The Big Train scored ten runs or more for the third time this season en route to an 11-0 shutout win over the Gaithersburg Giants at Povich Field Friday night. It was the largest shutout victory of the season for Bethesda. With the win, the Big Train improved to 16-3 on the season and remains atop the South division by six games.
Starting pitcher Alex Calvert (South Carolina) earned the win, his team-leading third of the year. Calvert went five innings and allowed no runs on four hits while walking two and striking out four, tossing 63 pitches, 36 for strikes and lowering his ERA to a cool 2.65. Mike Rescigno (Maryland), Josh Thorne (Stetson), Walker Sheller (Stetson), and Tyler Tobin (George Mason) each contributed a scoreless relief inning for Bethesda. The Big Train owns an outstanding 2.20 team ERA thus far on the season, good for best in the Cal Ripken League.
Offensively, the Big Train struck early, scoring two runs in the first inning, which began with a leadoff bunt single from centerfielder Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth), after which right fielder Cody Brown (Mississippi State) was hit by a pitch. With #3 hitter Zach Kirtley (St. Mary’s (CA)) up, Farrar and Brown swiped third and second for a double steal on a throw that got by the Giants third baseman, allowing Farrar to score and Brown to take third base on the error. Kirtley proceeded to knock in Brown with a sacrifice fly to deep center.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Big Train tacked on three more runs. Second baseman Brandon Hunley (Sacramento State) hit a one-out single and advanced to second on a two-out walk by catcher Tony DiLeo (Eastern Michigan). Farrar then drove in Hunley and advanced DiLeo to third on a single and took second on the throw to third base. Brown followed with a 2-RBI single to score DiLeo and Farrar.
On the first pitch of the bottom of the third inning, Zach Kirtley hit a towering home run far over the left field fence for a no-doubter to put the Big Train on top six to nothing. It was Kirtley’s first long ball of the season. Leftfielder Chris Lewis (Sacramento State) followed Kirtley’s lead two innings later, ripping a line drive homerun high over the left field fence on the first pitch of the bottom of the fifth inning, another no-doubter. The jack by Lewis made the score seven to nothing and marked his second homer of the season, good for a four-way tie for the league lead. The homers by Kirtley and Lewis were the team’s third and fourth overall on the season.
The bottom of the sixth was another rough frame for Gaithersburg, as the Big Train put up another three runs. DiLeo was hit by a pitch with one out. Later in the frame, Brown hit a routine grounder to the second baseman with two outs, but the fielder could not handle it and both DiLeo and Brown reached base safely. The error proved costly, as Kirtley promptly ripped a double, scoring both DiLeo and Brown. Two batters later, third baseman Harrison Crawford (Creighton) singled in Kirtley for the tenth Big Train run.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Big Train added their eleventh run after Lewis walked, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on another RBI single by Crawford.
Notes: The Big Train has now shut out the opposition three times, two of which have come against the Giants…Five Big Train hitters (Farrar, Kirtley, Lewis, Crawford, DiLeo) had multiple hits in tonight’s contest, including three from Lewis…The first four Bethesda batters (Farrar, Brown, Kirtley, Lewis) combined to go 8-for-16 with a double, two home runs, eight RBIs, and eight runs scored…The Big Train faces South division foes this weekend, scheduled for a 4PM-7PM doubleheader on the road against the Herndon Braves tomorrow, followed by a 7:30 Sunday night home contest against the Alexandria Aces. Sunday night is Carnival Night, with pregame rides, games, balloon artists, a petting zoo, and more, beginning at 4:30PM outside Povich Field.
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