the third base line for a hit. Cade Sorrells (Lipscomb) followed with a single of his own, and when the first baseman attempted to nab Stephens trying to advance to third, he overthrew and Stephens came around to score and send the Aces home winners.

The Aces scored runs in the fifth and sixth innings to erase a two-run deficit and were kept in the game by excellent pitching. The first Aces run was also due to an Express error and the second scored on a fielder’s choice. Though the Aces were outhit, the Express committed four errors that the Aces were able to capitalize on, which proved to be enough to squeak out a victory.

The stars of the game were the pitching duo of Billy Lescher (UPenn) and Zach Cowart (Georgia Southern). Lescher pitched five innings of four-hit, two-run ball while striking out three, and Cowart threw four scoreless in relief. Sorrells and Niko Hulsizer (Morehead State) got two hits apiece. With yesterday’s performance, Sorrells maintains a team-best .364 batting average. Hulsizer has been steadily improving his average by becoming a more consistent presence in the Aces lineup. Over the last three games alone, he has spiked his average from .227 to .273.

Making his debut as a starter tonight is Drew Morrison (UNC – Charlotte – 0-0, 5.23 ERA). Morrison has pitched 10.1 relief innings and was outstanding over his first five games, sporting a minuscule 1.29 ERA. His last two outings have been rougher, as he’s given up a combined five earned runs to raise his ERA to 5.23. The Braves will send out Saul Aguilera (0-1, 0.00 ERA). In his only pitching performance so far this season, he was tagged with the loss despite giving up no earned runs over 4.1 innings against the Aces on June 9.

The first pitch at Frank Mann Field is at 7 pm. If you can’t make it, be sure to follow the game live on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces) or tune into Aces Radio.

Author: Carolina Velloso

Aces Walk off Against Express

For the second time this season, the Aces earned a walk-off victory. On June 26, they came from behind in the second game of a doubleheader against the Grays to plate the winning run on a hit-by-pitch; tonight, the Aces earned a victory on a single and a two-base error against the Express. With the win, the Aces move to 12-9 on the season and gain half a game on the Big Train, now sitting only 1.5 games behind in the South division.

The Aces fell behind early, giving up a first-inning run to the Express. Starter Billy Lescher (UPenn) started off shaky, giving up two singles and hitting a batter to load the bases before hitting another batter to force in the first Express run. Lescher settled in nicely after that, giving up only two more hits and an unearned run through five innings. That unearned run came in the top of the fifth on a single and two Aces errors.

The Aces got one right back in the bottom of the fifth. Ted Leathersich (UMass – Lowell) led off with a single and Kevin Heiss (U. of Rhode Island) followed with a walk. Liam McArthur (Seton Hall) moved Leathersich to third on a fielder’s choice and Leathersich came around to score on a throwing error by the shortstop on a Drew Huff (Middle Tennessee State) grounder. The Aces tied things up in the next inning when they loaded the bases with no outs – Niko Hulsizer (Morehead State) and Mike Annone (Wilmington) singled and Drew Bene (Stony Brook) walked. Hulsizer scored when Heiss hit into a fielder’s choice and wound up safe at first.

The score remained tied heading into the bottom of the ninth. Alex Stephens (Morehead State) led off the bottom of the ninth with a perfectly-executed bunt single to third. Cade Sorrells (Lipscomb) followed with a single and the Express first baseman attempted to throw out Stephens at third, but overthrew and Stephens was able to cross the plate with the winning run.

The Aces had other opportunities to score, but were unable to capitalize on them, leaving the bases loaded in the sixth and eighth innings. Zach Cowart (Georgia Southern) kept the Aces in the game with four outstanding innings of relief, allowing only four hits. The Express got two of those hits with two outs in the top of the ninth, and a walk loaded the bases, but Cowart induced a grounder to end the threat.

A few excellent defensive plays by the Aces in the late innings also helped keep the score knotted. In the top of the eighth, an Express runner attempted to score from second on a wild pitch, but catcher Bene and Cowart combined to throw him out at home. In the top of the ninth, Annone made a tough play on a softly-hit grounder and threw to first in time to get the first out, denying the Express the opportunity to put the winning run on base with none out.

