Andrew Houghton 7/5/13
The DC Grays took an early 6-0 lead on Friday, then had to hold off a furious comeback attempt by the last-place FCA Herndon Braves to get the 6-5 win and snap their five game losing streak. The road win moves the Grays to 9-13 on the season.
The Grays hadn’t won since June 28th but got off to a good start in this one, scoring twice in the third on Greg Olenski’s (Maryland) two-out, bases loaded single. They scored again in the fourth when Desmond Stegall (Grambling State) tripled and scored on a wild pitch. With starter Mitch Leeds (Lafayette) in control early, the Grays looked to break the game open with three runs in the fifth. Once again, Olenski and Stegall provided the firepower, as each had an RBI single in the frame, giving the Grays a 6-0 lead. But Leeds, who had been cruising with five strikeouts and only one hit allowed through five innings, fell apart in the sixth, hitting the first batter and then giving up five straight hits to the Braves, who tallied four runs before Leeds finally escaped the inning. With the big lead almost gone, manager Arlan Freeman called on reliever Jacob Williams (George Washington) to hold the Braves bats in check. After a 1-2-3 seventh, Williams ran into a little trouble in the eighth, when a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single got the Braves another run back to make it 6-5. But Williams got the last out to strand a runner in scoring position and hand the ball over to closer Chris Nee (Catholic) for the ninth. The sidearming lefthander quickly introduced some suspense to the proceedings by giving up a leadoff single and then, with one out, making an error on a comebacker to put runners on first and second. A passed ball moved them to second and third but Nee recorded a strikeout on the very same pitch and then induced a groundball to second from the next batter to end the game.
The Grays play next on Saturday, July 6th at 7:00 pm against the Presstman Cardinals at Joe Cannon Stadium in Hanover, Maryland. This game will mark the one month anniversary since the start of the season.