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Big Train controls the game to beat the Riverdogs 5-1

By: Mollie Belson
Tyler Villaroman slides into home to score for Big Train

Big Train took control in their game against the Loudoun Riverdogs to win 5-1. This game brings Big Train’s record to 23-4 and the Riverdogs record to 6-19. Big Train remains ranked first in the Cal Ripken South league and the Riverdogs remain ranked fifth.

Big Train claimed the lead in the top of the first inning with Fox Semones (James Madison University) scoring off a groundball hit past second base from Tyler Villaroman (University of San Francisco).

The team scored again in the third inning to bring the score to 2-0. While Alec Burleson (East Carolina University) was at bat, Villaroman scored by stealing his way, base to base, getting from first base all the way to home off of two errors by the Riverdogs.

The Riverdogs narrowed the gap to 2-1 in the fifth inning. Greg Popatak scored for the Riverdogs off a hit from Brady Lloyd hit deep down into left field.

Big Train extended their lead by another run in the sixth inning. With Tyler Villaroman at bat, Ben Martz (Cal State Northridge) stole for home off a wild pitch from the Riverdog pitcher. Jacob Westerman (University of San Francisco) increased the Big Train lead to 4-1 in the seventh inning, hitting a ball deep into right field and making it all the way to third for a triple. Westerman made then made it home to score off a Riverdog error.

In the ninth inning, Big Train brought the final score to 5-1 with Villaroman scoring off a hit from Westerman into right field.

Big Train’s defense was instrumental in the win for tonight. Lead by a great game from pitcher Chris Clarke (University of South California), the Riverdogs were unable to score more than one run. Clarke went into the game trying to pitch hard and fast, but as the game went on he adapted his pitching to shut down the Riverdogs. Head coach Sal Colangelo was especially pleased with Clarke’s performance in the game tonight. Colangelo remarked on how well Clarke pitched, saying that he had an outstanding game. Colangelo was also generally pretty happy with how the entire team played together. “We drove all the way out here to play, we battled,” Colangelo said.

For next game, Colangelo says “we need to make better adjustments at the plate when we’re facing guys that you [aren’t used to] what they’re throwing.” Overall, Colangelo and the Big Train are happy with their win for the night.

Big Train returns to Shirley Povich to take on the FCA Braves. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.