ROCKVILLE, MD – Errors are a fielder’s worst enemy. One is a hiccup. It happens. When they pile up, the game can get away from you quickly. In a 7-3 loss at Shirley Povich Stadium last night, the Aces committed five to Bethesda’s one, ending their bid to repeat as champions of the Cal Ripken Collegiate League.
It didn’t help that both teams had to wait an hour and 13 minutes to start the game because of a rain delay. But that’s part of baseball. When the first pitch was thrown at 8:13 p.m., the Aces’ Tim Nicholson stood in the box for ball one. He would groundout to the Bethesda shortstop Connor Rasmussen. The top half of the inning ended on a strikeout of third baseman Gavin Miller. In the bottom half, Aces’ starter Ryan Edmonds gave up a walk, but his defense made plays behind him, and the runner was left on base.
In the top of the second, Jonah Oster advanced to first on a dropped third strike. Then he took second on a pass ball during Matt Ossenfort’s at-bat. Ossenfort hit a single. allowing Oster to move to third. The next batter, Nick Gregory hit a long sacrifice fly to right, sending Oster home. Up 1-0, this would be the Aces only lead. Bethesda answered with a run in the bottom half.
With both pitchers settled in, zeros appeared on the scoreboard for the next three innings. Edmonds night ended because of a high pitch count, but in four innings, despite three walks, he threw five strikeouts.
Reliever Cameron Keshock entered in the fifth. His task: to keep the score tied. For one inning, he did his job. But in the sixth, Bethesda broke the game open, scoring three. They added three more in the seventh. Half of the runs scored because of errors, including two by shortsop Dylan Grego and another by Gregory in center field.
The Aces attempted a rally in the ninth in effort to overcome their mistakes. But they could only score two. The first run came on an Alex Wade RBI single, and the second resulted from a Chris Esquivel RBI single. The season, and the hopes of Alexandria’s team, ended at 11:05 p.m. , when Nicholson’s fly to left landed softly in Jacob Orr’s glove. [SEE ALSO: Aces Fall to Bethesda in Game 1 of Championship Series, 16-10]