Kirk Sidwell (Stetson)
VIENNA -- For Kirk Sidwell (Stetson) it’s been a struggle to stay in the lineup day-to-day. But on Wednesday night against the FCA Herndon Braves, he gave manager Sal Colangelo plenty of reasons to keep him on the field.
“Every time you get an opportunity you just definitely want to make the most of it,” Sidwell said.
Sidwell entered the 8-6 win over the Braves having only appeared in 10 games on the year. And in a lineup not lacking for power it’s understandable why the Stetson man got lost in the shuffle. However, Wednesday night’s 3-for-3 performance should give Sidwell at least a few more plate appearances going forward.
“I thought we battled and the whole offense had a good approach,” Sidwell said. “We took some good swings.”
Sidwell’s go-ahead double in the seventh proved to be the difference on the night but long-balls from Kevin Milam (St. Mary’s) and Justin Morris (Maryland) set up the Junior for the game-winning hit.
Morris’ ball sailed high over the right-center fence in the top of the third, while Milam’s solo shot rocketed over the scoreboard in left-center for a deep bomb in the top of the fifth.
However, the Braves wouldn’t go away. Herndon scored the next six runs to go ahead 6-4 before Sidwell and company put the Big Train ahead for good.
“I think it’s definitely important to get momentum going,” Sidwell said. “I think that’ll take us a long way and hopefully we can keep that rolling as long as we can.”
Ty Madrigal (St. Mary’s) was extraordinary coming out of the bullpen in relief of starter Blake Sanderson (FAU). Sanderson went 3.2 innings, giving up eight hits and six runs along with four strikeouts. Madrigal, whose first three outings came as a starter, went 4.2 innings giving up two hits and striking out five. He now sits at 3-1 with a 0.83 ERA on the season.
“I just try and take the same approach day-in and day-out,” Madrigal said. “What’s been working this day so I can apply it to the next day. And I can kind of build off my mistakes too.”
Madrigal’s defining moment came in the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and second. The southpaw struck out Bowen Plagge swinging on a 1-2 pitch to end the threat.
“Ty has been great,” Colangelo said. “He’s been one of our best.”
The Big Train will continue their short road trip with a game Thursday night against the Rockville Express before heading home for three straight.
“Winning’s contagious,” Madrigal said. “So it’s awesome and we just carry over to the next day and [the] train’s rolling.”
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