Grays clinch Playoff berth
GAME RECAP 7-23-2015
By Anna Dunlavey; @annadunlaveyy
For the first time in its history, the DC Grays have made it to the playoffs. Last night’s 4-2 win over the hometown Alexandria Aces brought the Grays to a 19-21 regular season record. By winning six of their last seven games, the Grays jumped over the Aces and the Rockville Express to take one of the wild card spots in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League playoffs.
At first, it seemed as though these playoff dreams might be dashed. The Aces scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning, and increased their lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth. Starting pitcher Harry Thomas (UNC-Greensboro) gave up the two runs on ten hits over 5.1 innings of work. Thomas also struck out three batters, and allowed no walks.
In the top of the sixth, the Grays began to take control. 1B Scottie Sanders (Southeastern Louisiana) started the inning by getting hit by a pitch, and SS Drew Reid (Harvard) followed with a single. DH Quinn Carpenter (Texas Tech) advanced them on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, LF Lamar Briggs (Jackson State) came to the plate and blasted a double to right center to score both Sanders and Reid and tie the game.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth and the bases loaded, Conner Van Hoose (Bucknell), typically a starting pitcher, came out of the bullpen to relieve Thomas. Van Hoose got the next two batters out on a strikeout and a fielder’s choice. He didn’t give up any hits or runs in his next inning, either, and also got another strikeout.
The Grays broke the tie in the top of the eighth, after Carpenter led off the inning with a single. Briggs hit what was meant to be a sacrifice bunt, but both he and Carpenter were safe after an error by the Aces pitcher. Carpenter scored the go ahead run on a line drive single from 2B Mike Caputo (Seton Hall). RF Harrison Bruce (University of San Francisco) then hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Briggs for a 4-2 lead.
Reid Frazier (Penn State) closed out the game, pitching the eighth and ninth innings. He gave up no hits or runs, faced only six batters, and got his third win of the season. VanHoose was credited with the win.
The Grays are now finished with their regular season. Assured of a wild card berth, the Grays must wait until the games tonight are over in order to find out who they will play in the first round of the playoffs — which is a one-gam “knockout” affair. By Friday night the Grays should know whether they will play at Vienna or Silver Spring on Sunday.
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