Big Train Back on Track with win over T-Bolts

Tate Soderstrom (Arizona) rounds the bases after hitting a two-run homer against the Thunderbolts.


Following a pair of losses and another pair of rainouts, the Big Train looked as if they hadn't missed a beat during their dominant 12-0 victory over the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts Tuesday night.

The last time the Big Train met the Thunderbolts, Silver Spring had the last laugh, walking away with a 13-4 victory at the Big Train's expense. This time the shoe was on the other foot as it was the Big Train who captured a commanding victory.

The win means the Big Train take the lead in the season series 2-1.

For the Big Train, patience proved to be a virtue, as they tallied more walks (14) than hits (10). In the first inning alone, all but two batters for the Big Train reached base on balls--one of those two, Ryan Daugherty (St. Mary's CA), was hit by a pitch. Big Train got on the board in the first on a wild pitch, and then three straight bases loaded walks to Matt Thomas (William & Mary), Martin Vincelli-Simard (Sacramento State) and Tyler Villaroman (San Francisco), made it 4-0 without getting a hit. 

Aside from walks, the Big Train's best inning swinging the bats had to be the eighth. Kobe Kato (Arizona) doubled and then Tate Soderstrom (Arizona) followed with his first homer this season. Back to back doubles for Daugherty and Thomas drove home the 11th run of the night for Big Train. That eighth inning represented four out of the ten Big Train hits on the night as, as previously stated, most of the damage done was done via walk.

On the mound, Big Train held the T-Bolts scoreless in large part due to Ryan Okuda's (Virginia Tech) six innings of shutout baseball. Asked if his teammates had any advice of adjustments to make to slow down the Thunderbolts after Bethesda struggled in the previous game against them, Okuda said, "I actually did ask them, but they said just to go out there."

Big Train manager Sal Colangelo was also very pleased with the game's result as Big Train got back on track. "Be positive," Colangelo said he told the team. "We're short-handed [and] missing a lot of position players." He said that he himself felt it imperative to continue to "point out the good things," and he also remarked, "to be 3-2, I am excited given the circumstances."

Regarding Okuda, who has pitched 12 shutout innings across two starts early this season, Colangelo said, "It's summer baseball. He's throwing strikes. He had 77 pitches today and our goal for him is about 75. He did what we needed today and that's why we are where we are."

To echo New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick: do your job. On Tuesday night, every member of the Big Train did their job, and it resulted in a landslide victory.

That's could be a sign of things to come if the team can continue to fire on all cylinders. The Big Train are back over .500 with their newly-updated 3-2 recor. Their next game is Wednesday in Gaithersburg, and their next home game will be Friday at 7 p.m. against the D.C. Grays. The Giants and Grays have both looked pretty good themselves so far this season, which means the Big Train will have their hands full if they want to turn this singular win into a streak.

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