Lights Out Bullpen Fuels Tremendous 2015 Start

Tim Yandel (Tulane) is 2-0 with a team-leading 19 innings pitched. His ERA is 1.42 and he leads the league in strikeouts with 20.

Perched in foul territory down the left field line in a wooden lean-to, the Big Train’s biggest weapon waits patiently for a nod from the dugout, a proverbial all systems go, before taking over the game. 

Under the watchful tutelage of pitching coach Jason Ritenour, the Bethesda bullpen has flourished thus far and, teamed with an above-average defensive front, has made the end of games increasingly difficult for Cal Ripken League opponents.

Tied for the league’s best record with the rival Baltimore Redbirds (11-2), Bethesda sits comfortably atop the South Division, 4.5 games above the D.C. Grays with a perfect record in four divisional contests.

A game shy of the one-third mark of the season, most Big Train success comes from the bullpen’s ability to shut down opponents, allowing the offense to feast on opponents less-than-stellar relievers.

In 50 1/3 innings of relief work this season, the bullpen’s ERA is a menacing 1.61. If you remove 3 1/3 innings of relief from Luis Collazo (Virginia Tech) in a soggy, rain-shortened game – stretched until the fifth inning by umpires to ensure it was an official game – against the Vienna River Dogs, that earned run average drops to 1.34.

The pen has only surrendered a lead twice in the entire season, both coming on June 14 against the Herndon Braves 11 games into the season.

The pitching staff as a whole boasts phenomenal numbers. Allowing just 33 runs in 12 games, the Big Train pitching staff allows on average just one walk or hit per inning, good for tops in the league. Opponents are hitting a ghastly .172 against Bethesda, 16 points lower than the next best staff, and slugging a nearly non-existent .205, some 40 points lower than their closest challenger.

Standouts include senior Tim Yandel (Tulane) who posts a 1.42 ERA after 19 innings of work on the bump, right-hander Drew Strotman (St. Mary’s, Calif.) who is allowing less than a single run per nine innings after two starts, and the sidearm-slinging Walker Sheller (Stetson) who seems to have as many arm slots as the Big Train have wins.

Four other Big Train relievers have thrown at least three innings with an ERA currently at or under 1.80: Mark Nowatnick (Florida Atlantic), Josh Thorne (Stetson), Blake Smith (Mississippi State), Miller Trevvett (Radford).

Yandel’s heroics have extended past the mound to first base where he has became a presence both on defense and from the right side of the plate. On both Sunday and Monday, Yandel stepped to the plate with his team tied in the bottom of the ninth. Both times he put on a show for the fans at Shirley Povich Field, depositing identical doubles to the gap in right-center field, ending the .500 baseball Bethesda had played for the previous four games.

The offense has provided good run support for manager Sal Colangelo, ranking third in the league with 51 runs scored on the season. Logan Farrar, leadoff hitter and starting centerfielder, has returned from Virginia Commonwealth University’s deep trip into the College World Series Super Regionals to provide a spark at the top of the order and boost the lineups .214 batting average. The offense’s brightest star is shortstop Zach Kirtley (St. Mary’s, Calif.) who leads the team hitting .318 with six runs batted in.

At this point in 2014, Bethesda was yet to lost their first game. One year removed, only two losses separate them from a perfect start. 



Search Archive »




Browse by Year »

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

Browse by Month »

October 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
November 2016
September 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
September 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
November 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
December 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
December 2011
facebook
twitter
You Tube
Instagram
Big Train Blog
Phone