Alex Calvert (South Carolina) applies the tag at third, a pivotal out in game 2. Photo Credit: Lisa A. Kammerman/BigTrainPhotos
The Big Train split an afternoon-night doubleheader with the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts on Saturday. Bethesda is now 8-2 on the season and remains atop the South division.
In game 1, right-hander David McKay (Florida Atlantic) got the start, taking the loss after pitching four innings and giving up two hits and three runs (two earned), while walking one and striking out three. Luis Collazo (Virginia Tech), Miller Trevvett (Radford), and Chris Monaco (Virginia Tech) each contributed a scoreless relief inning for Bethesda. T-Bolt starter En-Sih Huang (Taiwan UPES) pitched all seven innings of game 1, earning his second win of the season.
Offensively, the T-Bolts struck early. Aided by two Big Train errors, the T-Bolts scored three runs in the first, as McKay surrendered a walk and two singles to the first three T-Bolt hitters, who each scored in the inning. The Big Train outhit the T-Bolts in 6-5 in game 1 but struggled mightily with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. The lone Bethesda run came in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Nick Feight (UNC Wilmington) scored on a groundout by Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth). The final score of game 1 was a 3-1 Big Train loss.
Righty Mark Nowatnick (Florida Atlantic) got the nod in the nightcap, pitching three innings giving up one hit and no runs while walking three and striking out three. Because Nowatnick did not pitch the four innings required by a starting pitcher to qualify for a win in a seven-inning game, the win instead went to Blake Smith (Mississippi State), his first of the season. Smith pitched two innings and gave up three hits and a run while walking none and striking out one. Josh Thorne (Stetson) pitched a scoreless relief inning, while Tyler Warmoth earned the save, pitching a perfect seventh and striking out two.
In game 2, it was the Big Train that struck early. Leadoff man Cody Brown (Mississippi State) led off with a walk in the bottom of the first. Farrar then singled. Brown and Farrar took third and second on a throwing error, setting the table for a two-run single by Zach Kirtley (St. Mary’s (CA)). However, Kirtley was thrown out attempting to take second base on the throw. Chris Lewis (Sacramento State) followed with a double, but was stranded.
The T-Bolts’ best chance came in the 5th inning, when the leadoff hitter singled and scored on a double by Steven Paredes (Lindsey Wilson), who currently has the league’s best batting average. Paredes was thrown out trying to stretch the double into a triple, stifling the rally. This play proved instrumental, as the next hitter singled but the T-Bolts could not score a second run. The final score of game 2 was a 2-1 Big Train victory.
Notes: Game 1 T-Bolt starter En-Sih Huang (Taiwan UPES) balked twice, one of which played a major role in the Big Train obtaining their only run of the game…The Big Train worked no walks against Huang. Only one T-Bolt walked in game 1…Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth) collected a hit and RBI and scored a run in his return to Povich Field.
The Big Train takes on division foe FCA Herndon Braves at 7:30PM tomorrow night, Maryland Pride Night, at Povich Field. The Big Train has another home game at 7:30PM Monday night, Pajama Night, against the Gaithersburg Giants.