James Outman. Photo by Grant Cohen.
What’s the best way to celebrate your 500th team victory? For the Bethesda Big Train, it’s handily defeating your division rival and moving to within one game of first place.
One of the most anticipated CRCBL matchups this season pitted the League’s leader in team batting average (Big Train - .297) against the leader in team ERA (Aces – 2.78). Rebounding from a disappointing loss last night, the Big Train flexed their considerable offensive muscle to put up eight runs to the Aces’ two.
“It means the world,” manager Sal Colangelo said about earning the bounce back win. “We didn’t talk about closing the gap [with Alexandria], we just wanted to play better, we wanted to play nine innings. Any time you can bounce back like that, it shows the character of the kids.”
James Outman (Sacramento State) once again led the Big Train’s offensive charge, going 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs. The big blow off his bat came in the seventh, when he smashed a three-run shot for his league-leading fifth home run of the season. He also contributed an RBI double in the fifth. Outman has been one of the most dominating players in the League and is currently leading all Triple Crown categories with his .453 average, 5 homers, and 20 RBIs.
“It’s awesome,” Outman said about contributing to the Big Train’s 500th win. “It was really good that we bounced back. It shows a lot about our team.”
Other Big Train players also joined in on the fun, with Zach Jancarski (Maryland), Kirk Sidwell (Stetson), Mike Emodi (Creighton) and Luke Heyer (Kentucky) notching RBIs. For them, it was particularly special to contribute to tonight’s win.
“It definitely means a lot,” Sidwell said. “I’m very happy for Sal for his 500th win.”
The Big Train’s pitching staff bested their Aces counterparts with a two-run outing, including a strong start by Ty Madrigal (St. Mary’s). His three-hit, five-strikeout performance over five innings earned him his second win and lowered his ERA to an outstanding 1.05. One of the most consistent starters for the Big Train this season, Madrigal has gone at least five innings in each of his three appearances and given up no more than two earned runs.
Despite a satisfying win, Colangelo and the Big Train players were thinking of someone off the field after the game: co-founder Bruce Adams. Since spearheading the Big Train’s inception in 1999, Adams has been a driving force behind their success, and remains actively involved with the team.
“If not for Bruce Adams, none of these guys would be here,” Colangelo said. “None of these guys would have the experience that they have, none of the guys would learn how to hit with wood and go back to college and really work on getting better. It all started with [Adams]. I’m behind the scenes. I was blessed to come on in year one as an assistant for a couple of years before taking over. Credit goes out to Bruce and his boosters. What they’ve done to take it to the next level is remarkable, and they’re the reason we are where we’re at.”
“I couldn’t be here without Bruce,” Outman said. “He started the whole thing, so none of us would be here without him.”
Congratulations to the Big Train players, coaching staff and management on this milestone win!
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