By Jeffrey Nelson
Leaving runners on base has been an early theme this season for the DC Grays, and it was the main culprit in DC’s road loss Wednesday night to the Southern Maryland Senators. The Grays dropped a 4-3 decision at Regency Furniture Field in Waldorf.
As often happens, things started off well for the Grays. Kaleb Willis (Lafayette) scored the first run of the ballgame in the first inning. With Evan Bouldin (Delaware State) at the plate, Connor Larson (Wofford) stole second and simultaneously on the throw to second, Willis broke for the plate. A low throw and an accredited error to Senators shortstop, Patrick Ward, gave the Grays the early lead.
Wednesday’s starter, Kimani Davis (Xavier/LA) was well improved on the mound compared to his start at home five days ago. Falling one out short of completing five innings, Davis controlled the zone more effectively as well as his off-speed pitches. After Myles Sargeant (Maine) drilled his first homerun for the Grays with one out in the second, the Grays lead stood at 2-0.
Davis’ first spell of trouble came in the bottom half. A lead-off walk was followed by a fielder’s choice - and then Matt Ilgenfritz (Gardner-Webb) crushed a two-run homer over the high wall in left field. Not yet through the inning, Davis stranded two runners with the help of Larson and the glove of first baseman, Joe Marini (Catholic).
The Senators would take the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Cadyn Karl (Kansas State) doubled to left, was moved over by a sacrifice fly, and scored on a Patrick Ward (Florida Atlantic) single to center. Davis was struggling to miss bats and the Senators took advantage.
DC second basemen, Braeden Mondeau (BYU), was spiked in the left wrist on a stolen base attempt by Ward and had to leave the game – a blow to the Grays. Mikey Guy (Frostburg State), doubled to left field, just barely missing the Senators’ second two-run homerun of the day. This prompted a call to the bullpen – and Kyle Tyler got Brett Vondohlen (Middle Tenn State) to bounce out to third.
In the eighth, the Grays had their best shot to tie the game. Parker Goff (BYU) singled, followed by an Bouldin walk. Aaron Thomas (Wofford) who came in to replace the injured Mondeau, layed down a sacrifice bunt - moving Goff and Bouldin into scoring position. A wild pitch allowed Goff to score, but once again the Grays stranded the tying run at third.
Lucky Perrotto (Catholic) escaped a tricky situation in the bottom half. Larson cut down a runner at the plate on a ground ball and ground out to second ended the inning. In the ninth, the Grays went down one-two-three.
The Grays dropped to 2-6 with the loss, and travel to Olney on Thursday for a 5pm tilt with the Cropdusters.