Bethesda, MD – The Bethesda Big Train (7-2) embarrassed the Gaithersburg Giants (3-4) 26-0 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to four games. The game ended after seven innings because of the league mercy rule, giving the Big Train their fourth mercy rule victory of the season, and third in four games.
The win was historic as the 26 runs are the most the Big Train have ever scored at Povich Field. It was the most runs the team has scored since a 27-6 win over the Silver Spring - Takoma Thunderbolts in Silver Spring on July 20, 2016. The 26-run margin of victory was the biggest in the Big Train's history.
Giants starter Ryan Starr did himself no favors in his rocky game and the Big Train took advantage. In the bottom of the second, the Big Train began the onslaught by scoring eight runs after Starr walked five batters, balked in a run and threw a wild pitch that allowed another run to score. In addition to Starr’s wildness, Jacob Orr’s (Maryland) three-run double and Dean Toigo’s (Cypress College) RBI triple propelled the Bethesda offense in the inning.
The Green and White bats did not relent in the third. With the bases loaded and no outs, Dixon Williams (East Carolina) punched a single to right field to score two and make it 8-0. Orr and Toigo added RBI walks in the inning to give Bethesda a dozen runs in only three innings of play.
The Big Train refused to let up in the next inning, erupting for an additional ten runs to make the score 22-0. Williams ripped a triple to drive in two runs, giving him seven RBIs for the day, and Toigo launched a three-run home run to right field. Toigo’s blast was his first home run of the season and the team’s first home run at Shirley Povich Field this year.
While the Giants and even the partisan crowd may have been playing the famous "Simpsons" "stop, he's already dead" line in their head as the game continued, the Big Train did not stop after their ten-run fourth.
In the bottom of the sixth, a John Long (UNC) RBI single, an Orr two-run triple and a Toigo sac fly added four runs to Bethesda’s tally to give the team a 26-0 lead. In the half inning, Orr and Toigo both recorded their sixth RBI of the game. It was Toigo who knew that a game like this is a full team effort and the guys at the top really set the tone.
“It starts with the leadoff guys. They're just working good at bats. They are getting on by walks, hits, however they’re getting on, they're getting on, and then the guys behind them are just keeping the train rolling,” Toigo said.
Gaithersburg’s shaky defense and wild pitching aided Bethesda’s offense in the high-scoring affair. Three Giants infielders made errors on routine ground balls in the bottom of the fourth inning alone, and Gaithersburg pitchers walked 15 batters in the game. Despite the lopsided score, Big Train players stayed focused the entire game and showed no mercy, which comes from the coaching staff.
“The coaches do a good job of getting us in the mentality to put the pressure on and keep tallying the runs,” Toigo said.
The offense was not the only story for the Big Train tonight. Big Train pitchers were phenomenal in the team’s second straight shutout. Brandon Cassedy (Christopher Newport), Gavin Jones (Alabama) and Austin Morris (Alabama) combined for seven scoreless innings and ten strikeouts while only allowing two hits. Even in a mauling such as this, there are always things to work on, especially on the mound. It can be hard to stay focused, but this group hasn't let up.
“I think [the pitchers are] getting comfortable in their surroundings, you know. You got to think about they come from all over the place, come to a new place, new families, new atmospheres,” pitching coach Craig Lopez said. “That grit, that tenacity is starting to come out when they feel a little more comfortable.”
The Big Train travels south to Lorton, Virginia tomorrow to play the Metro SOCO Braves (3-4) at South County High School at 7 p.m. While they are unlikely to score 26 runs again, this Big Train team seems to be on a mission to wreck all comers, and it will be up to the rest of the Cal Ripken Sr. League to stop them.
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