Alexandria Aces remain at top of the Ripken League as season reaches midway point

The 2023 Cal Ripken Sr. League is halfway through its season, with the All-Star Game just around the corner. Here is a recap of the past two weeks.

Prospect Games: The League sent some top performers and biggest draft prospects to compete in the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball (NACSB) Prospect Games in Lynchburg, Va., for two days in June.

First, the Ripken League faced the Sunbelt League and got a 2-1 victory in a game called due to lightning on June 26. Then, the team beat the Atlantic Coast League 5-4 on June 27.

Aces walk off Grays: Matt Ossenfort hit a walk-off home run to lift the Alexandria Aces past the D.C. Grays for a 10-9 victory Monday night. 

The game became a shootout as Alexandria trailed 7-3 in the third inning before rallying back to tie it at 7-7 en route to the Ossenfort walk-off dinger.

Aces still on top: The Aces remain the top team in the league in early July with a league-best record of 17-2.

The other three teams in the South division have near-identical records, as the Southern Maryland Senators are 9-14, the Metro South County Braves are 9-15, and the Grays are 8-15.

The Bethesda Big Train is also one of the best teams yet again, as they lead the North division at 15-6, while the Olney Cropdusters are right behind them in second place at 13-7.

The Gaithersburg Giants and Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts occupy the bottom two spots in that division at 8-14 and 7-13, respectively.

Player awards: Braves first baseman Katcher Halligan was named the Week 4 Player of the Week.

Halligan (Houston Baptist) hit an impressive .350/.480/.700 in the past week, picking up four extra-base hits and six RBIs. He also hit for the cycle and drove in four runs against the Grays on June 28.

The Pitcher of the Week award was given to Big Train right-hander Brandon Cassedy of Christopher Newport.

In his last start on June 29 against the Grays, Cassedy threw five shutout innings and struck out a season-high nine batters while allowing two hits.

Pitching stat leaders: Five different pitchers are tied for the most wins in a list that includes Jake Zicka (Senators), Michael Gillen (Aces), and Eddie Kaftan (Grays), all with three wins each.

Edward Sargent (Thunderbolts) currently leads the league in strikeouts with a total of 28, while four other pitchers are tied for second place with 25.

Finally, Cassedy is the only pitcher with a perfect ERA of 0.00, while his Bethesda teammate Jesse Gutierrez has the second-lowest ERA of 1.20.

Batting stat leaders: Ossenfort is the league leader in home runs with five, while Jeffrey Heard (Big Train) and Jimmy Kirk (Cropdusters) are tied with four each.

Cory Taylor (Aces) currently has the best batting average in the league at .386, while Matt Miura (Cropdusters) has the second-best at .358.

Finally, Heard currently leads all batters with 28 total RBIs, and Halligan and Ossenfort are right behind with 20 each.

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