Aidan Kaminski pitched a complete game as the Aces posted a 12-1 win.
By Mike Olshin
Most of the players on the Prime Time Aces 16U squad out of Northern Virginia made the three-and-a-half hour ride up to Diamond Nation early Saturday morning, in advance of their games at the season-ending Halloween Mash.
So you couldn’t blame them for being a little antsy and ready to go for their 12:15 pm opener against the Powerballers.
The Aces hit right from the start of their two games at DN, scoring early, late, and everywhere in between. They scored three in the top of the first inning on their way to an easy 12-1 win over the Powerballers, then put up 12 more in their second game, a 12-4 win over the New York Gothams to sit 2-0 heading into the final championship Sunday of 2023 at ‘The Nation.’
Prime Time has – essentially – a prime time affair to end pool play on Sunday, a 4:30 showdown with PPH Mafia Red in a game that may determine the second team that advances to the playoffs.
The Aces really opened eyes with a complete effort in Game 1.
“It’s always helpful when we get on the board first,” Aces pitcher Aidan Kaminski said. “It just gives me the confidence to go out and attack batters. You give up a hit, and it’s easy to push it aside and keep attacking.”
J.D. Rizzo’s second double of the day drives in a run during Primetime’s six-run sixth inning.
A sophomore at Yorktown (Va) High School, Kaminski did what old-school pitchers used to do back in the day. He changed speeds, he threw strikes, he worked quickly, and he went all six innings to lead his team to victory. He worked into trouble in the fourth inning – a walk and his own error put a runner on third with nobody out – but his insistence in going after hitters led to a line drive to third that Cooper Ovalle turned into a double play. Ovalle speared it and beat the Powerballers’ runner to the bag by a split second.
Kaminski got in trouble in the fifth when Casey Williams smashed a triple to the fence in center, but the Virginia hurler came with his best and struck out the last two batters to end the inning.
By that time, his teammates had plated more than enough runs. JD Rizzo – Kaminski’s high school classmate – got things going in the first with a booming two-run double over the head of Williams in center that put the Aces up 3-0. Derek Potts added a run on a sacrifice fly, and the game remained close through the middle innings before it got out of hand late.
Rizzo’s second double of the game drove in a run to start the Aces’ six-run sixth, which was highlighted by Ovalle’s triple that hit the fence in left field and then rolled back halfway to the infield before it was corralled by the Powerballers defenders.
“Our goal coming in was really to get the bats going early,” said Rizzo, who couldn’t have been more accurate. Banks Holman nearly went yard in the fifth before settling for an RBI double. Reid Turner tripled to start the second, as the Aces slugged five extra-base hits in total.