Big Train Bats Break Gaithersburg Resistance in 13-3 Win



Gaithersburg, MD – The Big Train topped the Gaithersburg Giants, 13-3, on the road Wednesday. After 10-straight games of scoring five runs or less, Bethesda finally broke through on offense, slashing ten hits and stealing nine bases. Their offensive dominance forced the Giants to use eight different pitchers in the game. 


Bethesda put two runners on in the first, but couldn’t convert. In the bottom of the inning, Matthew Williams drove a ball to third with two outs that went by Jack Guerrero (UNC Wilmington) at third to score a run for Gaithersburg and give the Giants a 1-0 lead.


But the Big Train stormed back in the top of the third, cycling through the lineup to take a four-run lead with a strong two-out rally. Jeffrey Heard (Sacramento State) kicked it off with a walk and a stolen base, before advancing to third on a Giants error. Jason Schiavone (James Madison) and Jacob Orr (Maryland) kept it rolling with back-to-back walks. Dixon Williams (East Carolina) then chopped a soft grounder to the shortstop but turned on the gas to narrowly beat out the throw to first, knocking in Heard and keeping Bethesda alive in the inning. This spurred Gaithersburg’s first pitching change, subbing out their starter, Connor Leard, and bringing in Zach Tukis. 


With the bases still loaded, Zeb Ruddell (Louisiana State) came up big, tripling down the right field line to clear the bases. Ruddell also scored himself to cap off the inning, touching home thanks to a wild pitch. 


The Giants tried to mount a comeback as Williams drove in Casey Gibbs with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to make it 5-2. However, the rally was squelched when, with two runners on, Big Train shortstop Casey Bishop (Towson) successfully scooped and slung a ball to Eddie Hacopian (Maryland) at first to end the inning. 


Bethesda’s offensive production was essential for their win as early defensive sloppiness granted the Giants extra opportunities, which they took advantage of. The Big Train cleaned it up as the game went on, however, headlined by Lucas Phelps (Florida Atlantic) catching a Giants runner stealing and an on-the-run grab by the centerfielder Ruddell for the second out in the bottom of the fifth. 


Ryan Ertlschweiger (James Madison) got the start for the Big Train, his first appearance since June 28. The ace pitched a full five innings, recording six strikeouts and only giving up two runs on four hits. 


“It was good to get back out there,” said Ertlschweiger. “It always feels good being able to go out and pitch on this team you know, it's just fun…compared to pitching at school, less pressure.” He also touched on his command, specifically with his heater. “I thought I was throwing a fastball well for strikes early in the game. Just trying to get ahead and make them hit.”


Despite the early defensive slip-ups, Ertlschweiger never lost faith in his guys. “I always have trust in my fielders,” he said. “You know, I made one of those errors early. We're going to make errors, but I think that's part of trusting your teammates and knowing that they're going to hit and that we're going to make the plays.” 


And the offense did, indeed, come through for Bethesda’s pitching staff. In the top of the sixth, Hacopian, the most recent addition to the roster, scored his first run for the Big Train, touching home after a Giants error. The next batter, Schiavone, flew out to left field, scoring Phelps. The Big Train offense broke the game open with their subsequent at-bats in the inning, keeping the ball on the ground to tack on two more runs. Hacopian and Phelps each scored again in the seventh, upping the score to 11-2. 


In only his second game in Green and White, Hacopian finished 2-4 with two walks and three runs scored. The outfielder described how he felt about returning to play in his second summer in the Cal Ripken Sr. Collegiate Baseball League (last year Hacopian played for the Alexandria Aces). “[It] feels good to be out here again. Took a little bit of a break, but it feels good and [I'm] just happy we won tonight.” 


Heard and Teddy Ruffner (UNC Wilmington) both slapped RBI singles in the ninth for two more Big Train scores. The Giants got one run back in the bottom of the stanza with a sacrifice fly, but failed to stage an epic late-game rally. 


After Ertlschweiger’s strong performance, Darin Kuskie (South Carolina - Upstate) came in for two innings in relief, allowing just one hit and no runs. Kevin Scully (James Madison) also saw time on the bump, punching out a Giants batter while facing a two-out jam in the eighth and preventing any additional Gaithersburg runs. Aden Ritenour (Shepherd University) wrapped up the game for Bethesda, letting one run through, but still delivering the final three outs. 


The Big Train will continue their road trip with a double-header against the Thunderbolts on Thursday, July 13 at Blair High School. The teams will play two seven-inning games, with game one scheduled for 5 p.m. and game two at 7:30 p.m. 

Search Archive »

Browse by Month »

February 2024
January 2024
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
December 2022
November 2022
September 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
March 2020
February 2020
October 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
November 2016
September 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
September 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
November 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
December 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
December 2011
You Tube
Number 11
Number 21
Number 40
Number 42
Number 5
Number 7