After a gem from starter Ty Madrigal (St. Mary’s) in Game One, the Big Train enter Wednesday’s contest against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts looking to sweep their postseason series and march on to the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League Championship.
“Just come out and get an early lead,” Luke Heyer (Kentucky) said of what the Big Train need to do in Game 2. “Today it took us a long time and Ty, he’s been our man all year so he held it down for us good, but just get that early lead so our pitchers can cruise and we can just cruise to the championship series.”
Blake Sanderson (FAU) will be on the bump for the Big Train Wednesday. The junior boasted a 4.18 ERA in six regular season appearances. In his last outing of the season, a June 13 win over the Alexandria Aces, Sanderson went five innings giving up three runs on five hits while fanning three.
“Just attack the hitters, make them swing the bat,” Sanderson said of his approach for Game 2. “We got a good defense behind us so I trust the defenders.”
Heyer continues to lead the offensive barrage for the Big Train. The third baseman hit .321 in the regular season and is currently on a 10 game hit streak. He finished 2-for-4 in Game One.
“Just put the ball in play when you can, as hard as you can and good things will happen,” Heyer said.
Kevin Milam (St. Mary’s) will look to continue his hot start to the playoffs at the dish as well. In Game One, Milam hit the go-ahead run, a solo homer in the sixth. It was his first long ball of the playoffs and fifth this year.
Timely hitting will also be will be key for the Big Train. In the series opener, Bethesda stranded seven runners, a stat manager Sal Colangelo would like to change.
“Mentally we got to be focused,” Colangelo said. “We got to not chase things where we run balls away, where we roll over them into double plays.”
Despite the runners left on, the Big Train remain confident heading into their potential closeout game and appear poised for another run at the CRCBL title.
“Once we’re rolling we’re hard to stop,” Sanderson said.
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