After a six-run fourth inning for the visiting Thunderbolts, the Big Train couldn’t recover despite a late rally, falling 6-3 Monday night for only their sixth loss of the season.
After three scoreless innings, the T-Bolts broke the ice in the top of the fourth, when, on a passed ball, Dale Houser hustled all the way from second to score, giving Silver Spring-Takoma a 1-0 lead. A few moments later, the T-Bolts made it 2-0, capitalizing on a fielding error and a throwing error by the Big Train. The next pitch, a wild pitch allowed a third run to score. Later in the inning, a bases clearing triple to made it 6-0 T-Bolts.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Big Train had a chance to end the shutout after Trevor Doyle (Sacramento State) hustled out an infield single and advanced to third on a couple of wild pitches. Keith Torres (Sacramento State) laced a drive to center, but Houser made a spectacular diving catch to end the inning.
After the fourth inning, the bats on both sides went relatively silent. The first seven innings were a stark contrast from the Bethesda 15-run explosion against South County on Sunday. That was the case until the bottom of the eighth, when the Big Train finally got their offense going.
Bethesda loaded the bases with no outs after Matt Thomas (William and Mary) walked. A few moments later, Ryley Johnson (East Carolina) scampered home from third on a passed ball to give the Big Train their first run of the ballgame. The same at-bat, Grant Knipp (Alabama) brought home Austin Gauthier (Maryland) from third on an RBI single to left field to cut the T-Bolts lead to four. The next batter, Kemp Alderman (Ole Miss) ripped an RBI double to left field to make it 6-3. The Big Train loaded the bases again with one out after pinch hitter Rocco Peppi (Long Beach State) got hit by a pitch for the fourteenth time this season. But the next two hitters struck out and grounded out to end the rally.
After keeping the game at 6-3 in the top of the ninth, the Big Train had one last chance to tie or win the game, but couldn’t string another rally together.
After the early-inning struggles on the mound, the Big Train shut down the T-Bolt offense in the latter part of the game. Ryan Lynch (Notre Dame), Everett Catlett (Georgetown) and Zach Locke (Long Beach State) only allowed a combined two hits and no runs over the final four frames while striking out six T-Bolts.
The Big Train are back at Shirley Povich Field on Tuesday to take on the Alexandria Aces at 7 p.m. before they head to Alexandria for a double header on Wednesday.
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