For most of the season, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts have relied on their offense to pick up wins. But Sunday against the Alexandria Aces, their pitching took center stage.
Thunderbolts’ starters allowed just two combined runs while riding strong offensive performances as they picked up 8-1 and 11-1 wins, sweeping their second doubleheader in as many nights.
Zeke Gondola was locked in for the Thunderbolts from the start in game one, striking out four Aces in the first two innings.
The Silver Spring-Takoma offense backed him up in the third, as Tony Gallo and Lucas Donlon each drove in a run to put the Thunderbolts up 2-0.
As Gongola continued to dominate, the offense kept pace. DaVonn Griffin hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth to add to the Thunderbolts’ lead, and Tyler Murray drove in two for his third hit of the game in the fifth inning.
Riley Cheek doubled in a run for the Aces in the fifth to break up the shutout, but that was all they could muster against Gongola.
He tossed a three-hit, one-run complete game while striking out six. Gongola was the first Thunderbolts starter to throw a complete game this season.
Silver Spring-Takoma plated three more in the seventh to add insurance, and Gongola retired the side to seal the 8-1 win.
In the second game, Bradyn Kail nearly matched Gongola’s effort while receiving more run support.
The Thunderbolt offense got to Aces’ starter Connor Campbell early, exploding for six runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Ryan Roell opened the scoring with a two-run home run, his fourth of the season. Silver Spring-Takoma then loaded the bases with no outs before Daulton Martin, Dom Ford and Corey Rosier each drove in additional runs, chasing Campbell.
The Thunderbolts added another run in the third on Quinn McKenna’s sacrifice fly, solidifying the lead for Kail. He tossed six innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits while striking out four.
Silver Spring-Takoma put the game out of reach in the fifth, as Rosier, Roell and Gallo combined to drive in four runs and put the Thunderbolts up 11.
Casey Mayes singled in a run in the sixth for the Aces, but it was too late by that point for Alexandria. Lyle Miller-Green shut down the Aces in the seventh to wrap up the Thunderbolts’ fourth victory of the weekend.