The Big Train entered Friday night’s game riding a four-game win streak, and had their eyes set on five in a row as they took on the Alexandria Aces on the road.
Justin Hepner (San Diego State) got the start for the Big Train, and would pitch five innings of one-run ball. Hepner struck out three batters while yielding just six hits and two walks.
The early Big Train offense would give Hepner the opportunity to pitch with the lead throughout his five innings of work.
The scoring would start in the first inning, After singles by David Del Grande (Sacramento State), Kevin Tatum (Cornell), and Tyler France (San Diego State), Tucker Tobin (George Mason) hit a three-RBI double to clear the bases and give the Big Train an early 3-0 lead.
The Aces would respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning, however, the Big Train bounced right back with a fourth run in the top of the second.
Ryne Willard (Tallahassee CC) would lead off the inning with a walk, and then advance into scoring position by stealing second base. Willard’s aggressiveness would pay off later in the inning, as he scored to re-capture the Big Train’s three-run lead.
The Big Train would tack on two more runs in the third and fifth innings, respectively, both coming from Johnny Cole (Coastal Carolina). Cole’s run in the third inning came by his own doing, as he hit his first home run of the season to give the Big Train the 5-1 edge. Cole would then score again in the fifth on an RBI-triple by Tobin to make the score 6-1.
The Aces rallied for three runs in the sixth inning to draw back within two, however, Kit Scheetz (Virginia Teach) would come in to give the Big Train three shutout innings of relief and keep the lead in tact. Cody Mizelle (Florida Atlantic) would then come on and pitch a perfect ninth inning, striking out the side and picking up his third save of the season.
With the win, the Big Train now sit atop the standings with a 9-2 record and hold a two-game lead over the Southern Maryland Nationals (7-4) and Gaithersburg Giants (8-5). The team will look to keep it’s hot streak going on Saturday night, as they host the FCA Herndon Braves at Povich Field at 7:30 P.M.
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