October 6, 2016
Less than five months after launching, DC Grays RBI is sponsoring a full off-season baseball and softball program for boys and girls in underserved areas of Washington, DC. DC Grays Baseball, the non-profit organization that oversees the DC Grays summer college baseball team and the DC Grays RBI youth development program, announced plans to host a full “fall ball” schedule for baseball and softball as well as an indoor winter program that will run from November through March.
DC Grays RBI is part of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in the Inner-City (RBI) initiative. DC Grays RBI launched in 2016 with seven teams (five baseball and two softball) playing a full summer schedule. In all, more than 150 kids participated in DC Grays RBI summer programs. Three DC Grays RBI teams (Boys 15U baseball, and girls 15U softball and 18U softball) represented Washington, DC in the regional RBI tournament in Bowie, MD in July. The DC Grays summer college baseball team hosted skills clinics for DC Grays RBI ballplayers, and additional skills training was provided by professional and college coaches.
Because of the great enthusiasm generated by DC Grays, the board of DC Grays Baseball decided to launch a fall ball program for one baseball team and two softball teams, as well as a full winter training and clinic schedule. In all, approximately 80 kids are expected to participate in DC Grays RBI off-season programs.
The Boys 15U baseball team is participating in the new Metro Fall League, and the Girls 15U and 18U softball teams are participating in the Northern Virginia Girls Softball Association fall league. All three teams participated in a special 9-11 Hero Tournament against out of town teams from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
DC Grays Baseball is pleased to partner with the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy on its off-season program. This partnership means that DC Grays RBI will have access to the first-class Academy facilities, including lighted turf fields and a full indoor training center.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled at the progress of DC Grays RBI,” said Michael Barbera, president of DC Grays Baseball. “To follow-up a great summer with a full off-season program shows that there are many kids in DC who love baseball and want to play it year-round. They just need more opportunities to play our great game.”
Participation in all DC Grays RBI activities is free for all participants and their families.
DC Grays RBI will be hosting several off-season skills clinics at the Academy. A pitching clinic featuring college pitching coaches was held in September, and other skills clinics will follow with similar high-level instruction. The Grays are also partnering with local Little Leagues and middle school baseball programs to host coaching clinics for interested adults that are interested in coaching on the youth or interscholastic level.
The DC Grays are sad to report that it lost Zach Irwin (CRCBL ’15) on Sept 29th. He was 22 years old.
Zach was attending Lonestar College in his hometown of Kingwood, Texas at the time, and was living at home.
Zach was a go-to reliever for the Grays during the 2015 season. He pitched 33 innings, and posted 29 strikeouts.
His personality and warmth were a critical element in the DC Grays making their first playoff that year.
He will be missed deeply by all those that knew him. Baseball has lost a future star.
The DC Grays want to thank our fans, host families and sponsors for a great 2016 season. While our 14-26 record wasn’t what we hoped for, the Grays had many great successes. We had more sponsors and host families than ever before, and we had the highest attendance we’ve ever had. We hosted more than 400 kids at our six free clinics, and we launched our DC Grays RBI program to help revive baseball in Washington DC. DC Grays RBI sponsored five baseball and two softball teams this summer, and more than 150 kids from all over Washington played DC Grays RBI baseball in our first season. Three of those teams went on to represent Washington, DC in the Mid-Atlantic RBI Tournament last week. It was a great summer for DC Grays Baseball, and we want to thank everyone who helped make it such a great success!
GAME RECAP (7/23/16)
DCGrays.com Press: Josh Shelton
While Friday night was the final game of the DC Grays 2016 season, they rallied one last time to give the fans a show. On Fan Appreciation Night at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, the Grays trounced the visiting Baltimore Dodgers 11-2 to finish the season with a 14-26 record.
The bats were popping early and often, with 1B Tyler Thomas (Shepherd) launching a two-run homer to score 3B Marques Inman (West Virginia) in the first inning. In the following inning, the Grays put up six more runs with the exclamation point coming from DH Zach McCrum (Eastern Kentucky) who clobbered a three-run dinger with two outs. McCrum would add to his RBI total in the fourth with a single that scored Inman from third. Thomas also went yard in the sixth inning with his second two-run home run of the night on a 1-1 fastball.
Grays starting pitcher Simon Rosenblum-Larson (Harvard) threw exceptionally, throwing seven innings while allowing one run on four hits, all while fanning seven Dodgers batters. Kasey Gast (Chesapeake College) pitched a scoreless eighth and Marlon Pruitt (Grambling) allowed one run in the ninth.
In a season that didn’t quite live up to expectations, Friday’s win was a great way for the Grays to end the season. For a team with great chemistry throughout the ups and downs of a difficult summer, the friendships and memories made will last a lifetime.
GAME RECAP (7/20/2016)
DCGrays.com Press: Josh Shelton
Gloves, bats and arms seemed to all be on the same page for the DC Grays in the regularly scheduled nine inning game against the Vienna River Dogs on Wednesday night in Washington. With excellent pitching, two homers from an expected spot, and a defensive clinic at second base, the Grays cruised to a 4-1 win. The Grays moved to 12-25 with the win. While mathematically out of a playoff berth, the Grays can play the villain against their remaining opponents.
