By: William Franciscus
The DC Grays dropped their third straight game on Friday night, losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Southern Maryland Senators 6-5 at the Washington Nationals Youth Academy
Eddie Kaftan (Mitchell) started for the Grays and was less than his best. He gave up a run in the fourth on a double by Matt Illgenfritz (Gardner-Webb). The Senators added to their lead in the fifth with a Mikey Guysingle (Frostburg St) and then then DC walked in Cadyn Karl (Kansas St) and Brett Vondohlen (Middle Tennessee) giving Southern Maryland a 4-0 lead. Kaftan did not finish out the fifth inning - his shortest outing f of the season.
The Grays were able to answer back in the sixth inning on an Evan Bouldin (Delaware St) double cutting the Senators lead to 4-2. In the seventh inning DC showed great discipline at the plate as they were able to score three runs as Southern Maryland walked in Kyle Tyler (Valparaiso), Justin Grech (Lafayette) and Joe Marini (Catholic). This gave DC at 5-4 lead heading into the eighth inning. The lead could have been greater - as the Grays still had bases loaded with no one out when they took the lead. They failed to tack on any insurance runs - a missed opportunity that would define the game.
That the Grays weee even in the game at all is credit to the terrific relief work of Sam Stratton (Wofford). He gave up zero runs on zero hits and he had four strikeouts for DC in three plus innings.
The Grays went into the ninth inning with the lead and DC sent out reliever Ryan Wheeler (Alvernia) to close out the game. The Senators lead off the inning with a walk by Joshua Braxton (Mt St Marys) and then one batter later Vondohlen hit a two-run homer giving Southern Maryland the lead 6-5 which would be the final score. John Gray (Wofford) picked up the win for the Senators, as Wheeler was credited with the loss.
DC drops to 5-11 on the season, while the Southern Maryland Senators moved to 6-8.
The Grays will look to get back in the win column Saturday against the Gaithersburg Giants. The game will be at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy at 7 o’clock due to unplayable conditions in Gaithersburg. DC will be the visiting team.