Category: Game Recaps

Aces Get a W For Game 31 and 32

Back to their winning ways, the Aces were able to sweep the Rockville Express in a doubleheader on Thursday afternoon.

Game one was a hitting slugfest for the Aces that included two inside the park home runs. Kris Kremer (Penn State) gave the Aces a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth. In the fifth inning, the Aces exploded for five more runs, including a two-run inside the park home run from first baseman Justin Kelly (Wayne State). A quality start by starting pitcher Jacob Grzebinski (Georgetown) aka Grizz-Nasty, going all seven innings allowing one earned run and five strikeouts. The Aces would win by a score of 9-2, with 10 hits.

In game two, the Aces sent 6’4 right hander Jamie Sara (William and Mary) to the mound, looking for a quality start. He was able to work his fastball, hitting the corners of the strike-zone, and getting his hitters off balance with his breaking ball.

The Aces scored for Sara early in the game, when in the second inning, Reid Powers (South Alabama) hit a sac-fly to score Chris Alleyne (Maryland). In the fourth inning, Connor Bacon (Boston College) crushed a ball deep to centerfield (over 400 feet) for an RBI triple to score Powers to make the score 2-0. In a normal ball-park, Bacon’s hit would have been a home run. But the dimensions at Montgomery College were abnormal, with centerfield going as far as 470 feet. Bacon would score on an RBI from Eric Lansinger (UNC-Charlotte) after he hit a hard ground ball to second base, and wasn’t fielded cleanly.

The Express added two runs on a throwing error by Reid Powers to first base. It appeared to be three runs scored until the umpire noticed one of the baserunners for the Express did not touch third base. Catching a lucky break there, the Aces would add an insurance run on an RBI triple from Tristan Jorah (Wayne State) to give the Aces a 4-2 lead. A sac fly from Luke Balanger made the score 5-2 heading into the seventh inning, and Matt Moore (Purdue) was able to close the door on his first save of the season. The Aces would score five runs on eight hits in a game two victory.

The Aces are now tied for third place in the Cal Rikpen South Division standings with less than two weeks to play. They are now in the hunt for the playoffs.

Aces Fall To The T-Bolts

After splitting a doubleheader against the Big Train, the Aces fell to the Silver Spring Thunderbolts by a score of 11-7.

The Thunderbolts were able to hit around Aces starting pitcher Will Liverpool (West Virginia). In the first two innings, the Thunderbolts put up seven runs on the board. Once again, down a large deficit in the early parts of the game, the Aces had to climb out of a huge hole.

In the bottom of the second, down 7-0, Chris Alleyne (Maryland) smacked a two-run double to centerfield to score Luke Balanger (Radford) and Justin Kelly (Wayne State). Then Kris Kremer lined a shot to right field, scoring Reid Powers (South Alabama). On a close play at the plate, Alleyne was tagged out at home plate to end the Aces rally in the third. While the Aces cut the score to 7-3, it felt that Alleyne’s tag-out at home plate could have been a difference.

The Aces would score two more runs in the bottom of the third to cut the score to 7-5. Justin Kelly hit an RBI fielder’s choice to score his college teammate Tristen Jorah, followed by a Nate Mallot (Ohio) sac fly. With the Aces cutting the T-Bolts lead to two, it felt as if Alexandria gained enough momentum to tie the game in the later innings.

The T-Bolts were able to stop the rally from the Aces and put three more runs on the board to extend their lead to 10-5. The Thunderbolts scored 11 runs on 16 hits, with eight of their nine players earning at least one hit tonight. Nicholas Atkinson (Shepard College) had the most productivity today with four hits in five at bats, scoring three runs.

The Thunderbolts pitching staff was able to keep the Aces’ hitters at bay as well. While the Aces scored seven runs on 13 hits, the Thunderbolts pitching staff also forced 12 strikeouts.

The Aces, with their playoff chances unclear at this point, will try to regroup against the DC Grays tomorrow at Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy at 7pm.

Aces Take the W Against the Grays

After losing eight of their last ten games, the Aces won with their bats in a 12-1 victory over the DC Grays. 

The hit parade started in the top of the second inning. Scotty Morgan (George Mason) got things started with a 2-run RBI. That was followed by an RBI from Luke Balanger (Radford). With the score 3-0 Aces and the bases loaded, Chris Alleyne (Maryland) smacked a three-run single to extend the Aces lead to 6-0.    

