Box Score: W, 11-5
Another Big Train game, another comeback. It seems that the Big Train players enjoy playing the underdog this season as they started off another game down 3-0 before throwing double-digits up on the board again and winning 11-5 against the Southern Maryland Nationals on Thursday night.
Kelly Secrest (UNC Wilmington) made his second start of the season, going 3.2 innings and giving up four runs on four hits while striking out three. Though Secrest's command was not quite there, his two-seam fastball seemed to bother hitters throughout the night.
After an early 3-0 deficit, the Big Train bounced back quickly. After Colin Kish (Florida Southern) reached second base on a throwing error, Tucker Tobin (George Mason) drove him in on a two-out single to left, giving the Big Train their first run of the game. Later in the inning Mitch Morales (Florida Atlantic) and Michael Bass (UNC Wilmington) would drive in Tobin and Zach Randolph (Mississippi State), to tie the game at three and cap a momentum-shifting rally.
The Big Train offense continued to thrive in the bottom of the third, as Hunter Renfroe (Mississippi State) and Kish would start the inning with back-to-back singles. Renfroe would later score on a single by Brendan Hendricks (San Francisco), to give the Big Train their first lead of the ballgame. Kish would then score in the following at-bat on a 4-3 double play, extending the lead to 5-3.
The Big Train would respond to a Nationals run in the fourth inning by adding some cushion to their one run lead. On a wild pitch by Nationals reliever Danny Wissman, Renfroe was able to score just before Hendricks come across on a throwing error by Nationals third baseman Spencer Wolfe on a ground ball hit by Randolph. That gave the Big Train a 7-4 lead.
The Nationals plated a fifth run in the top of the eighth, but hopes of a comeback would be silenced quickly as Big Train reliever Ben Griset (St. Mary's (CA)) came in and retired the side in order to keep the score at 7-4.
The offense would score four more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning as Adam Barry (Cal State Northridge), Hendricks, and Justin McCullough (El Camino) all picked-up RBIs to set up an easy closeout for Griset in the ninth. Griset would finish the night with two scoreless innings, giving up only one walk and no hits.
Despite good work from the pitching staff, the offense was the real story in tonight's victory, as the Big Train scored a season-high-tying 11 runs on 14 hits. "We hit the ball a lot better," said Renfroe. "That's what won us the game. It felt pretty good to be back in front of the home fans... I showed up for 'em."
Big Train Manager Sal Colangelo also commented on last night's big win.
"We were missing 18 guys at the start of the season. The guys who filled in played hard but we were just short on pitching [and] just short on offense," Colangelo said. "So now we need to play Big Train baseball. We play every pitch of every inning and that's what they did tonight. That's what good teams do."