At West Potomac Saturday evening, it was warm and nearly perfect for a change, with no meteorological drama as the Arlington Mallards and Alexandria A's played two. The same could not be said for the teams' defense, as they scattered 15 errors across 13 innings of play, accounting for 11 of the 28 total runs scored.
The home team won both games by one run, with both games featuring an A's comeback attempt in their final at-bat. In game 1, Taylor Bryner took the mound for the A's and got off to a great start, but surrendered 5 runs on five consecutive hits by the bottom of the Mallards' lineup in the 2nd, highlighted by Mallards starting pitcher Brady Adam's 2 RBI double. In the 3rd, an unearned run crossed the plate to give the Mallards their 6th run, but reliever Damon Cruz came in to strike out 6 Mallards batters in four scoreless innings to hold the score. Adam went the distance for the Mallards, giving up 2 earned and 5 unearned runs, and striking out ten A's batters in six innings pitched. The turning point came in the 6th, with the A's down 6-3, when the A's first two batters scored on a series of hits and walks, and Keith Mitchell came up with two runners in scoring position with two outs. Mitchell's grounder to third was fielded cleanly, but the throw bounced past the first baseman to allow the tying and go-ahead runs to score. Three outs later, Cruz had the comeback win. Teufel had multiple hits for the A's, including an RBI single in the pivotal 6th, and scored the winning run.
A's management then made the puzzling decision to keep Cruz on the bump to start game 2 after nearly 40 minutes of inactivity. This did not go well, as the Mallards batted around in the 1st, ultimately bringing originally intended starter Steve Lohrman to the mound before an out was recorded. Dane Pepper had 2 hits, a run, and an RBI in just the first two innings, as the Mallards put the A's into an 8-0 hole by the end of the second. Lohrman settled in and struck out 9 to hold it there, but the 8 run deficit turned out to be enough for the Mallards pitching tandem of Gill, Richards, and McMahon, as they fended off another comeback. McMahon struck out two A's batters, but the one that really mattered came in the top of the 7th with two outs and runners on 1st and 2nd, after the A's had already added 4 runs in the inning. Final score 8-7 Mallards. Bartlett had 2 hits and Bilock drove in 2 runs for the A's, and Kirsch did the most damage for the Mallards, batting in 3 runs.
The two teams will continue their season series Wednesday 8pm at location TBD, and in the interim, the A's will play the only team they have not been able to beat this season, the Northern Virginia Navigators, at Bryant Alternative on Monday.