After a tough loss to the Alexandria Aces on Saturday, the Bethesda Big Train bounced back in a big way with a 14-5 win against the Gaithersburg Giants in their third home game of the season Sunday night.
Timely hitting and efficient base running saw Big Train score seven runs on just three hits in the bottom of the first inning. Matt Thomas (William & Mary) struck first on a double to the bottom of the center field fence, batting in two runs. An error from Gaithersburg’s third baseman brought Austin Gauthier (Maryland) home next.
Big Train’s offense didn’t stop there. A solid single to left field from Kyle Velazquez (Saint Mary’s CA) brought Thomas home; then Grant Knipp (Alabama) hit an RBI triple and came home on a wild pitch. Keith Torres (Sacramento State) later came in to score to cap an eventful bottom of the first. The Giants switched up their pitchers mid-inning, but it had little effect on Bethesda’s hot start.
The Giants bats were able to get going in the top of the second to bring home two runs. But, Big Train increased their own lead by two in the bottom half with runs from Rocco Peppi (Long Beach State) and Thomas. In the third, Gaithersburg was able to run one home and field three quick outs against the Big Train to put the Giants back up at bat to start the fourth inning, Bethesda up 9-3.
Chipping away at the Big Train’s lead one inning at a time, the Giants scored one run in the fourth and fifth innings. While Bethesda wasn’t able to match them every time at the plate, they did more than enough on the mound to keep their healthy lead of 10-5 and an uneventful sixth inning saw the score hold.
Big Train was able to stall the Giants and score two runs of their own in both the seventh and eighth innings. A double from pinch hitter Kemp Alderman (Ole Miss) brought two home and another double from Velazquez in the bottom of the eighth saw Jack Cone (William & Mary) score. On his second hit of the night, Torres singled Velazquez home. Big Train held the Giants scoreless in the top of the ninth to end the ballgame at 14-5.
Thomas finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, and Peppi added two hits and three runs of his own. Cooper Rons (UC Santa Barbara) picked up the win in his first Big Train appearance, throwing three innings of one-run ball out of the bullpen.
The Big Train hit the road to play the South County Braves in Lorton, Virginia on Monday at 7:00 p.m.
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