After a disheartening 3-2 loss to the Rockville Express Saturday, the Big Train are looking to rebound against the Gaithersburg Giants Sunday in the final game before the league All-Star break.
“You got to show up everyday,” Justin Morris (Maryland) said. “Just because it says ‘Big Train’ across the uniform you’re going to get people’s best game and everybody’s going to want to beat you really bad.”
Sunday’s contest could be a major preview of things to come for the Big Train. The Giants sit at 15-12, good for second in the North Division, and present a possible playoff matchup for Bethesda. Gaithersburg is also one of only two teams to beat the Big Train on the road this season. In the loss on June 21, the Giants outlasted Bethesda 7-6 in 11 innings.
“You want to try and get a win and leave on a positive note and be ready for the last quarter of the season,” manager Sal Colangelo said.
Big Train ace Ty Madrigal (St. Mary’s) will get the start Sunday. Madrigal, one of 12 Bethesda players named to the South Division All-Star team, has been nothing short of spectacular this season. He currently leads the league with a 0.65 ERA in 27.2 innings pitched and is tied for second in wins with a 4-1 record in five appearances.
“I hope I can give us a good start and get us back on track and get the wheels rolling for the Train,” Madrigal said.
The Big Train offense will also look to get going Sunday after scoring only two runs against the Express, the league’s second-worst team. Logan Driscoll (George Mason) has been a consistent bright spot for Bethesda hitting .336 with six home runs, while James Outman (Sacramento State) continues to lead the league in homers (9) and is tied for first in RBIs (31) despite seeing his average drop in each of the last seven games.
Morris and centerfielder Zach Jancarski (Maryland) have also been crucial on the offensive side since their arrival from the Terps’ NCAA tournament squad, batting .341 and .383 respectively.
“I think we’re just hitting a little rut right now,” Morris said. “I mean all teams hit them. It’s a good thing we’re hitting it now and we can still finish the season hot and roll into the playoffs.”
First pitch from Criswell Automotive Park in Gaithersburg is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“Mainly the All-Star break comes and I feel like we try and crunch a little bit and try to pressure ourselves when we just have to play the same game we’ve been playing,” Madrigal said. “We started out hot and just [need to] continue what we’ve been doing – nothing more than that.”