Heard Leads Offensive Explosion as Big Train Top D.C. Grays, 15-2

By:Julianne Garnett
Brandon Clarke delivers a pitch during the Big Train's 15-2 win over the Grays on June 11.



WASHINGTON, DC – The Big Train beat the D.C. Grays, 15-2, in seven innings on Sunday evening in the teams’ first matchup of the 2023 season. With their road win, Bethesda moved to 5-2 and D.C. fell to 1-4. As it stands, the Big Train leads the Cal Ripken League’s North Division, one game ahead of the Gaithersburg Giants. This is the team’s second mercy rule win in two days and their third of the season. 


Bethesda avenged last season’s 6-1 loss against Grays starter Kai Cummings, this time slapping 11 hits and scoring 10 runs on him over 5.1 innings, a considerable improvement from their one-hit loss against Cummings in 2022. 


Jeffery Heard (Sacramento State) had a day in the batter’s box, finishing 4-4 with four hits and a HBP. He was responsible for seven of the Big Train’s 15 runs, racking up four RBIs and three runs scored. The designated hitter got the scoring started when he launched a three-run bomb to deep right in the first inning, scoring Dixon Williams (East Carolina) and Connor Rasmussen (East Carolina)


Heard described his approach in the batter’s box during this standout performance. “Same as always, trying to get a good pitch to hit,” tonight's DH said. “Trying to keep it in the middle of the field.”  


On the mound, Brandon Clarke (Liberty) delivered a strong start for the Green and White in his first appearance of the season, spinning two strikeouts in the first frame and ending up with three overall. The second-year Big Train player didn’t allow any hits or runs in the first two innings, his only two of the game, thanks to his nasty breaking ball. 


“I just tried to go out and attack hitters early,” said Clarke. “Be confident, have fun, and leave my team off on a good note.” 


The Big Train extended their lead with five runs in an explosive third inning. A pair of RBI singles by Dean Toigo (Cyprus College) and John Long (North Carolina) kicked it off before Lucas Phelps (Florida Atlantic) drove in Toigo and Long with a double. 


D.C. answered with a run each in the third and fourth innings, bringing the score to 8-2. But with the Grays threatening for more runs in the fourth, Phelps scooped a grounder before tossing it to Rasmussen who slung it to Jason Schiavone (James Madison) at first to complete the inning-ending 4-6-3 double play and squelch the rally. 


Bethesda continued to stay hot at the plate in the sixth inning, scoring another five runs while batting around. The Big Train tacked on two more runs in the seventh. 


Every player had a hit in this 16-hit game, with Williams, Rasmussen, Heard, and Phelps all smacking multiple hits and tallying multiple RBIs. 


Pitchers Skyler Hutto (Alabama), Evan Marcinko (UNC Wilmington), and Austin Morris (Alabama) also contributed on the bump, yielding a combined two runs on only six hits over their five innings of work. Marcinko stood out, finishing perfect against the six batters he faced. 


It was a complete team performance, something the team’s star hitter of the day noticed. 


“Obviously, we put up 15 today, so the whole team got to see the ball in play,” said Heard. “Pitchers did a good job minimizing runs, so pretty much everything [was] clicking on all cylinders for the team. Everyone’s playing for each other, and I think that’s a good thing that will keep us going for the rest of the season.” 


The Big Train hopes to continue their strong play back at Shirley Povich Field when they take on the Southern Maryland Senators at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 12. 


Share This Article

Past News

Search Archive »

Browse by Year »


Browse by Month »

February 2024
January 2024
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