SILVER SPRING, MD-- Logan Driscoll (George Mason University) inked his contract with the Bethesda Big Train on a mission to improve his skill set to continue to aid George Mason in the upcoming collegiate season.
Despite Driscoll hitting an impressive .323 as a freshman, George Mason went only 26-33 and ended their season with a loss to Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Before the Burke, Virginia native leaves George Mason for good, the 6'1" infielder strives to get the Patriots somewhere they have not appeared since 2014: the NCAA Tournament.
“I think [the NCAA tournament] runs through every player at [George] Mason’s mind,” Driscoll said. “Everyone just wants to get better because we’re one team pushing in one direction.”
For many college players, personal improvement is a year-long task, and Driscoll has brought that attitude with him to the Big Train this summer. On Tuesday, Driscoll ignited the Big Train’s offense on the road against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. Driscoll belted a sacrifice fly to centerfield in the top of the third inning that sent Justin Morris (University of Maryland) home from third base; this would prove to be the go-ahead run in the Big Train's ultimate 8-2 victory.
The rising sophomore extended the Big Train’s lead in the top of the fifth and seventh innings, blasting two home runs in at-bats that pushed the Big Train's lead even farther, eventually giving them a comfortable 8-0 lead.
“Justing going into every at-bat with a lot of confidence always helps,” Driscoll said. “Taking it like it’s just a normal at-bat every time [helps].”
Before the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team member’s first upper-decker, the Big Train got a lift from leadoff outfielder Jacob Koos (Stetson University). After starting the season hitting .175 through the first 10 games of the season, the Wellington, Florida native has picked up his play lately: on Tuesday, the speedster drove in two runs with a double to left field that would set the table for another Driscoll home run the following at-bat. Koos has compiled two hits in three straight games for the Big Train, collecting a double in two of those contests.
“Anytime you have that leadoff guy, him or Zach [Jancarski] leading off and doing well, it helps us,” manager Sal Colangelo said. “They’re table setters. It sets the tone and leads the way for us.”
Starting pitcher Ken Waldichuk (Saint Mary’s College of CA) gave breathing room for Driscoll and the rest of the Big Train offense. While throwing six shutout innings, the rising sophomore struck out five Thunderbolts’ batters and only allowed four hits.
Waldichuk’s excellence on the mound enabled the Big Train to jump out to a seven-run lead, propelling Waldichuk, a San Diego native, to his first win of the season while also bringing his earned run average down to 2.07.
“Before the game, we talked about pitch efficiency,” pitching coach Tyler McKee said. “We wanted to pound the zone and attack, throw off-speed and mix pitches and he did a good job from the get-go. He did a good job not trying to overthrow, commanding his pitches, not worrying about too much.
“Just pitching and doing his thing and he dominated from the get-go. He had a good night tonight.”
Tuesday’s win moves the Big Train to 11-3 for the season and puts them only one game back in the South Division standings, with the division leader Alexandria Aces losing to the Baltimore Redbirds, 5-0. The Big Train continue their span of road games with a duel against the Gaithersburg Giants at Criswell Automotive Field at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
Check out the game highlights on the Big Train's YouTube Channel!
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