With the same score heading into the fourth inning, Kris Kremer (Penn State) lined a three-run shot to left-centerfield to break the game wide open for the Aces. Alleyne would lead the team with four RBI’s as the Aces bats lit up the scoreboard with an astounding 12-1 victory over the Grays.

Aces starting pitcher Carter Bosch (Georgetown), despite pitching on an innings limit, went four scoreless innings with five strikeouts. He takes his Cal Ripken League leading ERA to 0.35, converting on his fastball, changeup, curveball, and recently his slider. After getting out of the first inning with the bases loaded, the Grays batters couldn’t muster a hit against the stuff Bosch was throwing at them.

“This summer I have been working on my slider,” said Bosch. “I started working on it my senior year and have been mixing it inside and outside of the strike zone. I’m also working on my changeup. It’s all about the work I’ve put in the summer, night in and night out, and I’m humbled about the amount of success I’ve been having so far”.  

Aces Head Coach Chris Berset was pleased with his team at the plate today as well; a much better performance after losing three of four games in back-to-back double headers. He was most impressed with his team’s approach.

“I was very happy with our performance today,” said Berset. “You could see that we had a lot of hits, not just going pull-side, but they were able to line balls into the gap. We had a lot of hard hit balls tonight and it resulted in a great performance by the guys”.

Aces Drop Both to Rockville

In two pivotal games that could have increased their chances for postseason play and their overall record, they dropped both games to the Rockville Express.

The detrimental occurrences started for the Aces in the beginning of the first game. After facing three batters, Aces starter Noah Abdallah (Georgetown) left the game with a serious injury in his pitching arm. Nicholas Sadd (Bucknell) then pulled a Clark Kent-Superman transition, in a first inning that lasted 45 minutes. Sadd transitioned from shorts and a t-shirt to a full uniform and warmed up in a non-traditional way. He would pitch five innings of three run baseball. Not bad for a kid who had a 20 minute warmup, when it normally takes 90 minutes to prepare for a scheduled start (thanks to Wyatt Rush-Lansing CC for the information). 

In the first, second, and third innings, the Aces had runners in scoring position with one out or less and failed to score in those innings. The Express countered with RBI’s from Evan Blum (Holy Cross College), Matt Coston (NC Central), and Jarel McDade (Tusculum College) in the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead. Sadd would allow those three runs, yet the Aces would pull a late comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kris Kremer (Penn State) hit an RBI double to cut the score to 3-1. Chris Alleyne (Maryland) steals home to make the score 3-2. Then Luke Balanger (Radford) knocks in an RBI single to tie the game at three. The game would go to extra innings (each game was seven innings due to rainouts), and the Express would score two runs in the eighth to take the first game 5-3.

In game number two, it was tied at one for five and a half innings. Blum hit an RBI single in the first game to give the Express a 1-0 lead. The Aces would respond with a sac-fly in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the sixth inning with the score tied at one, the Aces had the bases loaded with two outs with one of the leaders, Ethan Cady (East Tennessee State) at the plate. This is a spot where big time players make big time plays. With a 3-1 count the umpire called a strike that was so significantly outside of the strike zone, that even kids in little league knew not to swing at a pitch like that. With the count full, Cady went down looking on strikes on a pitch with similar location as the previous one.

The Express would take advantage of their opportunities, batting around the lineup and putting five runs on the scoreboard to win game two by a score of 6-1. Despite Cole Lalonde (Century CC) pitching 4.2 innings of one-run baseball with six strikeouts, the Aces did not hit well and did not take advantage of their opportunities with runners in scoring position.

Tomorrow’s a new day and a new game against the DC Grays. Coverage begins on Aces radio at 7pm.

The Aces Split Doubleheader Against Loudoun

In game one Wyatt Rush (Lansing CC) made his first start at Frank Mann Field this season, and was looking to bounce back after his last start against the DC Grays.  

In the first game Loudoun scored in the first inning off Rush with an RBI single from Matthew Thomas (William and Mary). The Aces countered with the bat of shortstop Luke Balanger (Radford) when he drove in Isaiah Thomas (Vanderbilt) on an RBI double, and later had a run scored to give the Aces a 2-1 lead. In the second inning, Alec Roberts (UNC-Charlotte) added to the scoreboard with and RBI single of his own to extend the Aces lead to 3-1.