The Aces are back at Frank Mann Field tomorrow for a game against the Herndon Braves. Drew Morrison (UNC – Charlotte – 0-0, 5.22 ERA) will get his first start of the season, having pitched 10.1 relief innings thus far. The Braves will counter with Saul Aguilera (0-1, 0.00 ERA). That loss came on a June 9 loss to the Aces in which he was stuck with the loss despite allowing no earned runs.

The first pitch is at 7 pm and the game will be live-Tweeted (@Alexandria_Aces) and broadcast on Aces Radio.

Author: Carolina Velloso

June 29th Preview: Aces vs. Express

After a 4-2 Aces victory against the Rockville Express last night, the two teams face off again tonight, this time at Frank Mann Field. The Aces now lead the Express 2-0 in their season series.

The Aces are now halfway through their season. With yesterday’s win, the Aces pulled themselves back to two games over .500 thanks to outstanding pitching performances from Tyler Morder (Seton Hill) and Evan Flanagan (U. of Rhode Island). Morder pitched five innings of three-hit, two-run ball while Flanagan threw four scoreless innings.

The offense only broke out in one inning, but it turned out to be plenty. The Aces erased a two-run deficit in the fourth by plating four runs. Alex Stephens (Morehead State), Cade Sorrells (Lipscomb), and Mike Annone (Wilmington) worked three consecutive walks to lead off the inning, and all came around to score. AJ Spencer (Middle Tennessee State) singled home Stephens, Sorrells crossed the plate on a Chris Balogh (Boston College) groundout, and Annone came around to score on a Jeff Crisan (Lipscomb) single. Spencer would score the final run of the inning on a Kevin Heiss (U. of Rhode Island) grounder.

Liam McArthur (Seton Hall), one of the Aces’ most consistent hitters, failed to record a hit for the first time in nine games, but he still sports an outstanding .349 clip. With two hits and a walk in four plate appearances last night, Sorrells has taken over as the team batting leader with a .362 average, which he accomplished by hitting safely in eight of his past nine games, five of which have been multi-hit performances.

Taking the mound for the Aces tonight is Alexandria native Billy Lescher (UPenn – 1-0, 3.00 ERA). In his last start, a June 22 showing agaisnt the Dodgers, he allowed four runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings. His only victory came on his first start, an outstanding 6-inning, one-run performance. Opposing him will be Cole Bradley, who is 1-1 with a 6.13 ERA.

Tonight will be the Aces’ sixth game in five days, part of a stretch in which they will play eleven games in ten days. The support of loyal Aces fans will provide much-needed encouragement for the players as they power through this week, so be sure to come out to Frank Mann Field tonight!

The first pitch is at 7 pm and the game will be live-Tweeted (@Alexandria_Aces) and broadcasted on Aces Radio.

Author: Carolina Velloso

Aces Pickup Another Win in Game 20

After a lightning delay slowed things down, the Alexandria Aces pitched their way to a third victory in four games, defeating the Rockville Express 4-2 at Montgomery College. The Aces (11-9) made quick work of the Express (5-14) blanking them over the last eight innings after Rockville opened the game with two runs in the bottom half of the first inning.

The Aces used a four run third inning as all the runs they needed to topple the Express for the second time this summer. Despite being outhit eight to five, the Aces used timely hitting to seal the deal. Jeffery Crisan (Lipscomb) had a two run single that turned out to be the game winning hit for the Aces, as it drove in the third and fourth runs of the game. Before Crisan’s single in the fourth, AJ Spencer (Middle Tennessee State) and Chris Balogh (Boston College) also added RBI’s to tie things up.

Kevin Heiss (Rhode Island) who got the nod at shortstop, was spectacular in the field and made a couple of big plays down the stretch in the last three innings to preserve the small two run cushion. The Aces were without an error once again in the field, continuing to display the stout defense that has kept them in many of their games this season.

The Aces excelled on the mound as well, as two pitchers combined to go the distance for Alexandria. Tyler Morder (Seton Hill) got the start on the mound, his first of the summer season. After a shaky first, Morder settled in nicely and mowed down the Express lineup. He finished the game going five innings while giving up just three hits and two runs. He did walk three batters but also struck out three as well and seemed to get better as the game progressed.

After a lengthy lightning delay, Evan Flanagan (Rhode Island) took the fill for the Aces. He scattered five hits over four innings without surrendering a run. He struck out three batters and walked only one, earning a rare four inning save for Alexandria who needed to conserve some pitching after a double header and in the midst of a stretch of 11 games in 10 days. Morder ended up getting the win on the mound for Alexandria.

