by John Vittas
The Gaithersburg Giants held on for a 4-3 win at Frank Mann Field in Alexandria Sunday despite stranding 12 runners over the final six innings.
Gaithersburg beat the same Aces squad by one run, 6-5 the previous Sunday in extra innings. With the win, the Giants (5-2) claim sole possession of first place in the Ripken League.
Vince Molesky (1-1) earned the win, allowing three runs on seven hits over seven innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
"I used my defense, they were fabulous tonight," Molesky said. "It's easy pitching with a lead. I just kept on pouring the ball into the strike zone, and left it up to the offense and defense."
Ryan McGuigan went 2-for-4 with a sac bunt and two RBIs, which came on a two-out single in the first off Aces' starter Brian O'Neill.
"I was a little late on his fastball at first when he was throwing it inside to me, and then he came outside and I just put the bat on the ball," McGuigan said.
Brandon Grove hit a solo home run in the fourth, and Chris Kashangaki added an RBI single later in the inning to make it 4-1 Giants.
The Aces got back-to-back hits from Dylan Riner and Brandon Burris in the fifth to plate two and cut the deficit to 4-3. The score wouldn't change, as Molesky retired the last seven batters he faced.
Josh Ingham picked up the save, getting Brett Carlson to ground out to strand two in the eighth.
"As a closer you're mainly throwing hard stuff," Ingham said. "I stuck with the fastball. It was a big situation and I needed to throw strikes, I didn't want to walk him, so I just kept stuffing it inside. If you get it inside enough, they can't do anything with it."
Sunday's victory is the fourth in a row for Gaithersburg.
"We're coming out here, just playing loose, playing relaxed but still getting the job done," Ingham said. "We're doing the little things right, pitching the ball really well and getting timely hitting when it counts."
The Giants will head to Bethesda Monday to take on the Big Train at 7:30 in a battle for first place.
To listen to the post-game interview with Vince Molesky, Josh Ingham and Ryan McGuigan, click here