Big Train Seeking Championship Sweep

By: Ben Portnoy

After Thursday’s 14-3 throttling of the Baltimore Redbirds in Game 1 of the League Championship Series, the Big Train sit just one victory away from defending their Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League crown.


“It’s always good to win the first game of a three-game series,” Justin Morris (Maryland) said. “Makes Game 2 a lot easier, we can come out and win it in two games would be huge for us.”


Kevin Milam (St. Mary’s) will get the start in Game 2 for Bethesda.  Milam, who currently sits as the playoff leader in home runs, will let his arm do the talking for the Big Train Saturday.  The Brentwood, CA native was 3-1 during the regular season and boasted a 2.88 ERA in nine appearances.


“He likes the big moment obviously so we’re going to give it to him and let him shine,” assistant coach Tyler McKee said.


Game 2 will be only the third start of the year for Milam. However, the sophomore was sensational in the division-clinching win over the Alexandria Aces on July 19, pitching six innings and giving up just two runs on five hits while fanning six.


“That was a big game, this one is a big game coming up but the big thing is you just got to think of it as another game and go out and do what you need to do,” Milam said.


At the plate, the Maryland duo of Zach Jancarski and Morris will look to lead the Big Train offense. Jancarski is 4-for-10 this postseason with three doubles and four walks, while Morris is 3-for-6 with three runs scored in his two games of action.


“I’m just seeing pitches, trying to stay patient, working the count and just getting myself into good counts where I can have a better chance of being successful and that’s helping a lot,” Morris said.


Vinny Esposito (Sacramento State), last year’s regular season and LCS MVP, could also prove to be a sparkplug for the Big Train. Esposito is hitting just .273 in the playoffs but has six RBIs on three hits and two runs scored. He also blasted a monster three-run homer Thursday night to blow open Game 1 against the Redbirds.


First pitch in Game 2 is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Calvert Hall High School.


“They’re ready, they’re excited,” manager Sal Colanelo said his team. “They want to be here. They’re ready to win the championship and then ready to go home and enjoy a great summer and see what it brings.”


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