06/19/2022 10:23 PM
At 6:20 p.m., players from the Bethesda Big Train and Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts took the field for their usual stretching and throwing routines before first pitch. Players go through their dynamic stretches and toss with their partner to make sure they’re loose before playing nine innings.
But today, players were joined by dozens of fans and their father’s for a Father’s Day celebration at Shirley Povich field. Kids of all ages and their dad’s took the field to have a catch in the outfield, just like they would be on the lawn in their backyard.
And in the eighth inning, Jordan Little (East Carolina) took the mound to play a game of catch with his catcher Jason Schiavone (James Madison). But this wasn't a playful game of catch in the backyard. Little's job was to hold a two-run lead in the ninth inning, looking to give the team its fifth straight win.
In front of his family, Little stepped on the mound to face Calvin Brown with two outs and two runners on. Little’s family, along with the Povich crowd, rose from their seats to clap and cheer on the hardthrowing righty to get the final out. Digging deep, he fired three fastballs right past Brown to seal the Big Train’s (9-1) 6-4 victory.
Head coach Sal Colangelo said his favorite part of the night was Little shutting the door.
“I’m so proud of him,” he said. “He’s faced a lot of adversity over the last year and to come out here with confidence and poise and command the strike zone, hat’s off to him.”
After scoring 12 runs Saturday, Bethesda continued its offensive success in the bottom of the first, scoring four runs on three hits. Peyton Schulze (Long Beach State) hit a two-run single to give the Big Train an early 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, Baylor Cobb (Louisiana Tech) roped a two-run single of his own to extend the lead to 4-0.
Schulze extended his hitting streak to five games, going 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI’s and one run scored.
“I made a little adjustment with my hands,” Schulze said. “Just setting them early so I could be on time for the fastball and barrel some balls; it felt good.”
However, the early lead didn’t last forever, as the Thunderbolts answered in the second and sixth inning.
A towering home run off the bat of Nathan Waugh cut the Thunderbolts deficit to 4-1. Then, in the sixth, a two-run single and a walk knotted the score at 4-4 heading to the bottom of the sixth.
The Big Train responded quickly, with Warren Holzemer (Virginia Tech) scoring on a passed ball to reclaim the lead 5-4. In the seventh, Bethesda added an insurance run to set up Little for the final two innings.
Little would take care of business, striking out two in the final innings and propelling the team to a 6-4 win on Father’s Day.
“In the bullpen I felt really good with my fastball and curveball,” Little said. “I used that fastball to locate it in the zone. It definitely helps with all the fans being out there but you got to lock in and do what you do.”
Up next, Bethesda hits the road looking for their sixth straight win. They face the Alexandria Aces Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Game Night Notes: It was a scene of marvelous chaos at Shirley Povich Field before the Big Train and Thunderbolts took the field for Sunday night’s Ripken League game. Scores of dads and their kids spread across the Povich Field outfield for games of catch in the Big Train’s annual Special Day for Fathers sponsored by Washington Parent Magazine… Among those participating were two-time All Star and former Nat Gio Gonzalez and his two young boys… Authors Fred Bowen and Mark Shriver signed books for 59 kids who pledged to sign up for Montgomery County Public Libraries' 2022 Summer Reading Challenge. To sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge, please click here.… We encourage you to read Bowen's June 8 article for KidsPost, Need a break from MLB? Check out collegiate summer baseball… Our Community Heroes of the Night were from Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School and Corporate Work Study Program (to learn more please go to www.dbcr.org)… Attendance was 541.
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