By: Anna Dunlavey
The DC Grays are back in the win column, beating the Vienna River Dogs 6-5 Sunday night in Vienna. The win snaps a three game losing streak and brings the Grays’ record to 7-9 for the season.
The most important thing the Grays did last night was something they had been struggling to do for the past few games—they got on base. The Grays had more hits tonight than they had in any of their past five games.
The scoring started in the top of the first. Austin Sanders (University of Alabama-Huntsville), the Grays’ leadoff hitter, walked and scored on a sacrifice fly by Webb Bobo (Southeast Louisiana University).
The River Dogs answered back in the bottom of the inningwith a run off Grays’ starting pitcher Harry Thomas (Delaware State).
The Grays were not deterred, loading the bases in the top of the second. Sanders then helped the Grays score again with a single that drove home Lucas Martinez (New Mexico State). Once again, the River Dogs answered with a run of their own in the second to keep the game tied.
After Thomas loaded the bases in the third, Max Kaplow (George Washington) replaced him on the mound. The River Dogs scored two runs before the Grays could find a way out of the inning. The score remained 4-2 until the top of the eighth, thanks to excellent relief work by Kaplow.
In the 8th, the Grays unleashed an offensive storm. Once again, batting with the bases loaded, Sanders drove in a run with a fielders choice —Aaron Tovsky (Davidson) was out at second, but Michael Breen (San Jose State) was able to score. Eric Urry (Brigham Young) came up to bat next, and after Sanders stole second, Urry hit a double to score both Sanders and pinch runner Des Stegall (Grambling State). The Grays took a slim 5-4 lead.
Kaplow left the game in the eighth with the bases loaded, and was relieved by Sherman Graves (Savannah State). A balk was called on Graves before he even threw his first pitch, and the game was tied 5-5. Graves escaped further damage andin the top of the ninth, Trae Sweeting (Georgia State) gave the Grays something they could have used during their losing streak—a run without a single hit. After he was walked, he stole both second and third base before scoring on an error by the catcher. It all came down to Graves in the bottom of the ninth, and he pitched a spectacular inning, striking out the three final River Dogs batters to get the win.
Graves is now tied for first in the Ripken League in wins with three. He did not give up any hits or runs in the 1.2 innings he pitched. Thomas gave up four runs on five hits, and Kaplow was charged with one run on just one hit.
The Grays return home to the Nationals Youth Academy Monday to face the Bethesda Big Train. Tommy Broyles (Drew) is the projected starting pitcher for the Grays.