July 15, 2017
By: David Sibony (@davidjsibony); DCGrays.com Press
WASHINGTON, DC – Playing before the home crowd before the final time in a season that had turned disappointing, the D.C. Grays turned in one of their best all around performances. The Grays defeated the Alexandria Aces 5-1, snapping a seven game losing streak and giving the home fans at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy a classy sendoff. The win puts the Grays at 12-22 with six road games left on the season.
The Grays also hosted Military and Veterans Appreciation night. First pitches were thrown out by local veterans, and the Grays and staff donned special camouflage hats for the game. Every service member and veteran in the crowd received those same camouflage hats courtesy of the Grays.
RHP Matt Dalke (Southeastern Louisiana) started for the Grays – and he got in the spirit by pitching with military precision. He threw seven and one-third innings of one run ball. That lone Aces run happened in the first inning when 2B Eli Boggess (Morehead State) singled hit a single and SS Ray Zuberer (Western Kentucky) slid in safely in a bang-bang play at home plate. If not for the controversial safe call, Dalke would have kept the Aces scoreless. Dalke finished at exactly 120 pitches, the league maximum, but finished only allowing four hits, two walks, and striking out five.
Dalke gave up the ball to RHP Nick Laster (Eastern Kentucky) who finished out the game for the Grays with another outing of scoreless relief.
Down 1-0 in the second, Grays RF Harrison Freed (Butler) doubled in 3B Isiah Kearns (West Virginia). A few batters later Freed scored on a sacrifice fly by CF Cory Alexander (Old Dominion).
The Grays doubled their lead in the fourth when LF Will Johnson (Eastern Kentucky) hit a two out, two RBI double.
That wasn’t it for the Grays, offense as SS Jacob Maekawa (San Diego State) launched his first home run of the season over the Grays bullpen in left field in the seventh inning.
The Grays take Sunday off, and their season-ending six game road trip will start Monday night at 7 PM against the Herndon Braves.