Battle of First Place Teams in Bethesda

By:Danny Kobren
Allen Smoot (San Francisco)

With last night’s victory against the Herndon Braves, the Big Train sit in first in the South Division at 22-10. They will face the leaders of the north, the rival Baltimore Redbirds in a crucial doubleheader. Baltimore currently holds a 23-7 record, 2.5 games in front of Bethesda for the best record in the Cal Ripken Sr. League.

The league leader in RBIs, Allen Smoot (San Francisco), had an exceptional night at the plate. Though he went 1-4, he added to his RBI total when he plated two runners on a single. He will try to continue his success in these two games.

The Big Train will turn to a pair of California arms as Johnny York (St. Mary’s) and Drew Strotman (St. Mary’s) look to help Bethesda gain ground on the Redbirds. York comes into this game with an impressive 3-0 record, a staggering 1.66 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 27 innings. In his last appearance, the all-star allowed two runs on six hits, struck out six and earned his third win of the season.

Game one will be a continuation of a game that was delayed by rain. It will pick up in the bottom of the fourth inning in a 1-1 tie.

Strotman is projected to take the mound for game two. The junior has accumulated a 3-2 record with a 2.91 ERA and 22 strikeouts over 24.2 innings pitched. He will look to rebound after an uncharacteristic performance in his last appearance. In his shortest game this season, 2.2 innings, he gave up six runs on seven hits.

First pitch for game one is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. while game two will start at 7:30 p.m.  ESPN Analyst Tim Kurkjian, the Oriole Bird, and Shakey the Lemonade guy will be in attendance for the second game.  Tim Kurkjian will be signing and selling his book while Shakey will be making lemonade.

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