David McKay (Florida Atlantic) tossed six scoreless innings and was perfect through 5.2 innings. He did not factor into the decision. Photo credit: Lisa A. Kammerman/BigTrainPhotos
The Big Train fell apart in the late innings of Monday night’s road game, dropping their third consecutive game and failing to sweep the season series against the Gaithersburg Giants. Bethesda is now 19-7 on the season and 5.5 games atop the South division.
The Big Train held a 1-0 advantage after the top of the eighth, but then surrendered the deciding two runs in the bottom half and failed to score in the ninth. The Big Train could not cash in during key offensive situations and made a poor defensive decision in a critical situation that cost them big time in a one-run loss to the team with the worst record in the league.
The Big Train opened the scoring in the top of the fifth when catcher Justin Morris (Maryland) hit a one-out single and advanced to third on a hot smash double down the left field line off the bat of second baseman Brandon Hunley (Sacramento State). Centerfielder Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth) worked a walk, loading the bases with one out for right fielder Cody Brown (Mississippi State). Brown lifted a fly ball to left field that Morris tagged up on. Morris broke for home, the throw from the Gaithersburg left fielder was good, but the catcher could not handle it and Morris scored the game’s first run. Hunley and Farrar advanced to second and third with one out on the play, but would not score.
The Giants threatened in the bottom of the sixth, collecting a two-out double against Big Train starter David McKay (Florida Atlantic). It was the first base runner allowed by McKay of the ballgame. The next hitter singled, but Cody Brown fired a bullet to Justin Morris, who made an outstanding tag on the runner attempting to score from second for the third out of the inning, keeping the Big Train on top 1-0.
However, the Giants would score two in the bottom of the eighth. Still a 1-0 game to begin the frame, the first Giants hitter of the inning doubled. The next laid down a bunt to get him over to third. Rather than get the easy out at first, the Big Train futilely attempted to get the lead runner at third and everyone was safe. The mistake proved costly, as the next batter laced an RBI double to left, tying the game and putting the go ahead run, the guy who bunted, on third base with still nobody out in the inning. The next batter hit a sacrifice fly, putting the Giants ahead for good. No more runs would score in the inning.
For Bethesda, starting pitcher David McKay was spectacular, twirling six scoreless innings, giving up two hits and no walks while striking out six in a cool 66 pitches, 49 for strikes. McKay was perfect through 5.2 innings of work before surrendering back-to-back hits. The start by McKay was worthy of a win, but ended up a no-decision. McKay remains 1-1 on the season but lowered his ERA to a nifty 2.14.
Reliever Josh Thorne (Stetson) was excellent in his first inning, setting the Giants down in order on nine pitches. Unfortunately, Thorne did not fare as well in the eighth. He pitched to three batters, a double, a fielder’s choice sac bunt, and another double, and was replaced by Mike Rescigno (Maryland). Thorne took the tough loss, largely the result of the bunt undoing in which no outs were made, falling to 1-2 on the year with a 5.22 ERA. Rescigno allowed the inherited runner to score the go ahead run on a sac fly, but gave up no runs of his own, improving his ERA to 1.80 on the season.
Notes: This marked the first game the Big Train lost when leading after seven innings…The Big Train has now lost two games in a row in which they scored first. Four of Bethesda’s seven losses on the year have been games in which they scored first…Tonight marked the fifth time in seven losses in which the Big Train outhit the opposition…The Big Train is off tomorrow but returns to Povich Field on Wednesday for another shot at that 20th win, a 7:30PM contest against the Baltimore Dodgers. The theme is World of Montgomery, sponsored by Fund for Montgomery. The night will feature special appearances from international organizations in Montgomery County.