Bethesda player John Glenn (California Baptist) stands in the box ready for a pitch.
With two outs and runners on second and first, Big Train left-fielder Andrew Shebloski (St. Mary’s, CA) stepped to the plate, but flew out to end Bethesda’s first exhibition game at a 6-6 tie with the Gaithersburg Giants.
The Giants took the lead early, with a leadoff solo home run from Ryan Brown (UMBC) to start the game. But the Big Train responded quickly, tying the game with a two-run John Glenn (California Baptist) home run. “I [came] out to see a pitch I could hit and [tried to] put a good swing on it,” said Glenn after the game.
The Big Train gained the lead in the second, with a two-RBI double from Anthony Piccolino (James Madison).
Gaithersburg responded in the third with a three-run top of the inning, after a single and fielder’s choice put two runners on. Then, Joey Goodwin (UMBC) doubled, scoring two runs, but an error from Bethesda catcher Ben Martz (Cal State Northridge) allowed Goodwin to make his way around the bases to score. With that, the Giants tied the game at four runs apiece.
Big Train retook the lead in the bottom of the third, with a run coming from Tyler Reis (Waynesburg), who walked then made it home on an error.
Another run came in the bottom of the fifth, when Justin Riemer (St. John’s High School) put up a run, stealing on a strikeout and scoring on a double from Glenn. Riemer’s run put Bethesda up 6-4.
In the top of the seventh the Giants loaded the bases after two walks and a hit-by-pitch. But pitcher Jarret Krzyzanowski (Nova Southeastern) gave up only one run, working out of the jam to end the half with the lead, 6-5. Bethesda right-hander Elliot Zoellner (Maryland) started to work out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth, striking out two in a row. But, a wild pitch allowed a run to score, tying the game at six runs apiece. Then, Zoellner secured a three-pitch strikeout to end the half, giving Big Train a chance to walk off.
The walk-off didn’t come, and the game ended with a 6-6 tie. “The hitters [made] some adjustments at the plate,” said Big Train head coach Sal Colangelo. “You go from aluminum to wood, you’ve got to make some adjustments. Defensively we have to get better, but part of the problem is [we had] people playing out of position.” Big Train used eight pitchers, only Zoellner pitching more than one inning. Colangelo said he liked what he saw from the mound, with pitchers working out of jams and staying competitive on the hill.
Bethesda Big Train plays its last exhibition game tomorrow against the BCC Little Train at 7 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field. Admission is free.