Aces reaches 20-win milestone while Cropdusters score 24 runs

The Cal Ripken League has a week of regular season play before the playoffs begin. Here is a recap of everything that happened during Week 5:

Aces reach 20 wins: Alexandria became the first team to reach the 20-win mark after sweeping the Olney Cropdusters in a doubleheader on July 8.

The Aces won the first game 5-1 thanks to the offensive efforts of Matt Ossenfort, Dylan Grego and Nick Gregory.

In the second game, Alexandria earned an 8-3 victory after putting up five runs on just one hit in the first inning, while Ryan Reich pitched five innings and struck out nine Olney batters.

Cropdusters score 24 runs: Meanwhile, the Cropdusters bounced back with a massive 24-2 blowout victory over the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts on July 6.

The win ended a four-game losing skid for the Cropdusters, where they combined for 12 total runs.
Olney’s 24 runs came from 18 hits and an error by the T-Bolts.

All-Star Game canceled: The 2023 Cal Ripken League All-Star Game was initially set to take place at First Responder Field in Olney for the first time. Unfortunately, the game was canceled due to inclement weather, with no makeup date announced.

Player awards: Cropdusters outfielder Matt Miura was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week for Week 5.

The Hawaii outfielder hit .533/.600/.667 in five games last week. In Olney’s 24-2 rout over SS-T, Miura finished 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBIs and four runs scored. He also stole three bases against the Metro South County Braves on July 5.

Week 5’s Pitcher of the Week award was given to the Aces’ Ethan Houghtaling.

Houghtaling (Western Michigan) pitched six strong innings in his lone start of the week, which came on July 5 against the Southern Maryland Senators. He allowed five hits and one earned run while striking out ten.

Aces remain on top: The Aces are still the best team in the league and the South division at 21-2, while there’s a three-way race for second place in that division between the Senators (12-17), Braves (10-17), and D.C. Grays (10-18).

Meanwhile, there’s a huge battle for first place in the North division, with the Bethesda Big Train on top at 17-8 and the Cropdusters right behind them at 16-10.

The T-Bolts (10-15) and Gaithersburg Giants (8-17) remain in third and fourth place.

Pitching leaders: Anthony Ehly (Aces) leads the league with four wins, Reich has the most strikeouts with 33, and Brandon Cassedy (Big Train) has the lowest ERA at 0.78.

Batting leaders: Jeffrey Heard (Big Train) and Ossenfort are tied for the most home runs with five, Miura has the best batting average at .394, and Heard leads the league with 29 RBIs.

Feature photo by Mike Clark/The Sports Pulse

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