Carson Taylor finishes his swing after making contact with the ball during an at-bat against the D.C. Grays on June 27.
The Big Train (16-2) take on the Loudoun Riverdogs (3-14) for the third time this summer, with Bethesda leading the series 2-0. On Thursday, the Big Train will look to add another win to their 16 thus far with their second home game against the Riverdogs.
Alec Burleson (East Carolina) leads the league in batting average (.500), RBIs (28) and home runs (8). Carson Taylor (VA Tech) and Justin Wylie (Arizona) round out the Big Train’s top-three RBI-hitters, with 16 and 14, respectively. Wylie also trails Burleson in home runs, with six, and batting average, hitting .391.
Bethesda boasts its fair share of strong hitters and the team has an on-base percentage of .416, aided in part by the Big Train’s 114 walks and 22 hits-by-pitches. The team’s success comes because of its ability to work at-bats to reach base, and work the count in their favor.
The Riverdogs will likely start right-hander Randy Prosperi, who enters with a 1-2 record. The sophomore has lasted at most six innings for Loudoun, but went only 4 2/3 in his last start, a loss to the Gaithersburg Giants. In that start he gave up five runs, two earned, on six hits and one walk, recording five strikeouts.
Opposing Loudoun’s pitcher may be Bethesda’s Tuck Tucker (Maryland). The lefty has made three starts this summer, but has not gone longer than 4 2/3 innings. In his last start the rising junior gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks, striking out three in his 4 2/3 innings of work. He enters tonight’s game with a 0.77 ERA.
Tucker will need to maintain his dominance on the mound in order to shut down the Riverdogs’ lineup. Loudoun has struggled behind the plate, with a .317 on-base percentage and being out-scored 38-8 in their last three games, the Riverdogs’ offense lacks the power and finesse that propels that of the Big Train.
Loudoun enters the game with two players batting above .300, and a team total of only three home runs on the season.
First pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field on June 28. Fans can follow the game on Mixlr (https://t.co/dqIOG2tYvx), as well as on Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram (@gobigtrain).