A perfect 6-0 in away games this season, the Big Train will look to extend their streak against the Gaithersburg Giants.
Coming off a seven-game home stand in which they went 4-3, the Big Train opened this week’s six-game road trip with doubleheader wins over the Loudoun Riverdogs on Sunday and a victory over the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts on Monday. Combined with wins over the Braves, Express and T-Bolts during the first week of the season, the Big Train have enjoyed much success at visiting ballparks.
One key to this success has been the Big Train’s penchant for scoring early. Batting first, the Big Train have scored in the first or second inning in four of their six away games. Taking early leads has proved instrumental to the Big Train’s undefeated record on the road.
The Big Train’s formidable offense has been the spark for these early strikes. Four regulars – James Outman (Sacramento State), Kevin Milam (St. Mary’s CA), Logan Driscoll (George Mason) and Gaby Gruz (Bryant) – have played at least nine games this season and sport averages above .345. Zach Jancarski and Justin Morris, recent additions from the University of Maryland, College Park, have added even more firepower to the lineup. In their first three games, they are batting .462 and .333, respectively.
As well as being undefeated on the road this season, the Big Train are also winners of their last four games overall. The bats have really come alive lately, as they have outscored their opponents 32-4 over the previous three contests. Driscoll, who has been the Big Train’s most consistent hitter, is tied for the team lead with three home runs – two of which came in Tuesday night’s victory against the Thunderbolts. In the first game of the doubleheader on Sunday, the offense broke out for 20 hits, including at least one from every starter, in just seven innings; Morris added a grand slam for his first hit of the season. In game two, Outman blasted a three-run shot, his third of the season, to knot things up with Driscoll atop the Big Train home run leaderboard.
The Big Train's pitching has also stood out in the first half of this road trip, allowing just six runs in 23 innings. On Monday, Ken Waldichuk (St. Mary’s CA) earned his first win of the season by throwing six shutout innings of four-hit ball with five strikeouts.
The Big Train hope to continue their winning combination of plentiful offense and strong pitching against the Giants. With a 5-8 record coming into tonight's game, Gaithersburg is tied for third place in the North division. The two teams have played twice this summer – one exhibition and one regular-season game. While the Giants picked up the exhibition win on June 3, the Big Train prevailed when it counted, winning their contest on June 10 by a score of 7-2.
The first pitch at Criswell Automotive Field is at 7 pm. The game will be live-Tweeted (@gobigtrain) and broadcasted by Max Wolpoff and P.J. Glasser (mixlr.com/big-train).