Five-Run Eighth Inning Extends Big Train Winning Streak to Seven

Tim Yandel (Tulane) hit two doubles and drove in four runs, three of which came on a game-tying, bases-clearing double in the eighth. Photo Credit: Kyle Brown

After seven innings, the scoreboard read Redbirds 5, Big Train 1. The Bethesda Big Train appeared to be on their way to their second straight loss against the Baltimore Redbirds and losing sole possession of the league’s best record. But in the eighth and ninth innings, the Big Train pounced on the Redbirds for eight runs en route to a 9-6 comeback victory. It was Bethesda’s seventh win in a row.  Big Train is now 14-2 on the season, leading the South Division by 6.5 games.

Big Train began the top of the first with a leadoff single from Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth), who stole second and advanced to third on a single from Cody Brown (Mississippi State). Farrar scored the first run of the game on an RBI groundout by Zach Kirtley (St. Mary’s (CA)).

The Big Train would relinquish the lead on back-to-back Redbird RBI extra base hits in the second inning. The Redbirds added another on a solo home run in the third and two more on a two-run home run in the sixth to go ahead 5-1. Neither team scored in the seventh inning.

In the top of the eighth, Logan Farrar led off with a bunt single. Cody Brown then worked a full-count walk. Zach Kirtley advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Cleanup hitter Chris Lewis (Sacramento State) drove in Farrar with a single to cut the deficit to three runs. Harrison Crawford (Creighton) worked a walk, loading the bases for Tim Yandel (Tulane), the Big Train’s most clutch hitter thus far this summer. Yandel came through yet again, with a bases-clearing double off the left field fence to knot the score at five. Brandon Hunley (Sacramento State) then singled in Yandel to put the Big Train on top six to five. Justin Morris (Maryland) added a single in the five-run frame, but no more runs would score in the inning.

In the final inning, the Big Train added some insurance that would turn out to be necessary. Logan Farrar led off with a walk, and Cody Brown got down a sacrifice bunt to advance him to second. Farrar took third on a throwing error by the Redbirds pitcher on a pickoff attempt. Zach Kirtley then smacked a double, scoring Farrar. Kirtley took third on a Chris Lewis groundout and scored on a passed ball with Harrison Crawford up. Crawford worked a walk, his third of the game. Tim Yandel then hit his second RBI double in as many innings, scoring Crawford and giving the Big Train a nine to five lead.

The Redbirds did not go quietly in the ninth, getting a run back and loading the bases with the tying run on first base. However, Tyler Tobin (George Mason), the second Big Train pitcher used in the bottom of the ninth, got the first Redbird hitter he faced to ground into a game-ending double play.

David McKay (Florida Atlantic) started for Bethesda and went five innings and gave up three earned runs on four hits, while walking two and striking out seven. Walker Sheller (Stetson) picked up the win in relief, firing a perfect seventh inning before the Big Train took the lead in the eighth. It was Sheller’s second win of the season. Luis Collazo (Virginia Tech) also turned in a scoreless relief inning for Bethesda, striking out two.

Notes: For the first time this season, Big Train won the game after trailing by four runs or more…Seven of nine Big Train hitters recorded at least one hit; three (Farrar, Kirtley, Crawford) reached base three times…The Big Train recorded four doubles (Two by Kirtley, two by Yandel) and worked seven walks...With three runs scored today, Farrar now has scored eight times in his first eight games…Big Train returns to Povich Field for a 7:30PM game Monday night against the Rockville Express. The theme is Father’s Day Monday, as Sunday’s game was on the road.

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