Tough Eighth Inning Sinks Big Train Against Redbirds

By: Ben Portnoy
Logan Driscoll (George Mason)

Saturday night’s contest against the Redbirds looked to be another tightly contested game between the rivals – until the eighth inning.


“You’ve just got a short memory on these kinds of days,” Logan Driscoll (George Mason) said. “I mean we’re not always going to have our best games and tonight wasn’t one of our best.”


The Redbirds came away with a 9-1 win after the bullpen let down the Big Train late. The loss drops Bethesda to 13-5 on the season and now 1.5 games back from the Alexandria Aces in the South division.


The major blow came with the Redbirds leading 2-1 in the top of the eighth when Jack Alkire (VCU) stepped on the mound for Bethesda. The righty went two-thirds of an inning giving up seven runs on two hits and three walks to go with one strikeout.


Starting pitcher John Murphy (UMBC) went four innings giving up two runs on four hits along with five strikeouts. However, Murphy and Alkire didn’t get much help from their defense as the Big Train committed five errors on the night.


“We were just thin on the bump today,” manager Sal Colangelo said. “And, you know, we walk some and obviously we made five errors and any time you play a decent team you make five errors you’re going to get beat.”


As Colangelo noted, the errors didn't help an extremely short staff Sunday. Pitchers were in such short supply for the Big Train that outfielder Matt Green (St. Mary's) made a surprise relief appearance in the ninth giving up one hit and striking out one. 


On the offensive side, Zach Jancarski (Maryland) continued his hot start to the season going 3-for-4 with three singles. The Terrapin outfielder is hitting .423 in 26 at-bats in his first seven games with the Big Train after joining the team a week ago.


“Whether I’m 0-for-4, 4-for-4, doing what I can to help the team in any way,” Jancarski said.  “So I’m hoping to keep playing well that way we keep getting some wins.”


Driscoll added a double to the wall and flashed his glove at third base with a diving stop leading to a putout at first despite primarily working as a catcher at George Mason this season.


“It’s fun,” he said of playing out-of-position. “It’s challenging but I like it a lot.”


The Big Train are back in action Sunday night against the Baltimore Dodgers at 7 p.m.


“You’ve got to regroup, be ready tomorrow against a tough Dodger team,” Colangelo said. “Just come ready to play and we got to catch the ball and throw the ball and we’ll be fine.”

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