The trains were at full engine capacity on Sunday night, cruising to a 10-1 victory over the Little Train in seven innings. Sunday's game saw an unexpected rain delay push the start time back to 8 p.m., which led to the last two innings being hashed from scheduled Big Train baseball.
Four different Big Train pitchers threw a combined five scoreless innings, including Ryan Okuda (Virginia Tech, one inning), Nathan Schneider (St. Mary's, two innings), Dalton Ponce (St. Mary's CA, one inning), and Chase Lee (Alabama, one inning). Jack Weeks (Georgetown) added two more innings, allowing one earned run.
Chase Lee looked especially impressive. A recently converted shortstop, his dazzling slider and high heat out of the sidearm motion proved to be too much for the Little Train to handle, as he struck out the side in the seventh on a mere 11 pitches.
While the pitchers certainly did their part in this exhibition game, the bats were out in full force as well. Kris Kremer (Penn State) led the way among those standouts, grabbing three RBIs by the night's end. Patience proved to be a virtue for the Big Train on this night as the team reached base via walk a hefty seven total times. Matt Thomas (William & Mary) strolled down to first following ball four three separate times.
Darius Foster (San Francisco) got things going in the first when he mashed a line drive to right-center and reached second with a stand-up double--a few more yards on that ball, and he would have been rounding the bases slowly as he celebrated what was nearly the Big Train's first home-run of the summer. He came around to score later in the frame on a hit by pitch.
After the game, Foster explained his hot start, saying that he likes "to keep things simple: see the ball, hit the ball." When the regular season gets underway, he plans to "stay with the same approach" that's been working thus far for him in summer ball.
For any young Big Train fans out there, Foster has a message for you too: "Work hard. It's not an easy game. It's a game of failure; get your reps in the cage because hard work beats talent every day."
The Big Train are back in action Wednesday, June 5th to kick off the regular season with a road contest against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts.
Big Train will be live in action at Povich Field on Thursday, June 6th at 7 p.m. against the Alexandria Aces. If this preseason play is any indication of what's to come, we're in for a great season with the Big Train. See you all Thursday.
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