After an opening round bye, the Bethesda Big Train took on the Alexandria Aces in the second round of the CRCBL playoffs on Tuesday night at Povich Field. The Big Train went down early, but were resilient all night, taking advantage of some dropped balls by the Aces, on their way to a 5-3 victory.
Sean Labsan (Florida Atlantic) took the mound for the Big Train and went four and two thirds of an inning, allowing two earned runs on six hits while striking out four batters.
Taylor Stiles (Maryland) came out of the bullpen and tossed four and one third of an inning in relief, earning the win. Stiles surrendered zero runs on four hits while striking out seven batters and walking none.
The Aces took an early lead, scoring two runs on three hits in the 1st inning.
The Big Train answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning when Chris Lewis (Sacramento State) hit a sharp single up the middle, scoring Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth), who doubled down the right field line to reach base.
The Aces added a run in the top of the 5th to take a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 5th.
With the crowd roaring the team on, the Big Train trucked across two runs in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game up at 3-3. Tony DiLeo (Eastern Michigan) scored the first run from second base after a costly two-out error by the Aces right fielder. The next batter, Chris Lewis, took advantage of the situation, clobbering a double off the center field wall, scoring Brandon Lowe (Maryland) from second base. The team and crowd were re-energized and looked to keep the momentum on their side heading into the 8th inning.
The Big Train fought back to take the lead in the 8th on a couple fielding mishaps by the Aces and opportune base running by Bethesda. After singling and advancing to second on a walk by Cody Brown (Mississippi State), Andrew Brown (San Diego State) stole third base, getting in safely as the third baseman dropped the ball on the tag. On the next pitch, Andrew Brown made it home on a passed ball in which the pitcher failed to catch the throw from the catcher to tag the runner out at home. Stephen Alemais (Tulane) then doubled home Cody Brown, adding an insurance run. Going into the 9th inning, the Big Train had a 5-3 lead.
Come out to Povich Field on Wednesday night at 7:30 to see the Big Train play the Baltimore Redbirds in the third round of the CRCBL Playoffs.
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