The Bethesda Big Train (28-6) felt both the heat and magic in the air during their double header against the Alexandria Aces. Bethesda overcame the Aces, taking both victories, and finishing out regular season play against the team. Big Train outscored the Aces 12-4 overall in the two games, blazing ahead to an eleven-game winning streak.
GAME ONE: Big Train 6, Aces 4
Though Bethesda was the away team in the first of the two games, Alexandria was the first to see the board. The Aces brought in one of their own after a sac fly to right field. Alexandria left the bottom of the first with the only lead they would see in the day, a 1-0 advantage.
Bethesda was quick to retaliate, scoring two runs in the top of the second. Darius Foster (University of San Francisco) walked in his first at bat, advancing to first. After teammate Gio Diaz (St. Mary’s CA) was walked as well, Foster made his way to scoring position at second. A quick four pitches later, Keith Torres III (Sacramento State) smacked a single to advance Diaz to second and bring Foster home. On yet another walk by the Aces' pitcher, Kobe Kato (University of Arizona) found his way to first as Torres and Diaz advanced on their bases. Diaz would come home for the second run of the inning as Matt Thomas (William & Mary) batted him in with a single, making it 2-1 Big Train.
The momentum kept flowing into the top of the third, Bethesda would bring in three more runs to increase their lead. Cade Hunter (Virginia Tech) cracked a single, advancing him to first. Foster would walk again, advancing Hunter to scoring position. A new face on the Big Train, Pete Costigan (University of Charleston), crushed a double to bring in Hunter and move Foster to third. An error committed by the Aces’ third baseman allowed both Foster and Costigan to find their way around the bases. Bethesda now led 5-1.
Alexandria answered big in the bottom of the fourth. The Aces scored three runs, cutting the score to a close 5-4. Though the Big Train still led, the Aces were a bit too close for comfort. The score was stagnant until the top of the seventh as Big Train scored their last run of the game.
Drew Hamrock (University of Virginia) would get on base via a walk, quickly stealing second. Finding his way closer to home, Hamrock took third on a fly out by teammate Hunter. Foster would ultimately bat in the final run of the game on a hard hit double. Greer Holston (Ole Miss) closed it out in the bottom of the seventh, giving Big Train a 6-4 victory.
GAME TWO: Big Train 6, Aces 0
The Big Train kept on chugging through the second game of the double header. Bethesda now playing as the home team, looked to defend their turf against the visiting Aces.
The scoreboard was empty until the bottom of the second. Bethesda would bring in one run, giving them a small lead against Alexandria. Hamrock returned to the baases as he singled, only visiting as he stole second quickly. A hard hit triple by Foster brought Hamrock home, and put himself nearly there.
“I was hoping he could get a good swing on the ball. Tough day for all of us, but sometimes when the pencil breaks you have to scribble with the nibble,” Hamrock said of Foster’s big hit of the night.
The Big Train would chug along until they hit full throttle in the bottom of the fourth. Bethesda scored five runs, cementing the victory over Alexandria. Hamrock quickly found his way o second after an error committed by the Aces’ third baseman. He stayed only shortly as yet another stolen base brought him to third. Torres walked, following the rhythm in stealing bases as he made his way to second. Patience was a virtue as Foster walked, loading the bases, and Tate Soderstrom (University of Arizona) walked to push Hamrock home.
Diaz collected the first hit of the inning, a hard single which drove in both Torres and Foster. Diaz stole his way to second, putting himself closer to home. Kato hit a hard ground ball to short, driving in Soderstrom for yet another Big Train run. Thomas brought Diaz home on a hard-hit double to left, the final run of the inning and game, bringing the score to 6-0.
Ryan Daugherty (St. Mary's CA) turned in another solid start, striking out five over five shutout innings. Tyler Naumann (Jacksonville) and Elliot Zoellner (Maryland) each threw a scoreless frame to capture the team shutout.
Bethesda faced off agains the Aces a total of eight times in the regular season, capturing seven wins. The Big Train will be home again tomorrow evening, hosting the Gaithersburg Giants for Washington Nationals night!
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