The Big Train opened the 2019 season in winning fashion as they took down the Gaithersburg Giants 5-0 in their first of two exhibition games.
Pitching had the upper hand early as starter Anthony Piccolino (James Madison), back for his second summer in Bethesda, tossed three scoreless innings for the Big Train while Gaithersburg starter Ben Jordan (Kentucky) threw two scoreless innings of his own.
With the game scoreless entering the bottom of the fourth, Bethesda struck first when Gio Diaz (St. Mary’s (CA)) hit an RBI single, scoring Darius Foster (San Francisco) to give the Big Train a 1-0 lead.
The Big Train would add to their lead in the bottom of the fifth when Drew Hamrock (Virginia) ripped a run-scoring single to make it a 2-0 game. They plated another run in the bottom of the sixth on a ground ball that scored Foster as the Big Train took a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Big Train added more insurance as a balk and a passed ball allowed two more runs to score.
With the offense rolling, the Big Train bullpen combination of returning pitcher Jacob McCarvel (California Baptist), newcomer Jared Billen (Cal Baptist) and returner Elliot Zoellner (Maryland) combined to shut out the Giants clinching a 5-0 victory.
Associate head coach Galvin Morris was happy to see a strong effort from his pitching staff. “They competed, they got after it. If you throw strikes you’ll be successful.”
In their first game swinging wood bats as opposed to the aluminum bats used in the college season, the Big Train recorded four hits. While this wasn't the biggest offensive outburst, Morris wasn’t concerned, saying the team will start to get used to the change.
“Each game we should get a little better with that," Morris said about the adjustment to wood bats. "It's not a big concern we know year in and year out pitching is going to be ahead of the hitting."
The Big Train will be back in action for their final exhibition game of 2019 tomorrow night when they take on the BCC Little Train at Shirley Povich Field at 7 p.m. Tickets are free.
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