Grays lose season finale
Andrew Houghton 7/29/13
The Grays lost their last game of the season 5-3 to the Vienna River Dogs on Monday to finish with a record of 23-21, missing the playoffs by two games. The game, coming after the Grays had been officially eliminated on Sunday, proved somewhat anticlimactic, but the players went all out nonetheless, hoping to end their season on a high note. Starter Enrique Oquendo (McLennan CC) held the River Dogs scoreless until the fourth inning of the seven-inning game, when they scored one on three consecutive singles. With the Grays trying to equalize, pinch runner Malik Bob (Towson) was thrown out at the plate to end the top of the fifth, and the River Dogs capitalized on the error by adding two more runs in the bottom of the inning, one each off Yahya Muhammad (Coppin State) and Henry Sisson (North Carolina). The Grays struck back in the top of the sixth though. Kelton Caldwell (BYU) singled home DJ Miller (Delaware State), and then, following two strikeouts, outfielder Desmond Stegall (Grambling State) popped one over the fence to knot the game at three. It didn’t stay tied for long though, as reliever Chris Nee (Catholic University), after getting two quick outs in the bottom of the sixth, gave up back-to-back singles, a hit by pitch, and a passed ball as the River Dogs scored twice to make it 5-3. That would remain the final score, as the Grays went down meekly in the seventh to end the game and their season.
The DC Grays would like to thank all their fans for coming out to the game and supporting the team, as well as the players, coaches, and volunteers who gave so much to make the season a success.
Grays lose to Express, are eliminated from playoffs
Andrew Houghton 7/28/13
The Grays lost 8-2 to the Rockville Express on Sunday in a seven-inning game to drop their record to 23-20 on the season. The loss, coupled with Youse’s Orioles 4-3 victory over the Baltimore Redbirds, officially eliminates the Grays from playoff contention. The Express removed any suspense from this one early, jumping on Grays starter Colin Kelly (Catholic University) for nine runs and six hits in just 2.2 innings in Kelly’s worst outing of the season. They added two more in the fourth off reliever Jacob Williams (George Washington) to take an 8-0 lead and put the final nail in the Grays coffin. The offense avoided the shutout in the fifth when Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) hit a leadoff double and scored on consecutive groundouts. With two outs in the seventh, DJ Miller (Delaware State) hit a ball to the gap in right-center and sped around the bases for an inside-the-park homerun to make the final score 8-2.
The Grays wrap up their season on Monday, July 29th at 12 noon against the Vienna River Dogs at James Madison HS in Vienna, VA.
Grays take shutout loss
Andrew Houghton 7/26/13
The Grays were shutout on two hits Friday by Youse’s Orioles starter Brian Murphy (University of Hartford) as the Orioles and Grays moved into a tie for the sixth and final league playoff spot. Chances for the Grays were few and far between in the seven inning game. Eric Ramsey (Wake Forest) hit a one-out double in the third but couldn’t advance, and the Orioles took the lead in the bottom of the inning with two runs off Grays starter Henry Sisson (North Carolina). Kelton Caldwell (BYU) recorded the Grays second and last hit of the game in the fourth as he tripled with one out, but once again the following hitters couldn’t bring him in. The Orioles doubled their lead in the fifth with two more off Sisson, and that was it for the Grays as Murphy held them in check, allowing only two walks the rest of the way to finish off his shutout.
Playoff Watch: This loss moves the Grays into a tie with the Orioles for the sixth and final playoff spot with two games to play. The two teams are tied six games behind the league-leading Bethesda Big Train, but only a half game behind the fifth place Gaithersburg Giants.
The Grays play next on Saturday, July 27th at 7:00 pm against the Vienna River Dogs at James Madison High School in Vienna, VA. The Grays then finish up their season at home on Sunday, July 28th at 1:00 pm against the Rockville Express.
Grays continue winning ways behind Leeds’ effort
Andrew Houghton 7/25/13
Mitch Leeds (Lafayette) threw a complete game, striking out seven and allowing only one run as the Grays beat the PresstmanCardinals 5-1 on Thursday move into a tie for fifth place in the league at 23-18 on the year. The win was the Grays’ sixth in a row.
Leeds was sharp from the start, striking out two batters in both the second and third innings, and never faltered to chalk up his league-leading sixth win of the year. DJ Miller (Delaware State) led the offense with two hits and two RBIs, as the Grays scored four in the third on RBI singles by Miller and Jud Sherrill (Alabama-Huntsville) and an RBI double by Cody Walker (Mississippi State) to give Leeds a lead he would never relinquish. Miller added another run-scoring hit in the eighth, and Leeds fittingly struck out the last batter in the ninth to finish off his masterpiece.
Playoff Watch: This win, coupled with Youse’s Orioles’ loss to the Baltimore Redbirds, moves the Grays a game ahead of the Orioles for the sixth and final playoff spot with just three left to play. The Grays are also tied with the Gaithersburg Giants for fifth place, a scant half game behind the Baltimore Redbirds for fourth place and the right to open the playoffs at home.