That would be the same score heading into the fifth inning, when things were uneasy for Rush. He was hit around and he walked the bases loaded a few times as the Riverdogs were able to knock Rush around for five runs in the inning to take a 6-3 lead after RBI’s from Brady Lloyd (East Carolina), David Angstadt (William and Mary), Greg Popatak (George Mason), and Caleb Beaty (Pitt CC).

The Aces would crawl back and rally to tie the game at six. In the sixth inning, the 18-year old Thomas lined a deep fly ball to left-center field for a momentum shifting RBI-double. With the score a 6-5 game in favor of the Riverdogs, Balanger’s bat came through again as he tied the game on an RBI single in the eighth inning. Heading into the top of the ninth, the Aces knew they needed to shutout the Riverdogs in order to have a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. Instead, the loud bats of the Riverdogs woke up as they tacked on three runs off the bats of Popatak, Beatty, and shortstop Alejandro Aponte (George Mason).  

After a 9-6 defeat in game one, John Cerretani (Sacred Heart) pitched a fantastic game, throwing strikes on the corners of the zone. Balanger tacked on another RBI along with Reid Powers (South Alabama) and Connor Bacon (Boston College) as the Aces would defeat the Riverdogs in the second game of the double-header.

The Aces head into tomorrow’s double-header against Rockville with their bats finally doing some damage at the plate. Hopefully they can stay hot and string together a few more wins heading into the Fourth of July.

Aces Fall to Herndon 7-1

The Aces lost a tough one on Saturday night as they took on the FCA Herndon Braves by a score of 7-1.  The Aces who have been struggling lately have now dropped 5 of their last 6 games of the season. The Aces who are still in playoff contention will need to reestablish themselves in the coming weeks if they are serious about qualifying for one of the two playoff spots you can possibly get in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League South.

The Aces started left hander Jacob Grzbinski (AKA Grizz Nasty) a collegiate player at the University of Georgetown.  Grzbinski who had fared extremely well against the Bethesda Big Train in his last start had his hands full on the mound as the Braves came out and were ready to play today at the plate.  Things got extremely interesting in the fifth inning as the second baseman for the FCA Herndon Braves Chris Cline hit a two run shot off of the foul pole to catapult the Braves to a 3-0 lead.  After Cline’s home run shot, The Center fielder from Hofstra University Vinny Costello hit an absolute no doubter home run that went over the left field fence.  You could make a serious case that Costello was the player of the game for the Braves tonight as he had 4 total RBI’s on the previously mentioned HR and added a triple in 4 plate appearances.    

The starter for the Braves was left hander was Brett Kreyer from Lafayette University who shined in 7 innings of work where he struck out 5 and only allowing 3 base hits.  It seemed like the Kreyer who made his first pitching appearance against the Aces all year had Alexandria’s number all night as he constantly fooled an Aces lineup that has been slumping as of late.  Kreyer who got the credit for the victory tonight, now has a record of 2-2 with an outstanding 1.36 ERA in 26 innings of work.

Alexandria will have a chance to put their losing ways behind them as they have back to back double headers at home on Sunday and Monda against The Loudoun Riverdogs and The Rockville Express respectively.  Make sure you are at Frank Mann for first pitch tomorrow night as the first game starts at 3:30pm and the second one will start at 6:30pm.  If you are not able to make the game, please listen live on Aces radio at or follow us for live updates on twitter with the username @Alexandria_aces.

-Will Decker


Aces Drop Game 18 to Bethesda Big Train

Despite a good pitching performance from Will Liverpool (West Virginia) the Aces fell to the Big Train by a score of 4-1.

The Big Train started off tonight getting a run in the first inning on an RBI double from first baseman John Glen (Cal Baptist). Ethan Cady (East Tennessee State) would tie things up on a solo home run to deep left centerfield. 

The minor mistakes for the Aces proved to be costly in this game though. In the third inning an error on Tristen Jorah (Wayne State) would score Tyler Villaroman (San Francisco). In the fourth the Big Train would score on a throwing error by Nate Mallot (Ohio) as his throw to Luke Balanger (Radford) went past his glove to centerfield when trying to tag out Ude Summerall (Florida Atlantic) at second base on a steal attempt, which allowed Jacob Westerman (San Francisco) to make the score 3-1. On the next play Chris Alleyne (Maryland) misplayed a ground ball that allowed Summerall to steal home, making the score 4-1 Big Train.

