2019 CRCBL Pitcher of the Year -- Chase Lee
Date: Aug 13, 2019
By Matt Cohen
The Herndon Braves are at the bottom of most key statistical categories in the Cal Ripken League. Based on numbers alone, it makes sense why the Braves have struggled.
But on Sunday night at Frank Mann Field, everything came together for the Braves as the got just enough on the mound and the plate. The Braves bullpen held off a rally from the Alexandria Aces and the offense pulled away for good late in the game for a 10-4 win.
The Braves jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, while starting pitcher Lathan Todd (Citadel) held the Aces off the board through the first three innings.
Though Todd’s performance wasn’t easy.
In all but one of his 4.1 innings of work, Todd found himself in a jam. In each of those innings, Todd found a way to escape, limiting the damage if allowing any at all.
As Todd tired and Braves head coach Chris Warren went to his bullpen, the Aces worked their way back. Alexandria slowly chipped away with one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one more in the sixth. The Aces closed the gap to 6-4, and were out hitting the Braves.
But Herndon kept finding ways to escape with the lead. Through the first seven innings Herndon stranded 14 Alexandria base runners. Ultimately, 16 Aces were left stranded in the game.
Nick Escoto (Holy Cross), Praise Thorsen (Lander) and Austin Gilpin (Lock Haven) all played a role in holding off the Aces rally out of the Braves bullpen.
It was another Alexandria mistake that proved the dagger to its own comeback, but this time on the defensive side. A throwing error by Aces pitcher Noah Short (Morehead State) in the top of the eighth extended the inning and ultimately led to two more runs, one scoring on a wild pitch and the other on a Marcos Pujols (Dayton) single.
The Braves continued to pile it on scoring four runs in the top of the eighth inning, breaking the game open once again. This time, the Aces wouldn’t be able to work their way back.
“We just showed a lot of mental toughness I thought offensively and defensively we played well,” Warren said. “It helped bail us out of a couple innings.”
The all-around performance was one of the best Warren has seen this summer. It comes from a team that had struggled putting runs across the plate. It’s just the second time the Braves have scored double-digit runs in this summer.
The six, seven and eight spots in the Herndon lineup provided much of the key offense. Charlie Ludwick (Eastern Kentucky) and Jordan Ebersole (VMI) each had two RBIs and each had three hits. Reid Singewald (North Alabama) scored three runs in the Braves win.
The Braves stay in last place with the win, but do improve to 8-15. Of those eight wins, four have come against the Aces. The Braves have had the Aces number throughout this 2019 summer despite struggling against the rest of the league.