By Dylan Reffe
The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts’ rally fell short on Wednesday night, and the Herndon Braves defeated the T-Bolts 5-4 at Blair Stadium on Host Family Night.
As is T-Bolt tradition, first-year host families were honored on the field before the start of the game.
The T-Bolts fell to 14-10 while the Braves improved to 11-12 on the season.
T-Bolts starter Daniel Shaw (UT Martin) walked the leadoff batter, and the Braves jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Andy Mochabee (West Georgia Technical College) singled him home for the first of his three hits on Wednesday.
The T-Bolts briefly grabbed the lead on Paul Burmester’s (Catholic) 2-RBI double in the bottom of the second inning. Burmester has hit safely in each of the past three contests, and raised his season batting average nearly 50 points over that span.
However, the Braves retook the lead in the following inning on Mochabee’s second hit, a 2-RBI double. Herndon tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning, giving the Braves a 5-2 lead, and that was all she wrote for Shaw.
Darrien Ragins (Delaware State), the scheduled starter for the game, replaced Shaw and pitched a scoreless five innings in relief. Though Ragins had to pitch around six walks, he only allowed two hits and kept the T-Bolts in the game.
The T-Bolts finally cut into the Brave’s lead in the bottom of the seventh inning when Adam Sisk (James Madison) scored on a passed ball, and Zach Racusin (Marist) scored after the Braves catcher made an errant throw while attempting to throw out AJ Lee (Maryland) at second base. The ball went over the head of the Brave’s second baseman and allowed Racusin to score, trimming the Braves’ lead to just a single run.
Unfortunately for T-Bolt fans, that’s as close as the home team would get on Wednesday night. Mitch Aiker (William and Mary) relieved his college teammate, Chase Bailey (William and Mary) and threw some gas while pitching a perfect seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. Aiker earned his third save of the summer, tying him for second most in the league. T-Bolt closer Connor Tagg leads the league with seven saves.
The T-Bolts will look to rebound tomorrow, Thursday, July 9, when they travel to take on the Vienna River Dogs (13-10), who currently sit in second place in the league’s Southern Division.