The Aces second win over the Express this season was unlike their 13-2 romp in the two teams first contest, but it continued to show Alexandria making strides in the right direction after a fairly lengthy slump. With the win, the Aces momentarily have sole possession of second place in the south division. The Aces will take on these same Express tomorrow at home, first pitch set for 7pm from Frank Mann Field and you can follow the game live on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces) or tune into Aces Radio.

Author: Jack Milewski

June 28th Preview: Aces vs. Express

The Alexandria Aces will look to bounce back once again after a tough walk off loss to the Vienna Riverdogs on Monday night. On what would have been an off-day, the Aces (10-9) travel to Rockville to take on the Express in a makeup game due to a rain out on June 23. The Express (5-13) currently sit in last place of both the North Division and the summer league and will look to improve on their first game against the Aces which saw Alexandria win 13-2.

The Aces squandered another lead and ultimately lost in 11 innings to Vienna, despite a strong starting outing from Micah Kaczor (Western Kentucky). Kaczor went five innings, giving up eight hits and three runs while striking out five. The Aces bullpen was strong as well, but the bats went quiet after a three run fifth and the Aces could not push across a run in the final six innings. The offensive attack was led by AJ Spencer (Middle Tennessee State) and Mike Annone (Wilmington U). Spencer blasted a solo homerun and Annone knocked in his team leading ninth and tenth RBI’s.

In the first matchup between Rockville and Alexandria, the Aces used good eyes at the plate and strong base running to attack the Express early. Aided by seven walks in the first two innings, the Aces were up 5-0 before Rockville had a chance to blink. The Aces also stole nine bases in the game, including a steal of home from Christian Adorno (Wilmington U). Spencer got the win for Alexandria, working five strong innings and blanking the Express over that time frame.

The Aces come in to the game battling a tough stretch of some up and down play. After losing five in a row, Alexandria has gone .500 over their last four games. The Aces won’t have another off day, due to making up the rainout game, until the fourth of July. With the double header this past Sunday, the Aces are in the midst of a stretch of 11 games in 10 days. A deep lineup is sure to be tested and the pitching staff will have to have all arms available over the next couple of days.

Tyler Morder (Seton Hill U. – 0-0. 2.57 ERA) takes the mound tonight against the Express. Morder has pitched 7 innings of two-run, six-hit ball. Opposing him will be Conrado Skepple, who has not pitched yet for the Express.

The Express are led by Tyler Galazin who has knocked a team high 17 hits, while being the only Express hitter to bat over .300. The Achilles heel for Rockville has been their pitching staff which has a league worst ERA at 6.00 and have also walked over 100 batters in just 153 innings pitched.

The first pitch at Montgomery College is at 7 pm. Be sure to follow the game live on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces) or tune into Aces Radio.

Author: Jack Milewski

Aces fall to Riverdogs in Extra Innings

The Alexandria Aces (10-9) dropped their second game in three nights via a walk off, this time in extra innings to the Vienna Riverdogs (8-12). The Aces, who led for most of the game, lost their lead in the seventh inning and then ultimately lost the game in the 11th. The Aces bats were quieted by the relief pitching of Vienna, who did not allow an Ace to cross home plate after the fifth inning.

The game started off quickly for both teams as they each pushed across two runs in their respective halves of the second inning. The Aces struck first with a solo home run by AJ Spencer (Middle Tennessee State) the teams third long ball of the year. After tacking on another run in the top of the frame, Vienna was able to answer immediately with a two spot of their own. In the top of the fifth, the Aces put another crooked number up on the board, with three runs in the innings. Mike Annone (Wilmington U) collected his team leading ninth and 10th RBI’s on a single and Niko Hulsizer (Morehead State) followed with an RBI single of his own. However, the scrappy Riverdogs managed runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh to send the game to extras.

Micah Kaczor (Western Kentucky) went five strong for Alexandria allowing just three runs and striking out five. Four Aces relievers gave up just three runs, but were outpitched by a strong Vienna relief combination. The loss for the Aces did nothing to harm them in the standings as the team continues to hold the second position in the South Division.

