Big Train mustered all of four hits Friday night in a 3-0 loss to the visiting Vienna River Dogs. It was Big Train’s fourth loss in the past five games, dropping them to 20-8 on the season.
Bethesda’s inability to come through with men on base wasted a solid start from Tim Yandel (Tulane) and another great performance from the Big Train bullpen.
Vienna had an early chance to score, when the first batter of the game hit a routine grounder to short but ended up on second after Zach Kirtley (St. Mary’s, Calif.) threw the ball into the first base stands. A one-out single brought him home, and then a double to deep right made it 2-0 River Dogs before Bethesda even had a chance to bat.
Big Train had a shot to get at least one back in the bottom of the first, after Andrew Bechtold (Maryland) was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a balk with one out. He was stranded, however, just the first of many missed opportunities for Bethesda throughout the night.
Singles by Harrison Crawford (Creighton) and Brandon Hunley (Sacramento State) and a walk to Ryne Willard (North Carolina State) loaded the bases in the second with one away, giving Big Train a golden opportunity to even the score. But Tony DiLeo (Eastern Michigan) hit into a double play to end the inning and Big Train still trailed 2-0.
Big Train had another opportunity to score in the third inning, when Chris Lewis (Sacramento State) lined a ball into short right-center with men on first and second. Cody Brown (Mississippi State) tried to score from second on the play, but was thrown out easily for the second out. A pop-up ended the inning and Bethesda again failed to come through with men on base.
After the third inning, Big Train struggled to get men on base, managing just one hit and three walks over the final six innings of the game.
Meanwhile, after the first inning, Yandel cruised, allowing just the two runs (one earned) over five innings while striking out four. Mark Nowatnick (Florida Atlantic) took over in the sixth and allowed a run in 2/3 of an inning, pushing the Vienna lead to 3-0. Miller Trevvett (Radford), Luis Collazo (Virginia Tech), Blake Smith (Mississippi State), and Mike Rescigno (Maryland) pieced together 3 2/3 scoreless innings to end the game, but the damage had been done, as the River Dogs took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth.
Crawford walked to lead off the ninth, giving the home crowd hopes of a rally, but a strikeout and two fly outs ended the game and Big Train was shutout for the first time this season.
Notes: Yandel suffered his first loss of the season, and his ERA sits at a stellar 1.27, good for fifth in the Cal Ripken League…Brown stole his 13th base of the season, which ties him for third in the league…Big Train continues the weekend homestand Saturday night against the D.C. Grays at 7:30 p.m.
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