The Big Train hosted the Rockville Express on Thursday night as both teams tried to stay alive in the League Championship Series.
Bubba Derby (San Diego State) got the start for the Big Train and showed why he was the CRCBL's best pitcher all season. With a 3-0 lead at the seventh inning stretch, Derby left the game to a standing ovation from the faithful Big Train crowd. He tipped his cap to the crowd as he slowly walked off the field after giving up just two hits, four walks, and a hit-by-pitch while striking out a season-high nine batters.
The Big Train got their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Johnny Cole (Coastal Carolina) led off the inning with a double and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Miedzianowski (High Point). After David Del Grande (Sacramento State) walked, Cole scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Harrison Bruce (San Francisco).
In the sixth, the Big Train added just a little bit of breathing room. Ryne Willard (Tallahassee) hit his second home run in as many nights as he blasted a ball over the high fence in center field to extend the Big Train lead to 2-0. Then, after hitting a two-out single and stealing second and third base, Kyle Wernicki (Virginia Tech) scored on an RBI single by Miedzianowski.
Perhaps the standing ovation for Derby inspired the Big Train because in the bottom of the seventh they added three more runs to stretch the lead to six. Josh Spano (High Point) hit a two-run double and Tucker Tobin (George Mason) came in to score on an error.
The offense tacked on two more runs in the eighth, as RBIs from Willard and Tobin pushed the score to 8-0.
Will Resnik (High Point) pitched the last two innings for the Big Train. He gave up just one hit and struck out two and got through both innings in just 20 pitches.
The loser of a 2pm match-up between the Redbirds and Aces in Alexandria will then travel to Bethesda to face the Big Train tonight. The winners of both games will advance to the CRCBL championship. The gates will open at 6:00 and first pitch will be at 7:30. Big Train Season Passholders get in free as usual. Tickets can be purchased here or at the gate.
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