The Aces had a chance to cut into the deficit in the eighth inning. After Big Train starting pitcher Chris Clark (USC) went seven innings allowing Cady’s solo homer with eight strikeouts, the Aces forced the Big Train bullpen to play on their toes. With one out in the top of the eighth Luke Balanger walked, stole second, and stole third as Connor Bacon drew a walk. With runners on the corners with one out Alleyne and Jorah would both pop out within four pitches to end the threat.

Despite playing a well fought ball game, the Aces had a few minor errors that made the difference in tonight’s ball game. 

“When you make little mistakes to a good ball club like the Big Train, they are going to take advantage and make you pay for your mistakes,” said Aces Head Coach Chris Berset. “We hit some hard balls tonight but just couldn’t get the job done.”

The Aces look to get back in the win column as they face the FCA Herndon Braves tomorrow at Annandale High School at 7:00pm.

Aces Lose to Grays 3-1

After defeating the Silver Spring Thunderbolts in their previous game, the Aces looked to start another winning streak in tonight’s game against the DC Grays. Unfortunately, the Grays pitching staff kept the Aces hitters at bay as the Grays defeated the Aces 3-1 at Frank Mann Field.

Aces starting pitcher Jamie Sara (William and Mary) was making his first start for Alexandria after spending the first part of his summer in the Cape Cod League. The 6’3 Alexandria native showed his MLB potential on the mound in the first inning throwing ‘straight gas’ (said by his teammates) shutting down the Grays first three batters of the game, with his fastball topping 98 MPH on the radar. 

The Grays would battle at the plate with a two out rally in the top of the third inning. Jawan McCalister (Longwood University) singled to left field, followed by Mitch McIntyre (BYU) and Jahleel Sewewr (Virginia State) walks,  and the dagger came from the bat of Brian Dempsey (Boston College) with a two-run RBI single to centerfield; to make the score 2-0. 

DC would add another run in the fourth after McIntyre stole home on a pass ball from Sara to make the score 3-0. The Aces would come back with a rally of their own in the bottom of the inning. With one out in the fourth Scott Morgan (George Mason) walked, last night’s hero Reid Powers (South Alabama) singled to left field, and Ryan Tassone (George Mason) in his third straight game starting lined a double into right field to score Morgan to make the score 3-1. After an Alec Roberts (UNC-Charlotte) walk to load the bases still with one out, Joe Pace (Michigan) grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Aces tried another rally in the bottom of the eighth inning. It started off with a Justin Kelly (Wayne State) walk. After a Kris Kremer (Penn State) fly-out to centerfield, Kelly stole second base, and Morgan advanced to first base on a dropped third strike to put runners on the corners with one out. When the speedy Chris Alleyne (Maryland) came in as a pinch runner for Morgan, he would steal second base with ease for his 10th stolen base this season, leading all Aces players. With two men in scoring position Powers hit a weak pop-up to the pitcher for out number two, followed by a Tassone strikeout to end the inning. 

The Grays pitching staff combined for seven hits, one earned run, and seven strikeouts. While the Aces hit the ball hard tonight, they could not take advantage of runners in scoring position (or RISP), which is a key category that can determine wins and losses.  

The Aces look to bounce back when they head to Bethesda to take on the best team in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League, the Big Train.

Aces Beat Thunderbolts Behind 2 Blasts From Stygles and Powers

The Aces were able to get a “W” in the win column tonight in Silver Spring as they defeated the Thunderbolts 5-3.  Michael Stygles (Lansing Community College) and Reid Powers (South Alabama) both hit two-run homers in tonight’s effort, which were the differences in tonight’s game.

The Aces sent out the pitcher with the best ERA in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League in Carter Bosch (Georgetown), hoping to break off their two-game losing skid. While on an innings restriction, the 18-year old pitcher who just graduated from The Potomac School was able to pitch as well as advertised tonight. In four innings he had five strikeouts and only one run earned. That lone run came off the bat of Thunderbolts’ left fielder Jack Schroeder (VCU) on an RBI double to left field.   

“I was proud of the way he competed tonight,” said Powers of Bosch, who was the man behind the plate tonight. “He didn’t have all four of his pitches going, but he was a two-pitch guy tonight and did well with it. He didn’t have any walks, which was the best part (of his performance). He went up there and fought today, I was proud of him.”

