The Bethesda Big Train dropped its game against the Silver Spring - Takoma Thunderbolts on Monday night 4-2.
Drew Strotman (St. Mary’s) didn’t give up an earned run in his five innings of work, but got hit with the loss in his 2016 Cal Ripken League debut after a two-error fourth inning for Bethesda allowed three runs. One of those errors was charged to Strotman after a wild throw attempted for second base.
Chase Gardner (San Francisco) relieved Strotman in the sixth inning. With one out, Thunderbolt shortstop Arturo Archie reached base on an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error.
Gardner walked the following three batters, the third resulting in the fourth and final Thunderbolt run.
“They were able to [take advantage of the mistakes] and we weren’t able to stop the bleeding,” assistant coach, and acting manager for Monday’s game, Eric Williams said.
Stephen Schoch (Appalachian State University) relieved Gardner in the seventh inning and struck out five of the six batters he faced.
“Schoch is doing a real good job for us,” Williams said. “When you throw a sidewinder out there, half of them get a little crazy because they're not used to seeing it. But he's doing a real good job of just shutting things down.”
Unfortunately for the Big Train, the opposing starter mirrored Schoch more than any other Bethesda pitcher. The southpaw, Matt Hornich, allowed one hit during the first six innings of the game. He never faced more than four batters in any of those innings.
“He threw well for them and our guys didn't have the answer,” Williams said. “They didn’t say they were getting jipped, they didn't say it was crazy, they just didn’t have the answer for what was happening.”
The Big Train finally managed to put two runs across on Hornich in the seventh inning when Cameron Daugherty (Bowling Green State), Justin Morris (Maryland) and Austin Hale (Stetson) walked, doubled and singled respectively.
Bethesda finished the game with four hits. The ball club also finished with four errors.
The loss ends the span of seven straight days to open up the season in which the Big Train won four and loss three. Tuesday will be the first day without a game since the season started and that will be followed up with seven games over the next six days.
“A lot of guys come here and they're used to playing a midweek game and then a weekend series, and then all of a sudden they’re playing seven games in seven days,” Williams said. “The grind here is tough … We explained to them that they need to really take advantage of the day off and try to get healthy, and realize what they’re in for for the remainder of the season.”
Wednesday’s game will be at Shirley Povich field against the Alexandria Aces. First pitch will be at 7:30 p.m.
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