Jacob Koos (Stetson)
At 30-9 and having already locked up the South Division, Friday’s final regular season contest against the FCA Herndon Braves is simply a formality for the Bethesda Big Train before starting their postseason campaign.
However, the game will provide the Big Train pitching staff an opportunity to shore up against a powerful Braves attack before the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League Playoffs begin.
“We’re definitely still working hard, getting guys work in,” assistant coach Tyler McKee said. “We’re giving guys opportunities to go out there and get better and develop.”
Zach Guth (Undecided) will be on the bump for Bethesda. The rising junior has seen limited action this season, pitching just two innings in three appearances.
For Guth and the Big Train pitchers, their stiffest tests come from Richard Constantine and Cayden Stover. Constantine currently leads the league in batting average at .404, with 12 doubles, five home runs and 31 RBIs. Stover is hitting .342 with 17 RBIs.
Additionally, catcher Ciaran Devenney boasts impressive pop for the Braves. The sophomore from Deleware State is hitting .320 with seven home runs, eight doubles and 35 RBIs.
“We’re going to throw a lot of guys and at them and see what they can do,” McKee said. “They’ve been working all summer to get their turn and we’ll get them in the game and see what they can do.”
On the offensive side it will likely be more supporting cast members than starters for the Big Train. Matt Green (St. Mary’s), Jacob Koos (Stetson), and Tanner Allen (Mississippi State) all got starts Thursday night in the Big Train’s 7-6 win over the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. Normal starters Vinny Esposito (Sacramento State) and Logan Driscoll (George Mason) both played Thursday but played out of position at first and third base respectively.
“We’ll just come out and play hard,” Esposito said. “It doesn’t really matter who they are or where we’re at in the standings. So we’ll come out and play hard again.”
Friday is also Fan Appreciation Night at the ballpark. The first 500 Big Train fans in attendance will receive a Big Train fan powered by Text Design. Players will be signing autographs prior to the game as well.
First pitch from Shirley Povich Field is scheduled for 7 p.m.