Split: Big Train Narrowly Miss Sweep of Double-header

By:Alex Xanthakis
Jacob McCarvel (California Baptist) threw five scoreless innings in a 9-2 game one win over the Grays.

Entering Friday night, the D.C. Grays and Bethesda Big Train had met three times on the season. The Big Train had scored two wins against the Grays' one. Leaving the double-header, though, both teams have added a tally in the win column, with Bethesda taking the first game, but D.C. rallying to win the nightcahp. The Big Train are now 3-2 against the Grays on the season.

For the Grays, the MVP of the double-header had to be Austin Deming (BYU). In the Grays' win in game two, Deming practically did it all as he cracked two home runs, totaled all four RBIs for the Grays prior to extra innings, and tossed two scoreless innings of relief. Anyways, let's see how both games went down.

GAME ONE FINAL: Big Train 9, Grays 2

In this game, the Big Train pitching was top-notch and the batters were swinging for the fences--and everywhere short of the fences, too.

Here's a look at some key performers: Jacob Southern (Jacksonville) had a two-run homer in his first plate appearance, setting the table for an offensive explosion. He also tallied two walks, and his season stats at the end of the game landed him among league leaders with four homers (T-1st) and 19 RBIs (1st). Kobe Kato (Arizona) added a pair of hits in three at-bats as well as a walk and steal (11). Kato's batting average at the end of the night closed at .545, keeping his chances at a historic season intact.

Jacob McCarvel (California Baptist) threw five innings and allowed no runs, keeping his ERA for the season at an impressive 0.00. That, of course, has him with the league lead. Gio Diaz (St. Mary's CA) stole three bases in the game too. His stolen base total now sits at 18, good for first on in the league.

In what was an all-around effort by the Big Train, the team handled the Grays 9-2 in the first game. The Grays were scoreless through five, at which point Bethesda had already scored all nine of their runs.

It wasn't the closest game; however, the second game was the polar opposite of that. Let's look at how it went down.

GAME TWO FINAL: Grays 5, Big Train 4 (8 innings)

The Big Train versus Grays game two was an exciting game that got a little emotional for the players. The dugout roared with energy when several key plays flipped and flopped the balance of the game.

Bethesda raced off to a fast start with a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Given that both parties knew how the last game had just transpired, things seemed iffy out of the gate for the Grays, as Bethesda had all the early momentum. Darius Foster (San Francisco) crossed on an error, and Diaz later scored on a Matt Thomas (William & Mary) sac fly.

Then, in the second inning, Austin Deming changed the tide of the game. He hit a home run that cut the Big Train's lead in half and dented their momentum. Next time up, he stepped to the plate with two runners on in the third inning and two outs. At the time, the Big Train were up 2-1. Deming, of course, hit his second home run of the night, giving the Grays their first lead of the night at 4-2.

Bethesda's odds dampened. However, channeling the spirit that all teams who can truly call themselves winners always seem to, the Big Train couldn't be counted out of this one. They made several valiant efforts to overcome the deficit that ultimately came up just a little short.

In the fourth inning, Martin Vincelli-Simard (Sacramento State) crushed a home run, bringing the game back to within one run. Following three walks for Foster, Diaz, and Kato, Southern approached the plate, down one, with the bases loaded. This seemed like the Big Train's chance to take the lead. Southern solidly connected on the perfect pitch to crank out of the park, but it fell just short and was caught on the warning track of deep right center field, ending the inning.

The sixth inning was a wild one, as Big Train swung momentum back in their favor. In the top of the sixth, Kato singled in Christian Jayne (East Carolina) to knot things up 4-4. But the bottom of the inning was substantially more important. The Grays had two men on with no outs when manager Sal Colangelo decided on a pitching change. The change proved timely as reliever Elliot Zoellner (Maryland) entered the game and held the Grays hitless and scoreless the rest of that key inning.

"I was thinking to myself: get a ground ball, get two--ended up throwing a passed ball unfortunately," Zoellner said of working out of the second-and-third jam. "But I had great feelings behind me, executing pitches, trusted in my stuff, trusted in my teammates, and got great results. That's all it was."

Zoellner also pitched the seventh inning and again allowed no runs or hits, keeping momentum on Bethesda's side. The seventh and eighth inning, before the Bethesda gave up the fatal run, were especially tragic for the Big Train. In both scenarios, with the bases loaded in the seventh and a man on first and third in the eighth, nearly freak double plays ended the Big Train's hopes.

In the seventh, Jayne hit a hard groundball right back at the pitcher that he easily flipped to home and then first for the double play. The pitcher easily could have missed it given that it was hit pretty hard, but he didn't, and it killed the inning.

In the eighth, the play was even less fortunate for Bethesda. With runners on the corners, Southern hit a line drive above the first baseman's head, but the Grays defender leaped and caught it while, at the same time, landing on first base to retire Kato as well in an unlikely unassisted double play to end the frame. The Grays then walked it off with a bases loaded single to left in the bottom of the inning. 

Losing the second game was tragic for the Big Train, who have yet to sweep a double-header this season. 

On what it means to the team to play in doubleheaders, Zoellner said, "It's just like systems. We do everything: we stick to our routine, our preparation. Really not much has changed - we're just locked in on winning, and you know, we split today, but we always want to win and that's what we're focusing on."

The Big Train are back in action in yet another double-header Saturday in Gaithersburg to face off with the Giants. Game one will start at 4:30 p.m.

Share This Article

Past News

Search Archive »

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
December 2022
November 2022
September 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
March 2020
February 2020
October 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
November 2016
September 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
September 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
November 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
December 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
December 2011

You Tube
Number 11
Number 21
Number 40
Number 42
Number 5
Number 7