Vinny Esposito (Sacramento State) connects with the ball for a hard hit single up the middle.
The Bethesda Big Train won its second game in a row on Saturday night, defeating the Rockville Express 7-2.
The Big Train (6-4) pounced on Rockville’s pitching early. Newcomer to this year’s team, yet a Big Train veteran from 2014, Sean Labsan (Florida Atlantic) drove in the first two runs of the game with a double off the centerfield fence in the first inning.
Clayton Daniel (Jacksonville State) piled onto his team-leading RBI numbers by following Labsan with a two-run double of his own in the second.
“[We] definitely played well early,” manager Sal Colangelo said. “Kind of hit some some of the balls hard later in the game but they didn't fall, but overall we did a nice job.”
The Big Train scored their final run in the fourth inning when Cam Daugherty (Bowling Green State) knocked in Garrett Kueber (Moorpark).
Kueber finished the game scoring two runs along with one RBI. Succeeding Kueber in the lineup is someone who has certainly succeeded so far in this early season: Daniel. This time as a centerfielder, Daniel hit 2-for-3, recorded one walk, two RBIs while also scoring two of his own runs.
“They’re just dirtballs, they get after it,” Colangelo said of his one-two punch at the top of the order. “They know how to play the game, we can put them anywhere and we’ll be successful. Just great kids.”
On the other side of the ball, the Big Train’s pitchers were even more dominant than the team’s hitters.
Sean Barry (San Diego), Saturday night’s starting pitcher, walked the first batter he faced. He then went on to retire the following nine batters in order. Barry finished the game after the third inning, allowing no hits and no runs.
“I don't want him to throw a lot of innings,” Colangelo said. “I want him to be fresh when we get down to the end of the season. The plan was either three or four [innings], then two, two and two.”
Those three sets of two-innings of work belonged to Alex Calvert, (Erskine) Blaine Lafin (Virginia Military Institute) and Matthew Herzog (Louisburg).
Calvert hit a batter and allowed a base-on-balls, but didn’t allow a run or hit and struck out three hitters. Lafin also struck out three. He gave up one hit, one walk and two runs (both unearned). Herzog allowed one baserunner in each of his two innings, but was never threatened to be scored upon.
Barry gave much of the pitching success to the other nine players on the field: “It’s easy to play behind them,” he said. “They do a great job back there … it’s very easy to pitch with a lead.”
With the win — as well as losses by the Herndon Braves and Alexandria Aces — the Big Train move back into first place in the south division.
“We have a great staff and a great team and it’s good to get back on track,” Barry said.
The team will look to carry its momentum into Sunday’s doubleheader against the Vienna River Dogs. The first game will begin at 5 p.m.