Big Train Clinches Winning Season with Offensive Outburst

Drew Strotman (St. Mary’s (CA)) earned his third win of the season, going six-and-a-third innings and giving up one earned run. Photo Credit: Lisa A. Kammerman/BigTrainPhotos

The Bethesda Big Train crushed the D.C. Grays tonight 11-3. Bethesda is now 21-8 overall and remains four games atop the South division. With win #21 tonight, the Big Train has clinched a winning regular season.

The scoring opened in the bottom of the second inning, an inning in which Big Train hitters saw a total of 41 pitches. Right fielder Chris Lewis (Sacramento State) worked a walk to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a single by third baseman Harrison Crawford (Creighton). Two batters later, second baseman Brandon Hunley (Sacramento State) knocked in the game’s first run with a single. Left fielder Tim Yandel (Tulane) walked to load the bases. Center fielder Cody Brown (Mississippi State) worked an RBI walk on seven pitches, scoring Crawford and putting Bethesda on top 2-0.

The Big Train added a third run in the third inning, after Chris Lewis roped a leadoff double high off the left field fence, missing his fourth home run by less than a foot. Lewis took third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by first baseman Justin Morris (Maryland). The fourth Bethesda run scored in the sixth inning, as Morris worked a leadoff walk, took third on Brandon Hunley’s second single, and scored on a Nick Feight (UNC Wilmington) sacrifice fly.

The top of the seventh saw the Grays get a rally going. Two batters after a leadoff D.C. walk, the Grays strung three hits in a row to score their first run and load the bases with one out. The man on first represented the tying run. However, relief pitcher Miller Trevvett (Radford) induced the next hitter into grounding into a 6-4-3 double play, ending the threat.

The bottom of the seventh was one to forget for the D.C. Grays. Zach Kirtley (St. Mary’s (CA)) got the Train going with a one-out single. Chris Lewis then tripled down the left field line, scoring Kirtley. Harrison Crawford then chipped in with his second hit, an RBI single that scored Lewis. Two batters later, Brandon Hunley hit a two-out infield pop up that the Grays shortstop dropped, scoring Crawford and extending the inning with Hunley reaching second base. Tim Yandel hit the next pitch for an RBI single, scoring Hunley and making it an 8-1 game.

The bottom of the eighth was another nightmare for D.C., as an error by the third baseman opened the door for two more unearned Bethesda runs scoring on bases-loaded walks. Chris Lewis added an RBI double in the frame. At the end of eight innings, the score was 11-1. In the top of the ninth, the Grays scored two runs on an RBI single with the ball going out of play on a throwing error, making the final score 11-3.

Right-hander Drew Strotman (St. Mary’s (CA)) started for Bethesda and was fantastic, going six-and-a-third innings giving up four hits and one earned run while walking one and striking out two in an 83 pitch, 55 strike effort, earning his third win of the season and lowering his ERA to 2.73. Miller Trevvett came up big in relief, inducing a critical double play that killed the only momentum the Grays had all night. With the scoreless two-thirds of an inning, Trevvett’s ERA now sits at a sparkling 0.69 in thirteen relief innings pitched. Right-hander Tyler Tobin (George Mason) added a scoreless relief frame for the Big Train. Tyler Loptien (San Diego State) pitched the ninth for Bethesda and allowed two runs (one earned).

Notes:  Big Train capitalized on the Grays’ mistakes, scoring four unearned runs and drawing three bases-loaded walks on the night…Chris Lewis tore up the diamond in this year’s home games against the Grays, going an aggregate six for nine with a walk, two doubles, a triple, a walk-off home run in extra innings, four RBIs, and five runs scored in the pair of games…Each Big Train hitter either scored a run or had an RBI tonight. Three hitters (Lewis, Crawford, Hunley) reached base four times…Big Train hitters demonstrated excellent patience at the plate tonight, working nine walks…The Big Train returns to Povich Field tomorrow night, a Dollar Dog Night, at 7:30 to round out the weekend home stand, looking to salvage a four-game split with interdivision rival Baltimore Redbirds, a battle for sole possession of the league’s best record. The theme is Health Night, sponsored by Johns Hopkins Community Physicians and Cabin John Mall.

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