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Grudge Match: Big Train versus Thunderbolts Round 3

By:Alex Xanthakis
Gio Diaz (St. Mary's CA) stands in the box on June 7 during the Big Train's last game against the Thunderbolts.

The Big Train and the Thunderbolts have played twice already this season, and in both games, one of the teams has walked away a little--let's say disappointed. When these teams meet again for a third game early in the season, who will walk with their heads held high?

After a pair of rain-outs delayed the Big Train's season from progressing, Tuesday night's match-up against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts looks like it will occur as scheduled. And maybe that short delay was exactly what the team needed--the Big Train are coming off of a rare two-game losing streak.

Despite this only being the 5th game of the season, the Big Train have already battled the Thunderbolts twice. The first time around they pretty much had their way with them, as they pulled away early and finished with a 10-1 victory. The second time around, however, things did not go quite the same way. That time it was the Thunderbolts who wreaked havoc for the Big Train, and the game ended with a 13-4 Big Train defeat.

Key names in this one for the Big Train will be Jacob Southern (Jacksonville) and Gio Diaz (St. Mary's CA). Southern leads the CRCBL with two homers already on the season, including one in an earlier game between the Big Train and Thunderbolts, so he will hope to give the Thunderbolts a little deja vu. Diaz has also been electric thus far as he's batting .500 through four games. In the first meeting between these two teams, he hit a triple (his first for the season), and he drove in two runs in their second matchup. 

An important player to watch for the Thunderbolts will be Evan Blum (Holy Cross). Blum is actually a Bethesda native, but when he comes to town boasting a team-high .389 average for the Thunderbolts, he will be anything but a hometown hero.

As always, the game will get underway at 7 p.m. at Shirley Povich field. Join Homer and Bunt at  the ballpark for yet another great contest. And of course, roll Train.

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