Andrew Houghton 7/19/13
The Grays beat the last-place Herndon Braves 18-11 on Friday to retain their slim hold on the sixth and final playoff spot with a record of 18-18 on the season. The offensive onslaught started early for the Grays as the game’s second batter, Brandon Kiser (Grambling State) hit a home run to give the Grays a 1-0 lead. The runs kept coming as Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) hit an RBI double, Casey Hicks (Gallaudet) added a run-scoring single, and Bzozowski came home on a wild pitch to give the Grays a 4-0 lead after one. They started the second right where they left off in the first when Greg Olenski (Delaware) knocked a two-run single, and then two batters later Bzozowski clobbered one over the wall to score three and extend the lead to 9-0. It wouldn’t last, though, as in the bottom of the second the Braves put up six against Grays starter Mitch Leeds (Lafayette), in an inning highlighted by a two-run home run by Braves right fielder Austin Bream (Liberty University). The Braves would cut the lead even further in the fourth, scoring two runs to make the score 9-8 and prompt Leeds’ exit. Reliever Sherman Graves (Savannah State) entered with one out in the inning, escaped the jam, and then proceeded to fire three more innings of scoreless ball, allowing only one hit. The offense gave him a little bit of insurance in the fifth when Olenski singled home shortstop DJ Miller (Delaware State), and then broke the game open with six runs in the sixth. Second baseman Jayson Yano (Stevens Tech) hit a two-run single, Kiser followed with a sac fly, and Olenski tripled home two before being chased in himself by a single off the bat of designated hitter Harrison Farmer (Furman). The Grays would add two in the eighth with Bzozowski adding another RBI to his total as he finished 5-6 with five RBIs and three runs scored, missing the cycle by a triple. Olenski got the triple and also finished with five RBIs and three runs scored, although he only had three hits. Miller did a great job setting the table at the top of the lineup, recording four hits and four runs scored from the leadoff spot.
With this win, the Grays maintain a half game lead over both Youse’s Orioles and the Southern Maryland Nationals for the sixth and final playoff spot. The Vienna River Dogs are also lurking, just a game behind. From now on, the race will be constantly updated at the end of every recap.
The Grays play next on Saturday, July 20th at 5:00 pm against the league leading Bethesda Big Train at Hoy Field. Come on out to support your Grays as they make the push for the playoffs!