By Joey White
Continuing their road trip, the Baltimore Dodgers (3-7) head to Virginia to take on the Alexandria Aces (10-1).
The last time these teams squared off, the Dodgers were unable to preserve a one-run lead in the ninth inning, and eventually fell to the Aces 7-2 in the 10th.
The Dodgers lost a few hours of sleep last night after an extra-innings game against the Baltimore Redbirds was suspended due to a local curfew after 12 innings. The teams will finish the game at a later date.
The Aces have been impressive through the first quarter of the regular season. The team holds a seven-game win streak, most recently routing the Rockville Express 8-1.
Offensively, the Aces boast two players hitting above .400 on the young season. Ethan Cady (Lipscomb) and Kam Smith (Northern Illinois) have consistently gotten on base, giving Wofford outfielder Mack Nathanson (team-leading 11 RBI’s) great opportunities to put runs on board.
Over the last two games, the Dodgers have shown a lot of grit and are trying to dig their way out of an early season slump. A blowout of the Bethesda Big Train and an impressive comeback against the Redbirds give this team a lot of confidence heading into their matchup with the Aces.
So far, middle infielders Austin James (St. College of Florida) and Joey Ortiz (New Mexico St.) have been the most consistent hitters on the team. Ortiz leads the team in average (.283) while James extended his hit streak to eight straight games.
The Aces will send Andrew Coker (Clemson) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ hitters. Coker will redshirt for his freshman season next spring, but in his only start this summer pitched five and one-third innings of three-run baseball in a no-decision against the Bethesda Big Train.
The Dodgers have not named a starter, but expect the team to utilize some of their solid relievers including John Sakowski (Creighton), David Gately (Catholic U), and Ed Lopez (Mansfield).
The Dodgers will look to slow down a red-hot Aces ball club, and pick up a win against arguably the best team in the Ripken League.