The Grays play next on Friday, July 26th at 7:00 pm against Youse’s Orioles at Bachman Park in Glen Burnie, Maryland. A win would effectively lock down a playoff spot for the Grays, while a loss would leave them tied with the Orioles with just two games left to play.
Team host special group at today’s game
The Grays take on the Presstman Cardinals today 5:00p at home (Hoy Field-Gallaudet Univ). As the Grays try to continue on the current five game winning streak and make a push for the playoffs, they also will host a special group of young men and women at Hoy Field today in the stands……
The National Society of Black Engineers hosts a Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) in inner cities from Washington, DC to Oakland. This program brings together 50 college students from around the country to teach middle schoolers for three weeks in a free program. Their purpose is to teach and inspire the development of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields in school in order to better the future of our society. The Grays proudly welcome such a great group!!
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Grays win on walkoff for the second game in a row
Andrew Houghton 7/24/13
DJ Miller’s (Delaware State) squeeze bunt brought home Jud Sherrill (Alabama-Huntsville) from third base in the bottom of the ninth to give the Grays a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Redbirds at Hoy Field and move their season record to 22-18. The Grays remain tied for the sixth and final playoff spot.
After the Redbirds scored once to tie the game in the top of the ninth, the Grays fashioned another late-game win. Sherrill doubled, Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) was hit by a pitch and Peyton Fuller (Troy University) beat out a bunt for a single to load the bases. Eric Ramsey (Wake Forest) popped out to shortstop, but Miller laid down a perfect bunt and Sherrill scored easily to give the Grays their second straight walkoff win.
The Grays had never beaten the Redbirds in two seasons of Ripken League play. It looked like the losing stream might continue when the Redbirds struck first in the third inning off Grays starter Tom Murphy (Williams College). A pair of two-out walks and an RBI single gave the visitors the lead. The score remained 1-0 all the way until the bottom of the seventh, when outfielder Kelton Caldwell (BYU) walked with one out for the Grays and Sherrill followed with his first home run of the season, giving the Grays a 2-1 lead. It wouldn’t hold, however. With closer Chris Nee (Catholic University) in for the save, the Redbirds quickly strung together a walk, a hit batsman, and a single to load the bases before Nee walked Redbirds slugger LaMonte Wade Jr. (Maryland) to tie the game. With no outs, the bases still loaded, and the game in jeopardy, Nee dug deep, getting two swinging strikeouts and a ground ball to third to send the game to the bottom of the ninth still tied, where the offense won it for him.
Jacob Williams (George Washington) also pitched well for the Grays, recording three hitless innings after relieving Murphy in the sixth.
Playoff Watch: The Grays remain tied with Youse’s Orioles for the sixth and final playoff spot, although the Orioles are still slightly ahead on winning percentage due to differing numbers of games played. Those two teams have separated themselves from the bottom half of the league and have crept to within a half game of the fifth place Redbirds.
The Grays play next on Thursday, July 25th at 5:00 pm against the Presstman Cardinals at Hoy Field.
Grays complete comeback, walk off in tenth
Andrew Houghton 7/22/13
Kelton Caldwell (BYU) doubled home Cody Walker (Mississippi State) in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the Grays a 5-4 victory against the Southern Maryland Nationals on Monday at Hoy Field. The win moves the Grays to 21-18 on the season.
The Grays got off to a good start in this one as leadoff batter DJ Miller (Delaware State) doubled and scored in the first and starter Colin Kelly (Catholic University) came out of the gate dealing, striking out five in the first three innings and being helped in the third by some stellar defense from center fielder Eric Ramsey (Wake Forest) and second baseman Peyton Fuller (Troy University). However, it was this same defense that would let Kelly down in the fourth, as Miller bobbled a potential double-play ball and first baseman Jud Sherrill (Alabama-Huntsville) threw the ball past the catcher on a play at the plate, allowing the Nationals to take a 3-1 lead.
Sherrill atoned in part for his miscue in the bottom of the inning, smashing an RBI triple to right-center, but was thrown out at the plate a batter later, leaving the score 3-2 as the game went to the middle innings. Kelly continued to pitch well, and the Grays tied the game in the sixth when Fuller laced an RBI single back up the middle. With Kelly laboring in the ninth, the Nationals appeared to break Grays fans hearts, when a run scored when catcher Walker tried to catch the lead runner at third on a bunt attempt. The throw deflected off third baseman Chris Bzozowski’s (Keystone College) glove and into left field. Kelly escaped the inning with no further damage but things looked bleak with the Grays having just three outs left.
Bzozowski grounded out to third to start the home ninth, but Fuller singled to keep hope alive. A groundout back to the pitcher moved pinch runner Desmond Stegall (Grambling State) to second and then with two outs Miller came through, lining one up the middle to send the game to extra innings. Reliever Chris Nee (Catholic University) gave up a leadoff single in the top of the tenth but struck out the last two men to escape unscathed.
