Coming off two wins in a doubleheader against the D.C. Grays on the road, Bethesda Big Train completed a dominant 15-3 victory over the South County Braves at Shirley Povich Field on Sunday night. Austin Gauthier (Maryland) scored the game-winning run to cap off a seven-run seventh inning and close out the ballgame with the CRCBL’s run rule.
Giving up three runs, including a homer, in the top of the first, Big Train faltered early against the Braves, bringing back memories of their loss at South County last week. But, that didn’t last long.
In the bottom of the first, Big Train came back to even the game at three, despite posting no hits. Darius Foster (San Francisco), Gauthier, and Rocco Peppi (Long Beach State) all crossed home and three errors by the Braves fielders didn’t do much to stop them.
Stalling the Braves in the top of the second, it looked as though South County would return the favor. But, on a 2-1 count Gauthier found his swing and hit a monster home run over the right field fence, putting Big Train up by one.
Three outs in the field by the Big Train saw them back up to bat in the third. This time, Peppi came around to score his second run of the night after being hit by his 12th pitch of the season to advance to first. This increased the Big Train lead to two at the end of the third for a 5-3 ball game.
After the three-run first Noah Carabajal (Long Beach State) settled in and shut the Braves down over the next three frames. As for Big Train, the Braves were only able to prevent them from scoring for just one half inning within that stretch.
Another hit by pitch in the fourth put Foster on base and set up Gauthier for his 20th RBI of the season and a 6-3 game. In the bottom of the sixth, Big Train was able to collect two more runs off RBI singles from Kemp Alderman (Ole Miss) and Grant Knipp (Campbell).
South County tallied just their third hit of the game in the seventh, and Big Train was able to stave off any scoring opportunities leaving the score 8-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Christian Martin (Virginia Tech) walked and Gauthier was hit by a pitch before the Big Train scored another run on a Jack Cone (William & Mary) single.
Loading the bases on a walk, the Braves pitcher created an opportunity for the Big Train to continue to run up the score. After another walk forced Gauthier home, a Knipp double brought in Cone and Peppi for Big Train’s 11th and 12th runs of the night. After another hit by pitch loaded the bases, the Braves pitcher balked and brought Knipp home. Danny Neri (Notre Dame) then came home on a wild pitch. Gauthier drew another bases-loaded walk to bring home Trevor Doyle (Sacramento State) for a 15-3 score, thus ending the contest by the CRCBL's run rule.
Gauthier went 2-for-2 at bat with three walks, three RBIs and four runs. Knipp went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
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