06/16/2021 6:50 PM
The Big Train and Thunderbolts' first regular season meeting on June 8 was suspended after the conclusion of the ninth inning tied 3-3. Rain and lightning forced the game's extras to be made up on June 16, where the Big Train won 10–3 in 11 innings.
The Big Train kicked off the scoring in the top of the first, when Nolan Schanuel (Florida Atlantic) scored Darius Foster (San Francisco) from third on an RBI groundout. The Thunderbolts immediately responded in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single to tie the game at one.
In the bottom of the third, Luke Baker (Jacksonville) got out of a bases loaded jam to keep the score tied at one. But in the bottom of the fifth, the T-Bolts tacked on two runs with an RBI triple and a sacrifice fly to take a 3-1 lead.
In the top of the sixth, after leading off the inning with a triple down the left field line, Rocco Peppi (Long Beach State) scored on a passed ball to cut the T-Bolts' lead to one. A few moments later, Matt Thomas (William & Mary) cranked a solo homer – his first of the year – into the trees in right center field to tie the game at three.
After Thomas’s homer, both teams’ bats went dormant. The bases went largely untouched until the bottom of the ninth, when the T-bolts loaded the bases with two outs via a single, a walk and an intentional walk. The Silver Spring dugout and the home crowd were buzzing, as they could smell victory with lightning inching closer to Blair Stadium.
But with the game on the line in his first appearance of the summer, Zach Locke (Long Beach State) was able to get out of the jam, striking out a Silver Spring pinch hitter with the bases loaded to end the threat and send the game to the tenth inning.
Before the teams could take the field for the extra frame, however, the lightning arrived and the rain started pouring, which promptly suspended the game.
When the game resumed, both teams failed to score in the tenth inning. In the top of the 11th, however, the Big Train’s bats caught fire.
The scoring started with Jack Cone (William & Mary) crushing a two RBI double to make it 5–3 Big Train. A few moments later, Cone scored on an RBI single by Brady Gumpf (Notre Dame). Then, Velazquez scored on a throwing error, before Austin Gauthier (Maryland) singled home Grant Knipp (Alabama) to make it 8–3. Another two batters later, with Gauthier and Foster in scoring position, Schanuel hit a sac fly that scored both Gauthier and, improbably, Foster, making it 10–3 Big Train.
The T-Bolts failed to score any runs in the bottom half of the inning, giving the Big Train victory #6 on the season and manager Sal Colangelo victory #499 in his summer collegiate coaching career.
For the Big Train, Foster went 3–for-6 with two stolen bases, Peppi went 2–4 and Ryan Metz (Virginia Tech) shut the door in extra innings on the mound.
On the mound, Baker struck out three T-Bolts and only allowed one earned run in four innings of work. Matt Bedford (Notre Dame) had an impressive outing in relief, striking out six in four innings of work.
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