Bats Go Cold As Big Train Fall to Grays 4-2 in Doubleheader Nightcap

John Long sits in the Big Train dugout during the doubleheader against the D.C. Grays on July 8.



Washington D.C. -- The D.C. Grays (10-17) outmatched the Bethesda Big Train (17-7) in their 4-2 win in the second game of a doubleheader. Bethesda’s pitching struggled, walking seven and hitting three batters, but the Bethesda coaches saw this game as an overall team loss.


“We just didn't execute very well,” pitching coach Craig Lopez said. “We didn't do the little things of baseball today.”


The Big Train were hot early. In the top of the first inning, Jack Guerrero (UNC Wilmington) drove in Dean Toigo (Cyprus College) and Jeffery Heard (Sacramento State) on an RBI single down the first base line. However, right fielder Henry Zipay threw out Guerrero at second as Guerrero tried to extend his single to a double and the Big Train couldn't tack on. 


In the bottom of the third, the Grays responded, scoring three runs off of Bethesda’s All-Star starter, Patrick Galle (Ole Miss). After two Grays’ batters reached on infield singles, catcher, and fellow Ripken League All-Star, Parker Goff, smoked a double off the left field wall to drive in one. One batter later, Myles Sargent lined a ball off of Galle’s left leg. Galle quickly recovered and tried to make a jump throw to get Sargent out, but his throw sailed down the right field line, allowing the Grays to score two more and take a 3-2 lead.


The Grays threatened again in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases against Galle. Austin Morris (Alabama), however, came on in relief of Galle and got Goff to fly out to center to prevent the Grays from extending their lead. Galle ended his day with three and two-thirds innings pitched, three walks, two hit batsman and five strikeouts.  


Green and White arms continued to struggle with their command in the bottom of the fifth. Morris walked Derrick Wood with the bases loaded, making it 4-2. Morris, though, got Connor Larson to ground out to Lucas Phelps (Florida Atlantic) to snuff uot the rally and leave three stranded.


For the Grays, starter Alex Jankowski settled in nicely after his rocky first inning. In five innings pitched, Jankowski allowed two earned runs, struck out two and at one point, retired ten batters in a row. 


Per league rules, the game was only seven innings in length, and the Big Train created drama in the top of the seventh. A walk to Jacob Orr (Maryland), a Guerrero single, and a walk to Connor Rasmussen (Temple), loaded the bases against Grays reliever Jake Roberti with one out. But Roberti struck out Jason Schiavone (James Madison) and Zeb Ruddell (LSU) to seal the victory. Big Train's coaches think hitters need to focus on not trying to do too much in big situations.


“You need to put the ball in play, you know and I'm not sure that's what their thought process was by doing the little things,” Lopez said.


The Big Train is off tomorrow as the Ripken League plays their All Star Game at the Olney Boys and Girls Club at 5 p.m. Nine Big Train players will represent the team in the game. Bethesda will return to action Monday with a 7 p.m. game against the Cropdusters (15-9) at Shirley Povich Field.


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