Allen Smoot (San Francisco) fields a ground ball in Thursday's win over the River Dogs.
The moment felt like a storybook finish was on the horizon. With two outs and a tie game in the eighth inning, the league leader in RBIs, Clayon Daniel (Jacksonville State), stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded.
The ball sprung off his bat, but went directly to the shortstop, ending the threat.
"Thats baseball," manager Sal Colangelo said. "All you can do is keep playing."
The Redbirds then struck for three straight hits in the bottom half of the inning off of Stephen Schoch (Appalachian State) to take a 5-4 lead. Two Big Train players were able to reach first base in the top of the ninth inning, but the team ultimately fell short.
Daniel hit 2-for-5, recorded one RBI and scored one run.
Designated hitter Michael Emodi (Creighton) singled and scored in his first at-bat, then doubled in his second. He finished 2-for-4 and was the stranded go-ahead run in the eighth inning.
Colangelo's team had its chances earlier in the game, but couldn't consistently convert. Four Big Train runners were stranded at third base and another three were left at second base. In the eighth inning threat, one made a base-running error, getting tagged out at third base with no outs on a groundball.
The team also watched eight called strike-three's go by.
"We got to get better at [putting the ball in play and not leaving guys on base]," Colangelo said. "When you do things like that, good things happen. If we do that, we win by three of four runs ... Anytime the two best teams in the league go at it, whoever makes the least mistakes is going to win the ball game."
Matt Marsili (James Madison) was Bethesda's most effective pitcher against the Redbirds. He allowed one run in three innings of work.
The Big Train falls to 3-1 with the loss and will play its fifth straight game on Saturday night against the Gaithersburg Giants.
"These guys have played four days in a row, they’re tired, but that's baseball," Colangelo said. "It's not going to go your way every day, they got the best of us tonight. We’ll regroup, we’ll be ready to go tomorrow against Gaithersburg.
First pitched is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.