Jacob Southern steps up at bat in game one of the doubleheader
Big Train and the Aces split their doubleheader tonight with Big Train winning the first game of the day and the Aces winning the second game of the day. Big Train took the lead at the beginning of the first game and powered through to hold a 10-5 win over the Aces. In the second game, Big Train also claimed another early lead, however the Aces made a late rally to win the game 1-2. These games put Big Train with a record of 26-5 and the Aces with a record of 12-16.
In the first game, Jacob Southern (Jacksonville University) scored first for Big Train in the second inning, shortly followed by AJ Lee (University of Maryland). Southern hit a line drivedouble into center field, later advancing to third off a single hit from Lee. Southern then scored off a sacrifice fly from Tyler Reis (Waynesburg University). AJ Lee made it to third off an error from the Aces catcher, and he scored for Bethesda off a wild pitch from the Aces pitcher.
The Aces tied the score in the third inning, with Joe Pace and Kris Kremer both scoring runs. Pace got on base with a double, and then made it home off a double from Kremer. Kremer made it home soon after off a Big Train error.
In the bottom of the inning, Big Train once again took the lead off a homerun from Justin Wylie (University of Arizona) with Alec Burleson (East Carolina University) on third base. This put Big Train back in a 4-2 lead.
Big Train extended their lead in the fourth inning, scoring five runs to put them at a 9-2 lead. Tyler Villaroman (University of San Francisco) started off the inning for Big Train with a triple, and he made it home off a single from Bryan Diaz (Nova Southeastern University). Carson Taylor (Virginia Tech University) made it onto first with a walk, putting Diaz on second. Both Diaz and Taylor advanced safely off an error from the Aces when Burleson hit a groundball towards second base. Justin Wylie, up at bat next for the Big Train, made it to first off a walk, bringing Diaz in to score for Bethesda. Both Taylor and Burleson scored off a single hit from Jacob Southern, which also put Wylie on second base. Wylie scored the final run of the inning off a single from Udie Summerall (Florida Atlantic University).
The Aces tried to make a comeback, scoring two runs in the fifth inning from Nate Mallot and Scott Morgan, and another run in the eighth inning from Chris Alleyne to bring the Aces to their final score of 5. They were unsuccessful in catching up to Big Train, who closed out the eighth inning off another run from AJ Lee, bringing the final score of the game to 10-5.
Wylie’s homerun in the third inning was key in this first game win. There was a surge in energy from the Big Train players that brought them the next five runs of the game. “I kind of just wanted to hit the ball hard,” Wylie said about his thoughts heading to the plate. “[The pitcher] was around the zone and we really just wanted to put some good swings on the ball, and I happened to do that.”
In the second game, Big Train claimed the lead early on in the first inning. Fox Semones (James Madison University) hit a double with a line drive deep into left field. He advanced to third with Wylie at bat, and made it home to score the only run for Big Train off a sacrifice fly from John Glenn (California Baptist University).
Big Train held their lead until the fourth inning, when Isaiah Thomas hit a homerun for the Aces to tie the game at 1-1. The Aces swiped the lead in the fifth inning, with Eric Lansinger scoring the final run of the game off a play from Cam McMillan.
Carlos Lomeli (St. Mary’s College (CA)) started the second game as pitcher for Big Train. Lomeli pitching in the first few innings was instrumental in the Aces being unable to score until the fourth inning. In the first four innings, Lomeli struck out 9 batters for the Aces and only gave up one hit. Lomeli had a solid strategy for the game. “I was trying to throw a lot of strikes… and my fastball was working, my slider was working, so that helped.”
Head coach Sal Colangelo had lots of thoughts on the games from the day. Especially after playing such an intense game the night before against the Redbirds, Colangelo understands how tough it can be to come out the very next day and play a doubleheader. “The first game we kind of went through the motions a little bit, did some good things, but we could have done better things and buried them, and we just didn’t. A win is a win, but we didn’t learn from it,” Colangelo remarked after the game. When it comes to the second game of the doubleheader, Colangelo was disappointed, but he sees the loss as a learning opportunity for the team. Like he tells his team, “Anytime someone beats you, it’s like winning the seventh game of the World Series. That is the culture. That is what goes on here in Bethesda. So we just need to be better every day knowing that, and do the extra things, do the little things…. Be focused in the game and working on getting better.”
Big Train travels to D.C. tomorrow to take on the Grays in a 7 p.m. game. Stay updated on the game through Twitter and Instagram @gobigtrain and also watch the live Periscope feed and broadcast from PJ Glasser and Max Wolpoff, which can be accessed through the Big Train website.