By Chris Damond
After last week’s 15-3 slaughtering of D.C., Alexandria quickly realized this wasn’t the same team. The Grays walked into Frank Mann Field on Tuesday night and exacted revenge, downing the Aces, 12-4, on a beautiful day at the ballpark.
“I still thought we battled out there,” manager Chris Berset said. “We had a ton of hard-hit balls right there that found fielders. Sometimes that’s the name of the game. They had some hits in there, they kept the pressure on us, and some of their balls found holes … Baseball’s a big game of breaks.”
A stark contrast from the last two days’ high-scoring affairs, where the Aces (4-3) scored a combined 32 runs, this game was much less hectic. But like Alexandria’s past two wins, it faced an early deficit, except this time they couldn’t overcome it.
D.C. (3-4) entered the night on a two-game winning streak and carried that momentum right into Tuesday’s game, hitting a solo home run in the first to set the tone. The Grays tacked on another pair of runs in the third to go up 3-0.
Alexandria got on the board in the third. Matt Wolfe (Vanderbilt) singled and stole second, before Adam Tellier (Ball State) drove him in. Cade Law, a fellow Vanderbilt commit, hit a homer in the seventh.
Drew Collins (Oakland) had the only other extra base hit of the game, when his RBI double scored Brendan Harrity (Western Michigan).
But whenever Alexandria inched closer, D.C. countered. With their lead narrowed to 3-2 in the sixth, the Grays made it 5-2. When the Aces added another pair to make it 5-4, D.C responded with three runs in the eighth. They finished with 13 hits.
What started as a fast-paced game dragged on in the later innings, as the Aces cycled through pitchers. Nobody could stop D.C.’s offense, though, and it continued to pull away.
Alexandria had opportunities – they had eight hits on the day – but couldn’t make them count, stranding nine runners. Down 8-4 in the eighth, a single and two walks put Aces on every base. The next batter struck out, though, to end the inning.
Britt Yount (George Mason), who also pitched against D.C. last week, was tagged with the loss. He gave up three runs in the first three innings but then settled down, pitching two scoreless frames before he was pulled.
Jake Davidson picked up the win. He allowed three runs and pitched six innings for D.C., which allowed the Grays to use only three pitchers in the game. The Aces, whose bullpen was already tired from Sunday’s four hour, 43-run game, used five.
Now, Alexandria travels to the Olney Boys and Girls Club tomorrow evening to face the Cropdusters, a team the Aces beat on Opening Day.
“The message is the same every single day, we’re gonnna play hard, manager Chris Berest said. “We’re gonna swing the bat, we’re gonna find some holes out there, [and] the pitchers gotta throw strikes … we’ll be ready to go up there and have some fun.”
First pitch is at 5:00 p.m.