After two dismal defeats to open the Cal Ripken Collegiate League season, the DC Grays played better on Thursday against the Metro-South County Braves at the Nationals Youth Academy. The pitching was credible, there were some timely hits and a handful of sparkling defensive plays. The end result, however, was the same – a loss, this time a taut 7-5 extra-inning affair that dropped the Grays to 0-3 on the still-young season.
The visiting Braves came from behind late in the game, tying the score at five in the seventh on a passed ball. The score stayed that way for several innings, thanks to some gutsy relief pitching for both teams. The go-ahead run for the Braves was scored on a throwing error, and then the Braves tacked on an insurance run for good measure. The Grays went down easily in the bottom of the 11th.
There were some bright spots for the Grays, including four hits from Henry Zipay (Nebraska-Omaha) and a pair of hits from Patrick Vandenbergh (Lafayette). Two relievers shined on the mound for DC. Sam Stratton (Wofford) threw three innings of one-run relief, and Kai Leckszas (Georgetown) threw a pair of shutout innings with four strikeouts. Aaron Thomas (Wofford) made a pair of terrific plays in right field.
An early season run of home games for DC continues tonight, as the Grays take on the defending league champion Bethesda Big Train at 7:00pm at the Academy.