Big Train Bats Come Alive, Pummel Riverdogs in Eleven
Box Score: W, 16-11
The Big Train traveled to Vienna last night with revenge on their minds after losing to the River Dogs 9-4 on June 9th. That loss was avenged as some outstanding performances led to an incredible 16-11 win in extra innings.
The Big Train started off with a one-run lead after a walk and three hit batsmen brought a run across the plate in the first inning. However, the Big Train would give up five in the bottom of the inning and trail 5-1.
In the third inning, the Big Train looked destined for a quiet inning until Colin Kish (Florida Southern) singled and Cole Norton (St. Mary's (CA)) drove a ball over the left-center field fence. But the Riverdogs scored two of their own in the third to make the score 7-3.
Norton would strike again in the fifth inning. After a Tucker Tobin (George Mason) walk and another Kish single, Norton tripled to deep center to score both his teammates and eventually crossed the plate himself on a Brennan Middleton (Tulane) RBI groundout. But once again, the Riverdogs would match the Big Train and score three as well in the bottom of the inning.
In the sixth, a two-out Hunter Renfroe (Mississippi State) single kept a rally alive and brought Tobin to the plate where his three-run homer closed the gap to 10-9.
The team was able to tie the game in the seventh as a Mitch Morales (Florida Atlantic) double scored Norton who had led off the inning with a single.
Cameron Cuneo (UC Santa Barbara) pitched the last five of the regulation nine innings for the Big Train and gave up just one run in his first Big Train appearance. Cuneo's left-handed sidearm delivery baffled hitters all night. His slider was particularly effective and few balls even left the infield. Cuneo commented on that pitch, as well as his fastball, after the game.
"It's been my go to for a while," Cuneo said. "I really got a feel for that fastball inside. I got more behind it than I usually do."
The Big Train would essentially finish the game in the 11th inning as they were able to put six runs up on the scoreboard. Kish doubled to lead off the inning and was followed by a Norton walk and Middleton single to load the bases. Morales stepped up to the plate and drilled a two-RBI single to put the Big Train ahead for good. Michael Bass (UNC-Wilmington) then drew his third walk of the night to reload the bases and Brendan Hendriks (San Francisco) hit a sacrifice fly to score another run. A couple of miscues by the Riverdogs and a double by Tobin left the score at 16-10.
The bottom of the eleventh brought one run in for the Riverdogs but Hugh Adams (Florida Atlantic) was able to shut the door and pick up the win.
Big Train Manager Sal Colangelo was happy with the effort of his players after the game and singled out a player who he thinks will have an impact on the team's results.
"Our guys didn't quit. They continued to fight and try to get better and get after it," Colangelo said. "There's one guy who is going to be the 'X factor' on this team and that's Cole. If he can get it rolling, we're going to go."
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