With darkness approaching, Walker led off the bottom of the tenth with a shot to left field that looked as though it might go out but instead hit off the base of the wall as he pulled into second. After Greg Olenski (Delaware) popped up to first base, Caldwell lined the 1-0 pitch into the left-center field gap, scoring Walker easily and giving the Grays the exciting win.
Playoff Watch: The win gave the Grays a 1.5 game lead over the Nationals for the final playoff spot. Unfortunately, Youse’s Orioles matched the Grays victory and remain just a half game behind with just five left to play. The Grays are also within striking distance of the fifth place Baltimore Redbirds, as this win closed them to within 1.5 games of that spot.
The Grays play next on Wednesday, July 24th at 5:00 pm against those same Redbirds at Hoy Field.
Grays overcome rough start, beat T-bolts
Andrew Houghton 7/21/13
The Grays started slow, but scored three in the fourth and four in the sixth to easily beat the Silver Spring Takoma Thunderbolts 7-2 at Hoy Field on Sunday. The win gives the Grays a slim hold on the sixth and final playoff spot in the Ripken League as they ran their record to 20-18 on the season.
The victory looked in doubt when starter Enrique Oquendo (McLennan CC) gave up two walks and a run in the third as the T-bolts took a 1-0 lead. The Grays offense had squandered several chances in the early innings but finally broke out in the fourth when Greg Olenski (Delaware) led off with a single, moved to third on a double by Kelton Caldwell (BYU), and scored on a wild pitch. Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) and Peyton Fuller (Troy University) followed with RBI singles to give Oquendo and the Grays a 3-1 lead. The Grays bats struck again in the sixth when Fuller tripled home Bzozowski and then scored on shortstop DJ Miller’s RBI single. Outfielder Brandon Kiser then doubled to score Miller and scored on a sac fly by Harrison Farmer (Furman) to make it 7-1. Oquendo overcame his early control issues to pitch seven strong innings and get the win, and relievers Yahya Muhammad (Coppin State) and Brian Robett (Greensboro College) each pitched an inning to close out the game.
Playoff Watch: The Grays still control their own destiny in the hunt for the sixth and final playoff spot, as this win left them a half game ahead of Youse’s Orioles and a full game ahead of the Southern Maryland Nationals with six games left to play.
The Grays play next on Monday, July 22nd at 5:00 pm against those same Southern Maryland Nationals at Hoy Field on the campus of Gallaudet University.
Grays pitcher Chris Nee wins league honor
Andrew Houghton 7/21/13
Grays closer Chris Nee (Catholic University) was recently named the Cal Ripken League’s Pitcher of the Week for the week of July 8th to the 14th. Nee, who shared the award with Bethesda Big Train pitcher Michael Doyle, was a force out of the bullpen for the Grays, pitching six plus scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and one walk, and recording two wins. His clutch performances turned the tide for the Grays, as in each of his three appearances they won by a single run. This honor cements Nee’s place as one of the premier relievers in the league, as for the season he has given up just three runs in 14.1 innings, striking out ten and recording a 2-1 win-loss record with a team-leading four saves.
Sisson, Grays beat Big Train in pitcher’s duel
Andrew Houghton 7/20/13
Starter Henry Sisson (North Carolina) took a no-hitter into the seventh as the Grays beat the league-leading Bethesda Big Train 1-0 on Saturday. The win puts the Grays above .500 at 19-18 on the season. The Grays took three out of four on the season from the Big Train.
Sisson was stellar through six innings, keeping the Big Train off balance with his changeup and allowing no baserunners while striking out five. The Grays scored one off league strikeout leader Bubba Derby (San Diego State) in the first when leadoff hitter DJ Miller (Delaware State) singled, moved over to third on two groundouts, and then scored on a wild pitch.
Sisson allowed his first hit to Big Train center fielder David Del Grande (Sacramento State) with no outs in the seventh but got three quick outs to escape the inning. Unfortunately he couldn’t do the same in the eighth as three consecutive singles with one out loaded the bases and ended Sisson’s day, as manager ArlanFreeman brought in reliever Chris Nee (Catholic University) to try for the five-out save. Nee quickly got ahead of Bethesda catcher Parker Guinn 1-2, but Guinn lined one softly up the middle that looked destined to tie the game before Miller appeared out of nowhere to make the catch and double the runner off second. The Big Train loaded the bases again in the ninth but Nee struck out Bethesda shortstop Ryne Willard (Tallahassee CC) to end it.
Playoff Watch: With this win, the Grays kept pace on wins but fell behind slightly on winning percentage in the race for the sixth and final league playoff spot. Youse’s Orioles swept a double-header against Vienna last night, and they and the Southern Maryland are both sitting on a .515 winning percentage. The Grays 19-18 record is good for a .514 percentage, leaving them in eighth place even as all three teams are nominally tied.
The Grays play next on Sunday, July 21st at 1:00 pm against the Silver Spring/Takoma Thunderbolts at Hoy Field on the campus of Gallaudet University. Come on out for a lovely afternoon of baseball as the Grays try to gain that last playoff spot.