06/19/2021 10:50 PM
After a tough loss against the Gaithersburg Giants on Friday night, Bethesda Big Train swept a doubleheader from the Alexandria Aces at Shirley Povich Field Saturday.
In game one, 11 runs from the Big Train offense in the first two innings turned out to be the deciding factor.
Stalling the Aces in the top of the first, the Big Train came out swinging in their first time at bat. Ryley Johnson (East Carolina) started off the inning with a single, and an error by the Aces pitcher allowed him to advance to third. Kyle Velazquez (Saint Mary’s CA) came out next to hit a single to drive Johnson in for Big Train’s first run of the inning.
Matt Thomas (William & Mary) collected his 14th RBI of the season on a precision double down the right field line to improve Bethesda’s lead to two. The runs didn’t stop there for the Big Train with Rocco Peppi (Long Beach State) and Kemp Alderman (Ole Miss) stepping up to the plate. Singles both gave Big Train the 5-0 lead to end the first.
In the bottom of the second, where Big Train would collect six more runs. Velazquez tripled to drive in Keith Torres (Sacramento State) and Johnson. The Aces pitcher walked Thomas and brought Velazquez home on a balk. A triple by Alderman saw Thomas score and Danny Neri (Notre Dame) hit a double for an RBI. Neri scored the last run of the inning on a single from Trevor Doyle (Sacramento State). After a full two innings, Big Train led 11-0.
Starting pitcher Luke Baker (Jacksonville) fired two scoreless innings before surrendering a run in the third to end the shutout. The left-hander finished with four solid innings of one-run ball and four strikeouts.
Both teams then shut down their opponents for the next few innings. In the top of the sixth, the Big Train stalled the Aces with a double play and a great catch from Doyle in left field. Back at bat, Alderman collected his third run of the game on an RBI single from Neri. The second pitching substitution of the inning by the Aces didn't slow the train as Torres hit a sacrifice flyout to left field to bring Neri home for an 13-1 lead.
After Alexandria failed to score a run in the top of the seventh, the CRBCL’s run rule went into effect to end the game. Relief pitcher Cooper Rons (UC Santa Barbara) was credited with the save after firing three scoreless innings to close out the contest.
Johnson went 3-for-4 with two runs in his first start for the Big Train.
After Grayson Hitt (Alabama) shut down the Aces in the top of the first, Big Train tallied two runs in bottom of the inning. Matt Thomas (William & Mary) reached on an error by the Aces shortstop while Ryley Johnson (East Carolina) and Austin Gauthier (Maryland) found their way home.
Despite the Aces holding Big Train to zero runs in the second and third innings, Bethesda came out swinging again in the bottom of the fourth. After hits by Velazquez and Doyle, Christian Martin (Virginia Tech) reached on an error to bring home a run. A Gauthier single drove in two and increased Big Train’s lead to five.
Staving off an Aces run for the ninth inning in a row, Big Train stepped back up to the plate for the bottom of the fifth. Trevor Doyle (Sacramento State) hit an RBI single and later made it home on a wild pitch and an error by the Aces catcher. After five full innings, Big Train led 7-0.
The top of the sixth saw Alexandria finally get on the board. A couple of stolen bases, a walk and an error allowed the Aces to score for just the second time in two games. Moving into the bottom of the inning, Brady Gumpf (Notre Dame) walked. Advancing to second on a passed ball, he crossed home on a Nolan Schanuel (Florida Atlantic) single for an 8-1 game.
Coming in for the starter Hitt, who allowed just one hit in four innings, Josh Grosz (East Carolina) completed three innings as the relief pitcher, allowing just a single unearned run. The Aces plated three in the bottom of the seventh, but in his first outing on the mound this summer, Kemp Alderman (Ole Miss) struck out the final hitter to end the game, 8-4.
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