07/08/2021 9:32 PM
After a road loss to the South County Braves on Wednesday, the Big Train rebounded with a stellar 9-1 victory over the Gaithersburg Giants for their league leading 20th win of the season.
The Big Train opened the scoring in the top of the first, when, with the bases loaded, Rocco Peppi (Long Beach State) grounded into a double play that scored Darius Foster (San Francisco) from third. The next batter, Kemp Alderman (Ole Miss) scored Austin Gauthier (Maryland) on a single to left. In the bottom half of the inning, Grayson Hitt (Alabama) struck out two of three Gaithersburg batters to keep the game at 2-0.
The Big Train continued the scoring in the top of the second, when Christian Martin (Virginia Tech) scored Trevor Doyle (Sacramento State) from third on a sacrifice fly into left field. Nolan Schanuel (Florida Atlantic) doubled and advanced to third on a throwing error and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0 Big Train. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Alderman walked to extend the lead to five. The next batter, Grant Knipp (Alabama) ripped a two RBI double to center that scored Matt Thomas (William & Mary) and Peppi, breaking the game wide open.
Zeros lined the scoreboard until the top of the sixth, when Martin raced home from third when the Giants catcher attempted to throw out Foster stealing second. A couple of batters later, after Foster stole third, Ryley Johnson (East Carolina) brought home Foster on a sacrifice fly to left field. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Giants finally broke onto the scoreboard on a Michael Marrale solo homer that just barely cleared the left field fence. That would be the final run for either team.
In the eighth inning, the rain that had been coming down on and off throughout the game began to pour hard. The umpires had seen enough and decided to call the game a half inning early, awarding the Big Train with a rain-shortened 9-1 victory. Their league-leading 20th win of the season also clinched them the 2021 Montgomery Cup title.
The Big Train offense had a great showing, as every batter either got a hit, recorded an RBI or scored a run.
On the mound, Hitt finished the evening with nine strikeouts and only two hits given up in four innings of work. Chris Bookhultz (Maryland) made his season debut in relief for Cooper Rons (UCSB), striking out one Giant in one inning of work.
The Big Train will be back home on Friday to take on the Alexandria Aces at 7 p.m.
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