After the Gaitherburg Giants claimed the lead early on in the game, Big Train rallied late in the game to earn the win for the night. This win extends Big Train’s win streak to 2, and puts their record at 13 wins and 2 losses. The Giants are now ranked third in the Cal Ripken North division, and their record changes to 7 wins and 9 losses.
The Giants took the lead early in the game, with Scout Knotts scoring a run off a groundball from Ryan Shinn. The Giants extended their lead to 3 runs with two players scoring early in the second inning. Barrett Smith scored off a line drive hit towards third base from Adam Spurlin, and Nick Holesa scored a point for the Giants when Giovanni DiGiacomo walked to first with the bases loaded.
Big Train narrowed the gap to one run in the third inning. Andrew Shebloski (St. Mary’s College (CA)) scored first for Big Train off a groundball from Alec Burleson (East Carolina University) hit between first and second base. Up next at bat for Big Train was John Glenn (California Baptist University), who stepped up to the plate with Fox Semones (James Madison University) on third base and Alec Burleson on first. Semones scored next for Big Train off a groundball from Glenn that bounced over the pitcher’s head.
Both teams were held to 0 runs until the sixth inning, when Big Train clinched the lead for the first time in the game. Alec Burleson hit a homerun with a hit out past right field to start off the inning, tying the game at 3-3. Burleson leads the league in home runs (8) and RBI (23) and would lead in average if he qualified for the number of at-bats. Next up for Big Train was John Glenn, who made it on first base with a single hit past second base. Carson Taylor (Virginia Tech University), batting next for the Train, hit a ball out into left field, getting on first base and putting Glenn on second. With Justin Wylie (University of Arizona) at bat next, both Glenn and Taylor stole bases off a dropped ball from the catcher for the Giants. Wylie, unfortunately, was thrown out by the Giants and was unable to get on first. Tyler Villaroman (University of San Francisco) stepped up next for Big Train with Glenn still on third and Taylor on second. Villaroman hit a ball into centerfield, getting on first base. Both Glenn and Taylor scored off the play, putting Big Train up 5-3 and leaving them in the lead for the first time in the game.
Villaroman stayed focused and tried to keep things simple when he stepped up to bat on this crucial play for Big Train. “We had guys in scoring position and less than two outs. [I just wanted] to get the ball in play” Villaroman remarked after the game.
Big Train earned their final run of the evening in the seventh inning with Ben Martz (Santa Barbara CC) scoring off a groundball from Alec Burleson hit between first and second base, his third RBI of the day. Despite the efforts from the Giants, they were unable to reclaim the lead, and Big Train finished the game with a 6-3 win.
Coach Galvin Morris was glad that Big Train was able to come out with the win tonight, but he also saw learning opportunities for the team. “Like we tell the guys, teams are getting better. We’re not going to beat teams like we did in the beginning of the season. We have to be able to manufacture—get some quality at-bats and good pitching,“ Morris said after the win. “Overall, it was a good team win.” And Big Train proved in this game that they are able to remain strong in adverse game situations and work hard to earn the win.
Big Train returns home to Shirley Povich for a Monday night game against the Thunderbolts. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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