The Aces would tie the game in the fourth off an RBI by first baseman Justin Kelly. After Isaiah Thomas (Vanderbilt) was hit by a pitch and stole second base, Kelly hit a chopper to Thunderbolts pitcher Cheng-You Chen (Taiwan), who then committed a throwing error trying to get Kelly out at first base. The overthrow allowed Kelly to advance to second, and Thomas to stroll in easily to home.

The next inning Stygles, who appeared in his sixth game, with Joe Pace (Michigan) on second base with a double smashed a two-run homer over the left field fence, eclipsing 310 feet, and put the Aces back in front.

In the bottom of the fifth, Stygles’ college teammate Wyatt Rush came in relief for Bosch. After getting two quick outs, he walked the bases loaded twice to allow the Thunderbolts to tie the game at three.

In the sixth, after a Kris Kremer (Penn State) walk, Powers stepped into the dish looking to do some damage. His previous two at bats up to this point were smashed to left field, one was a single and another was a fly-out. Yet it seemed that the left-field fence was calling his name. He was able to take a fastball on the inside part of the plate on a long ride (over 300 feet) to give the Aces a 5-3 lead.

“To see the pitcher throw a lot of fastballs, I saw one down the middle and just tried to put a good swing on it”, said the South Alabama catcher. “It just happened to go over (the fence).”  

“Well we came up with the big hit tonight,” added Head Coach Chris Berset. “Mikey (Stygles) came up with a big swing and Reid followed him after. If you find a way to make the big hits, that’s what matters and how we won the game tonight.”

Keegan Fogue (Colombia CC) was able to pitch two scoreless innings and Alex ‘Goose’ Gossman (South Alabama) was able to shut the door in the ninth for another save. Berset was impressed by his catcher’s leadership on the field tonight.

“You look for leadership behind the plate,” added Berset. “Whether it’s asking me questions about how to manage the pitching staff or what we should do in certain situations, that’s a lucky thing to have back there. I would take that kind of leadership (anyday) and to add a couple more hits that’s just icing on the cake. He’s always trying to get better and always trying to learn. I’m an open book and I can help him out as well. It’s awesome.”

Aces Fall To The Giants in Game 15

In the shortest game of the season, finishing in two hours and 20 minutes, the Aces lose back to back games at home after falling to the Gaithersburg Giants 3-1.

Starting pitcher for the Giants, Jaret Bennett (Charleston Southern University) kept the Aces in check tonight at the plate. He pitched seven innings with seven striekouts, one walk, and only gave up one run. That came off the bat of Aces Third Baseman Ryan Tassone (George Mason) who made his first appearance since injuring his hand in the Aces’ opening game against the Silver Spring Thunderbolts; Tassone smacked a solo home run to left field going 308+ feet in the bottom of the seventh inning.  The Aces had more chances to cut the Giants lead later on in the inning; after Tassone’s homer made the score 3-1, catcher Nate Mallot (Ohio) hit a single through the hole between first and second base and Connor Bacon (Boston College) hit a bloop single in left field. With two men on base with two outs, Aces Shortstop Chris Alleyne popped out to first base.

Aces starter Cole Lalonde (Century Community College) pitched for the Aces. The 6’3 right hander pitched five innings  giving up three runs with four strikeouts. After shutting out the Giants in the first and second innings, he allowed an RBI double to Saul Garza (LSU). That was followed by an RBI single by Sam Bertelson (Texas) and Ryan Brown (UMBC) stole home after Mallot’s attempt to throw out Bertelson at second base was called safe.   

“He had really good command of his fastball,” said Aces Head Coach Chris Berset. “Obviously you would rather go five innings of shutout baseball, but five and (allowing) three (runs) was good enough to keep us in the ballgame.

“The past two nights, we were looking for the big hit,”added Berset. “It wasn’t quite there. That’s the name of the game. You need to come up and hit with runners in scoring position”.

Especially when there aren’t many opportunities against a starting pitcher like Bennett. His fastball ranged from the high 80’s-lo 90’s, and he had a nasty breaking ball that would start heading to the middle of the plate and would shift to the bottom left corner of the zone; the Aces could not muster enough bat speed to hit Bennett’s stuff.  

“Hopefully we can find a groove,” says the optimistic skipper. “If we start gathering together a string of wins, we’ll be rolling in a heartbeat. We’ll stay competitive and need to get on a roll”.