Teammates crowd around Jacob Southern (33) to congratulate him on his home run during game one of the Big Train's double-header on July 2.
The Bethesda Big Train picked up their 21st win and fourth loss today, splitting a double-header with the Baltimore Dodgers (8-15), with each game spanning only seven innings. Though the Dodgers took game one 7-6, the Big Train bounced back, winning game two 11-1.
“It shows the character [of the team], to come back after a devastating loss the first game,” said head coach Sal Colangelo. “To come back and get after it, it just shows the character of the kids.”
It seemed that the Big Train had locked down their 21st win in game one of the double-header, but a four-run top of the seventh gave the Baltimore Dodgers the 7-6 lead, and Bethesda was unable to pull together an offense for the walkoff.
Though they loaded the bases in the first inning, it wasn’t until the third that the Big Train put a run on the board, after a lead-off walk to Bryan Diaz (Nova Southeastern), followed by a one-out single from Alec Burleson (East Carolina). Diaz scored on Burleson’s hit, and a two-out home run from Jacob Westerman (San Francisco) drove home Burleson, putting Bethesda up 3-0.
The Dodgers put up two in the top of the fourth, after three singles in a row to lead off the inning, a run scoring on each of the second two singles.
But the Big Train responded, adding on two more runs of their own in the bottom of the inning after A.J. Lee (Maryland) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and then Diaz walked with one out. Lee stoel secodn and third then came home on a single from Carson Taylor (VA Tech), and Diaz scored on another single from Burleson.
In the top of the fifth the Dodgers tacked on another run, but a great throw in from Tyler Villaroman (San Francisco) caught the last out of the inning at home, with catcher Jacob Southern (Jacksonville) snagging the throw and sticking the tag. But, the play ended with Trevor Doyle out and ejected from the game, after dropping his shoulder and taking out Southern before the plate. Southern, who appeared injured from the play, came back to lead off the bottom of the inning with a solo homerun, putting Bethesda up 6-3.
“I was kind of hyped about [Southern’s home run],” said starting pitcher Carlos Lomeli. “It really showed, like, he was really mad at that point and he wanted to show the other team what he’s about.”
Then came the four-run seventh inning for Baltimore, but Bethesda was unable to respond in the bottom of the inning, losing game one 7-6 in heartbreaking fashion.
“[The Dodgers] swing their bats well,” said Colangelo. “[But] they don’t have very much pitching. We were getting ourselves out (in game one) and we weren’t having good at-bats and approaches at the plate.”
Starting pitcher Carlos Lomeli (St. Mary’s CA) lasted five strong innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out six. Jacob McCarvel (Cal Baptist) took over for the sixth and one out of the seventh, with Scott Parker (San Francisco) replacing McCarvel for the last two outs of the seventh. Between McCarvel and Parker they allowed four runs on four hits and two strikeouts, with Parker coming out with the loss.
“I was just trying to give the team the best opportunity to win,” said Lomeli. “I didn’t have my best stuff… [but they] had good offense, like always.”
“The pitching was great [today],” said Colangelo. “Made one bad pitch, that happens, that’s baseball.”
The momentum that the Big Train lacked at the end of game one showed up to start game two. Bethesda put up six runs in the bottom of the first, with seven batters reaching base, singles from A.J. Lee Justin Wylie, John Glenn, Jacob Westerman and Bryan Diaz, a double from Carson Taylor, and a Baltimore error allowing Alec Burleson to reach base.
“Obviously A.J. and Justin did a great job getting on base to start off with,” said Carson Taylor after the game. “[All of the walks] were huge, obviously it got [Baltimore’s starter] off the mound pretty quickly. We had a good approach and took a lot of pitches.”
Two more runs came across in the bottom of the second, after Taylor hit a two-out solo home run over the wall in left-center, then another run crossing after four walks in a row drove in Burleson.
Another run came in the third, after Lee reached on an error, moved to second on a Wylie walk, then reached third on a passed ball and crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly from Taylor. Two runs the following inning put the Big Train up 11-0 heading into the fifth, after Baltimore gave up five free bases with one hit-by-pitch and four walks, allowing one of the runs on a wild pitch.
A run came for the Dodgers in the top of the fifth, after a lead-off double from Paul DiPino III, who scored on a wild pitch after moving to third on a single from Daniel Torres. That was it for Baltimore in game two, putting up only the one run in reaction to Bethesda’s 11.
Starting pitcher Carter Bach (Wake Forest) went five innings, giving up only one run on four hits, striking out seven. Elliot Zoellner (Maryland) relieved Bach, closing out the last two innings giving up two hits while stiking out four.
“It’s really nice to know that we can win a game 1-0, 2-0 just because we have such dominant arms,” said Taylor.
The Big Train take on the Dodgers again at 7 p.m. July 3, back at Shirley Povich Field.