Logan Gilbert (Stetson) hurls a pitch.
Before their game Friday night against the D.C. Grays, manager Sal Colangelo gathered his team together and flatly informed them that they simply weren't getting the job done. The Big Train entered the game having lost 3 straight games and 5 of their last 6, culminating in a listless 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Dodgers. "I just told them our effort was extremely poor, that we were lacksadasical and going through the motions, and that this isn’t a vacation," Colangelo said. "We’re here to get better, and if you come here to get better you’re going to win."
The Big Train might not have put on a offensive clinic, but they came to the ballpark ready to get better.
Despite only recording one hit in the game, an RBi single to left off the bat of Garrett Kueber (Moorpark) in the 3rd, the Big Train found themselves on the right end of the scoreboard by night's end, defeating the Grays 2-1. A wild pitch by Grays starter Simon Rosenblum-Larson in the 4th with a man on 3rd would provide what would turn out to be the winning run.
The star of the night was starting pitcher Logan Gilbert (Stetson), who tossed 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in one of the finer pitching performances for the Big Train thus far. Gilbert peppered the strike zone all evening, striking out 6 and walking 2 to notch his first win of the season. "I was just trying to stay with the fastball early, just trying to attack and get ahead in the count," said Gilbert. "From there I was working the curveball or slider, whatever I was feeling that inning, and just letting the defense take care of the rest."
Gilbert's replacements were equally effective, shutting out the Grays the rest of the way. Kyle Marman (Florida Atlantic) struck out 2 in 1 2/3 innings, surrendering 1 hit. Sidearmer Mack Meyer (San Francisco) took the mound in the 9th and got the save, striking out 1.
After the game, which he described as a "real team win," Colangelo called the team into another meeting. His message was simple and pointed: "You guys see the difference when you come here to play?"
The Big Train will hope for a similar result their next time out, as they take on the Rockville Express on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.