With a 6-0 win over the Silver Spring-Takoma Park ThunderBolts (4-5) in game one of their doubleheader Saturday, the Bethesda Big Train (9-1) set the record for longest win streak to start the season in team history at nine games. The team went 1-1 in the doubleheader, however, dropping the seven-inning game two 8-4 to the Thunderbolts.
Scoring didn’t begin until the fifth inning, when Tyler Reis (Waynesburg) reached first on an error on the Thunderbolts’ pitcher, Chang-You Chen. A two-out single from Udie Summerall (Florida Atlantic) brought home Reis, giving the Big Train the one-run lead. Silver Spring-Takoma Park almost scored in the bottom of the inning, after Lomeli gave up a single and a walk to start the half. But, with Simon on third and Roberts on second and two outs, Felder knocked a grounder to Bethesda first baseman John Glenn (Cal Baptist). Instead of going to first with the fielded ball, Glenn opted for the out at home, catcher Ben Martz (Cal State Northridge) snagging the ball and spinning around, diving back to catch Simon at the plate and keep the Thunderbolts off the board.
That play at home proved big for the Big Train, the momentum carrying through the sixth and into the seventh. Back-to-back singles from Reis and Martz led off the top half, followed by an error on the third baseman Cain that allowed Andrew Shebloski to reach base and Reis to score. A wild pitch, a single from Glenn and a double from Carson Taylor (VA Tech) brought home two more runs, giving Bethesda the 5-0 lead heading into the final two and a half innings. Big Train continued with two-out rallies, with another double from Taylor in the top of the ninth driving in a run and giving Bethesda runners on second and third. The one run was all in the ninth for the Big Train.
"My main approach this summer [is] pretty much to get on any way that I can," said Reis, who reached base 50 percent of the time between the two games. "Whether that's working counts, hitting my pitch whenever I get it or trying to draw walks. Because, with the other guys on the team, I don't really have to be in any type of power-role. I don't need to be the person to drive in runs, every guy on the team, in this order, can hit."
Stellar pitching characterized the [game], with Big Train starting pitcher Carlos Lomeli (St. Mary’s CA) lasting a solid five innings, giving up only five hits and one walk on four strikeouts and no runs. Elliot Zoellner (Maryland), Hunter Brown (Wayne State) and Jacob McCarvel (Cal Baptist) combined for the final four innings, all three giving up no runs. McCarvel gave up one hit but struck out three batters to end the game, securing the game-one win.
"[Lomeli] did a great job tonight," said head coach Sal Colangelo. "He kept us in the game, threw strikes, pitched ahead in the count, was able to do things with the hitters, with their weaknesses and did an amazing job. And then [Brown and McCarvel] came in and closed the deal, they're outstanding."
In game two of the doubleheader, Big Train fell behind early, giving up a run in the bottom of the first inning after Cole Friese reached on a single that hit off the ankle of Bethesda starter Brock Guffey (Alabama). Guffey shook off the hit and continued pitching, but Friese reached home after a passed ball and a groundout, putting the Thunderbolts ahead 1-0.
"I got hit pretty hard in the leg," said Duffey. "So after that I knew I had to get out of that inning because I had just given up two hits in a row off of two pitches in a row. I just had to settle down, and I one that once I got back in the dugout [the athletic trainer] Kristi would take care of me."
But, Bethesda fought back, putting up a three-run top of the third with Fox Semones (JMU), A.J. Lee (Maryland) and Udie Summerall (Florida Atlantic) crossing the plate with singles from Lee, Summerall and Alec Burleson (ECU). The three runs gave the Big Train a 3-1 lead.
Though the Big Train’s pitching was solid, with Guffey lasting four innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks, and striking out seven batters, the Thunderbolts fought back in the bottom of the fourth.
After a leadoff walk and single put two on with no outs. Guffey proved crucial in securing the first out, after a bouncing hit down the first-base line missed the glove of first baseman Summerall. Guffey grabbed the ball out of the air, diving onto first base to place the tag and get the first out. A triple from Hunter Pearre scored both runners, but Guffey kept the damage to a minimum, striking out two to get out of the inning with the score tied at three runs apiece.
The Thunderbolts continued their rally in the sixth, putting up five runs and working around the lineup to take the 8-3 lead. Enter: Jarrett Kryrzanowski (Nova Southeastern). The righty took over with two outs and bases loaded, forcing a weak groundout down the first-base line, which he fielded and threw to first himself, getting Bethesda out of the inning trailing by five runs.
A solo homerun from Burleson led off the seventh, cutting into the Thunderbolts’ lead, however the Big Train couldn’t pull through for the win, and fell 8-4.
"Any time you have a doubleheader, mentally, like I explained to the guys, you've got to be ready," said Colangelo. "Mentally prepared, ready to go. We've got to have an approach at the plate where we get up on guys, we've got to [release the throttle] and go. Don't get complacent and worry about the pitching, doing this and doing that. We got lacadasical out there, made a lot of bonehead mistakes...but the main thing is [that] tomorrow's a new day, and we're going to learn from it. And these kids will learn from it, because they're great ballplayers."
Josh Nelson (Wayne State), Scott Parker (San Francisco) and Krzyzanowski finished the game for Bethesda, giving up five runs on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
The Big Train will look to start a new winning streak tomorrow night against the Rockville Express. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field.
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