Starter Bryan Quillens (Eastern Kentucky) isn’t accustomed to being the first pitcher in the game, but he performed exceptionally in this new role. Quillens had a no hitter through six and a third innings before giving up two consecutive hits (the only two of his start) and a single earned run. In his seven innings of work, he also recorded eight strikeouts before being replaced by reliever Evan Jordan (Southeastern Louisiana). Jordan pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
On the other side of the diamond, the Grays outplayed the River Dogs throughout the entire game. DH Drake Hollingsworth (Alabama-Huntsville) had a two run double in the third inning and the Grays never looked back. In the next inning, C Evan Pace led off with a solo home run to left to push the lead to 3-0. Pace wasn’t done – in the bottom of the eighth he hit another scorcher of a homer over the left-center fence, all but winning the game.
On defense, one player shone brighter than any other. 2B Eric Sloper (Shepherd) flashed the leather with ease Wednesday night. He added an exclamation point to his defensive performance in the eighth with a diving, twisting catch in shallow center to rob River Dog’s Owen Socher of a base hit for the second straight at bat.
The Grays will try and finish the season on a high note as they play a seven-inning double header against the Herndon Braves Thursday at the Washington Nationals Youth Academy. First pitch for the first game will be at 5:00pm and the second game will begin 30 minutes following the final out of the first game.
There have been a few changes to the Grays schedule this week. On Wednesday (7/20) the Grays will resume their suspended game against the Riverdogs at 6:00pm. The Riverdogs lead the Grays 6-0 in the top of the sixth inning of a seven inning game. Thirty minutes after the end of the suspended game, the Grays will take on the Riverdogs in a regular nine inning game.
In addition to the first change, there will also be a home double header on Thursday (7/21) against the Herndon Braves. Game one will begin at 5:00pm and will be a seven inning game. Game two will start at 7:30pm or 30 minutes after the end of game one, it will be a seven inning game as well.
The Grays will complete their season at home Friday night against the Baltimore Dodgers at 7:00pm. Friday night will also be “Fan Appreciation Night” where every fan in attendance will receive free DC Grays merchandise!
GAME RECAP (Grays vs Aces) 7/18/2016
By: DCGRAYS.com Press: Blane Crouse
The Grays defeated the Alexandria Aces 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, a much needed win after a series of close losses. Offense was scarce as both teams combined for only 13 hits and three runs.
The Aces scored first on a Grays error in the top of the second, but the Grays shut them down the rest of the game.
The Grays tied the game in the bottom of the fourth as 3B Marques Inman (West Virginia) hit a sacrifice fly to score RF Lamar Briggs (Jackson St) who had reached on a single earlier in the inning. The Grays then took the lead when C Evan Pace (SE Louisiana) singled to score LF Jawan McAllister (Pittsburgh) who had doubled earlier in the inning.
Two runs would be all the Grays needed and their pitching shut down the Aces. LHP Jacob Erikson (San Diego St) got the win, going five innings and allowing only four hits and one run. RHP Matthew Dalke (SE Louisiana) was outstanding in relief going four innings, allowing only two hits and no runs while striking out three. Briggs went 2-4 with a run scored and Pace went 2-3 with an RBI to lead the Grays.
Next up the Grays will take on the Braves in Herndon on Monday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00pm.
GAME RECAP (Grays at Redbirds) 7/16/2016
By: DCGRAYS.com Press: Josh Shelton
The DC Grays and Baltimore Redbirds only got through eight innings of play Saturday night before it was suspended due toto a time limit at the Redbirds field. Through eight innings of play the Grays trailed 2-4 to the league leading Redbirds. Starter Simon Rosenblum-Larson (Harvard) went six innings, allowed two runs and struck out nine Redbird batters.
The DC Grays are preparing for a busy Sunday afternoon at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, with a lot of fun activities on tap before the 1:00pm game between the Grays and the Alexandria Aces.
The team will be honoring its many wonderful host families in a ceremony before the game, and Tim Shovers, producer of Thom Loverro’s new Cigars and Curveballs podcast, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Loverro, a longtime board member of DC Grays Baseball and an award winning sports writer and radio personality, will be in attendance to talk about the Grays and other sports topics with Grays fans. Listen to the podcast here http://goo.gl/rqu7KG!
The Grays will also be celebrating their new DC Grays RBI program to promote baseball in inner-city Washington. The DC Grays RBI boys 15 and under team will be honored at the game as well, along with their coaches – DC Grays board member Brad Burris, Jabari Graham and Cory Jordan. The kids will spend time with Grays players in the dugout before the game and will go out with the Grays players for the National Anthem.
Come to the Academy early tomorrow to get in on the fun!
GAME RECAP (Grays at Braves) 7/15/2016
By: DCGRAYS.com Press: Blane Crouse
The Grays suffered their 7th straight loss in a 7-5 defeat at the hands of the Herndon Braves. The loss drops the Grays to 10-23 and 5.5 games out of a playoff spot with seven games to go.
The Grays led early but fell behind after some defensive miscues. Going into the top of the ninth the Grays trailed by two runs and had the top of their lineup coming up. RF Lamar Briggs (Jackson St) led off the inning with a single. CF Jawan McAllister (Pittsburgh) followed that up with a double moving Briggs to third. With two men in scoring position the Grays recorded three straight outs and the game was over.
Starting pitcher David Giusti (Lafayette) was solid going 5.1 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out seven. 1B Tyler Thomas (Shepherd) went 4-5 with a run scored and his college teammate 2B Eric Sloper went 2-4 and also scored a run.
Next up the Grays go on the road to take on the Redbirds Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm.