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Big Train's seven-game winning streak ends against Alexandria

By:Jacob Cheris
Big Train shortstop Emilien Pitre watches a pop up against the Alexandria Aces at Shirley Povich Field. (Photo courtesy of Ethan Schwager.)

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The Bethesda Big Train saw their seven-game winning streak come to a screeching halt Saturday night at Shirley Povich Field against the Alexandria Aces. The Aces’ five-run fifth was the showpiece in a dominant 13-4 win over the Big Train. 

 

“The game of baseball is the greatest game, so sometimes you just don't have great nights,” manager Sal Colangelo said. “It's how you come back from it, and how you mature and learn from it.”

 

Brandon Clarke (Alabama) got the start for the Big Train and while he struck out six over three innings, the Aces would get to him for three runs, taking a lead they would not relinquish. 

 

After a scoreless first, Aces left fielder Eddie Hacopian led off the second with a single and eventually scored on a passed ball to break the ice. He then had a two-run RBI double in the third to make it 3-0. 

 

In the bottom of the third, the Big Train responded. With runners on first and second, Emilien Pitre (Kentucky) ripped a line drive to center to bring in Jason Schiavone (James Madison) to make it 3-1. 

 

Luke Baker (Undecided) came on in relief for Clarke in the top of the fourth hoping to hold Alexandria but struggled to find the zone. Aces catcher Jacob Friend hit a leadoff homer to right to make it 4-1 and Alexandria did not stop there. With one out and the bases loaded for the road team, right fielder CJ Boyd hit a sacrifice fly to right, extending the Aces lead to 5-1.

 

“They hit the big pitches. We didn't hit the big pitches, and then we had some things not roll our way just kind of tumbled downhill from there,” Baylor Cobb (Louisiana Tech) said. 

 

Things unraveled further for Bethesda in the fifth. Marcus Dux (Virginia Tech) relieved Baker, but also struggled. Back-to-back RBI singles by Brandon Harrity and Adam Tellier made it 7-1 and Boyd came to the plate with the bases loaded and had a chance to break the game open.

 

He made no mistake, drilling a bases-clearing double to give Alexandria a commanding 10-1 lead. 

 

The Big Train started to show some life in the bottom of the sixth. Cobb smashed a towering two-run home run to right-center to make it 10-3. Bethesda got another run thanks to DM Jefferson’s (Notre Dame) ground-rule double to left; however it was not enough to really threaten Alexandria. 

 

The Big Train left a total of 14 runners on base, and walked six batters, not a combination that often leads to victory. The team has struggled bringing in runners in scoring position early in the season, but they remain a confident bunch. 

 

“I think we're pretty blessed to have some really good athletes on the team, some really good ball players all the way around,” Cobb said. “The fortunate part about that is we can all shake it off and come back tomorrow.”

 

They will certainly try to shake it off right away. The Big Train travel to the nation’s capital on Sunday, Jun. 26 for a matchup against the D.C. Grays, hoping to start their next winning streak. 

 

 

Game Night Notes:  Saturday night was our Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Title IX featuring six players from Princeton's 2022 Ivy League Champion team — Ivy League Tournament Most Outstanding Player Kaitlyn Chen, team captain Maggie Connolly, Parker Hill (Churchill HS), Ivy League Player of the Year Abby Meyers (Whitman HS), Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year Ellie Mitchell (Georgetown Visitation), and Chet Nweke (Stone Ridge). The Princeton players signed autographs, threw basketballs as first pitches, and went through the stands distributing the Big Train bookmark to encourage kids to sign up for the Montgomery County Public Libraries' Summer Reading Challenge. To sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge, please click here… Washington football legend and Super Bowl champion Rick “Doc” Walker signed autographs, threw a first pass, and paid tribute to broadcast executive and beloved local sports guru Andy Ockershausen. Big Train fans saluted Ockershausen, who died in 2021, with a moment of applause and appreciation... Pat Malone announced that he and Brendan Martin will be carrying on the Ockershausen legacy with an Our Town DC podcast on YouTube… It was also Sister Cities Night at Povich Field on Saturday with music including the National Anthem played by Prost! The Rockville German BandMariachi son de America serenaded the crowd before and during the game… Yo-yo artist Lee Hou performed… Drew Powell, president of the Rockville Sister Cities Corporation, and Tracie-Alexis Dixon, chair of the board of Montgomery Sister Cities, spoke and tossed out first pitches… Players from Cap City Little League Chevy Chasers were introduced and ran on the field with the Big Train players for the National Anthem… The Community Heroes of the Night were from Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland… Attendance was 564.

 

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