By: Anna Dunlavey
If the DC Grays had held off the Rockville Express for two more outs, last night’s game might have continued at a later date. Instead, the Express took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the game was called immediately after as the wind picked up and rain came pouring down. The loss put the Grays at 9-20 on the season.
The Grays were the first team to get on the board, in the top of the second inning. Brandon Chapman (George Washington) and Desmond Stegall (Grambling State) both singled to right field. The next batter, Austin Sanders (University of Alabama-Huntsville), was almost thrown out at first base, but an overthrow by the Express let him advance to second and allowed Chapman to score. That was the only run to score that inning, and both Sanders and Stegall were left on base as three Grays in a row struck out.
In the top of the third inning, Webb Bobo (Southeast Louisiana University) was walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He ran home after Chapman singled to centerfield. The throw from the centerfielder and Bobo made it to the plate at the same time, but when the dust cleared, Bobo’s somersault had allowed him to avoid the tag and score.
The Express got three runs in the bottom of the third inning, but the Grays answered back in the top of the fifth. Sayvon O’Neal (Texas Southern) singled to third, Trae Sweeting (Georgia State) walked, and Lucas Martinez (New Mexico State) singled to bring O’Neal home and tie the game. Sweeting ran home on a single from Bobo, but was tagged out at the plate. Martinez, however, was able to score on a single from Stegall. The Grays had regained the lead, but not for long, as the Express scored another run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at four.
The rain and wind began to pick up in the top of the seventh, when all three Grays batters struck out. In the bottom of the inning, a bunt from the Express brought the runner on third home on a close play at the place. The game was called there, with the score 5-4 Express.
Max Kaplow (George Washington) pitched 4.1 innings and gave up four runs on six hits. Sherman Graves (Grambling State) relieved him in the fifth inning and pitched until the end of the game. He gave up one run on two hits, and was tagged with the loss, his first of the season.
Tonight, the Grays will return to the Nationals Youth Academy to play a make-up game against Youse’s Orioles. Sam Delaplane (Eastern Michigan) is the expected starting pitcher for the Grays.