Liam McArthur continues to shine. The centerfielder is in the midst of a hot streak that has seen his batting average inflate from the mid 200’s, all the way up to a team leading .373. He went 2-4 on the night and it was his fifth multi-hit game in the last six contests. Over the past week and two days, McArthur has been the hottest hitter not just in the Aces lineup, but in the entire Collegiate summer League.

Another positive for Alexandria was their production on the base paths. The team stole a total of four bags, the highest number in a game since they swiped nine in the second contest of the season against Rockville. The Aces are one of the leagues best when it comes to stealing bases, but the team hasn’t show a ton of speed the past couple of games. The aggressiveness returned against Vienna and is sure to pay off later down the line for Alexandria. The Aces will face the Rockville Express next, taking on the team in a makeup game from a contest scheduled this past week. First pitch is set for 7pm and you can follow the game live on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces) or tune into Aces Radio.

Author: Jack Milewski

Chipotle Fundraiser on June 28!

Please support your Alexandria Aces on Tuesday, June 28 by visiting Chipotle in Old Town, located at 601 King St.

50% of the proceeds from your purchase will go to the Aces. Your generous contributions will go toward purchasing and maintaining equipment, uniforms, facilities and much more!

How It Works

Come into Chipotle  between 5:00pm and 9:00pm.

Bring in this flyer, show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Alexandria Aces.

Thank you in advance for your collaboration! We hope you enjoy your delicious meal at Chipotle!

June 27th Preview: Aces vs. Riverdogs

After sweeping the D.C. Grays in a doubleheader on Sunday, the Aces look to keep their momentum going against the Vienna Riverdogs. At 10-8, the Aces are tied for second place in the South division, while the Riverdogs sit in fifth at 7-12. The Aces and Riverdogs split their first two encounters, with the Aces winning 11-5 on June 11 and the Riverdogs winning 12-3 on June 20.

The Aces were victorious in the first seven-inning game of the doubleheader by a score of 4-1. A Cade Sorrells (Lipscomb) RBI single in the first put the Aces ahead early, and after the Grays tied it up, the Aces scored three runs in the fifth to go back on top for good. The runs scored on an Alex Stephens (Morehead State) single that plated Liam McArthur (Seton Hall) and an error by the Grays shortstop on a hard-hit Mike Annone (Wilmington) grounder that scored Drew Huff (Middle Tennessee State) and Stephens. Chesdin Harrington (U. of Virginia) pitched five solid frames, allowing only an unearned run on three hits while striking out four. Zach Cowart (Georgia Southern) pitched a scoreless inning of relief and Patrick Finklestein (College of Charleston) earned the save with a clean top of the seventh.

After losing Saturday’s game on a Big Train walkoff, the Aces had one of their own Sunday night; defeating the Grays 6-5 in the second game by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Christian Adorno (Wilmington) opened the scoring with a solo shot in the second. The inning also featured a McArthur RBI groundout and a Huff RBI double. The Aces entered the bottom of the seventh trailing 5-3, but RBI singles from Sorrells and Annone and a walkoff hit-by-pitch from Drew Bene (Stony Brook) made the Aces winners for the second time in four hours. Evan Acosta (Western Kentucky U.) threw five innings and gave up five runs on nine hits. Connor Gordon (Davidson College) and Nick Pedalino (UPenn) each threw a scoreless inning in relief.

The afternoon was not without its troubles, as shortstop Adorno was injured on a play in the top of the fifth of the second game. He was helped off the field by athletic trainers, unable to put much weight on his right leg. Adorno was one of the Aces’ most consistent hitters and defenders this season, sporting a .278 average with one homer, eight RBIs and nine runs scored in 15 games.

Micah Kaczor (Western Kentucky U. – 1-1. 7.36 ERA) takes the mound tonight against the Riverdogs, his second time facing them this season. On June 11, he pitched five innings of one-run, four-hit ball. His June 19 start didn’t go as smoothly — eight runs on eleven hits in four innings against the Braves. Kaczor has also earned two saves this season, one against the Big Train on June 15 and one against the Thunderbolts on June 24. Opposing him will be Matthew Kuhlenberg, who is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA.

The first pitch at James Madison High School is at 7 pm. If you can’t make it to Vienna, you can follow the game live on Twitter (@Alexandria_Aces). Unfortunately, there will not be a broadcast tonight on Aces Radio.

Author: Carolina Velloso

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