06/25/2023 6:02 PM
Bethesda, MD – The Big Train (12-5) fell to the Gaithersburg Giants (6-10), 3-1, in game two of Sunday’s doubleheader between Montgomery County rivals. The Big Train only tallied four hits against Gaithersburg and is the first time Bethesda has been shut out in a regular season home game since June 2017.
While the team may have struggled at the plate, they saw strong outings from their pitching staff. Starting pitcher Jesse Gutierrez (San Jose State) delivered a solid outing for the Green and White. The sophomore only allowed one run on six hits through four innings of work. Gutierrez remained focused when facing adversity, spinning multiple inning-ending strikeouts to strand five Giants runners.
Davion Hickson (Florida State) and Jack Hostetler (Whitman College) also threw for the Big Train, pitching two and three innings respectively. Hostetler pitched well to close the game, spinning one strikeout and only yielding one hit.
With Gutierrez still on the bump, Gaithersburg got one run in the third inning, thanks to Jake Butler’s RBI double that took a lucky bounce off the fence in foul territory down the left field line and gave Casey Gibbs enough time to touch home.
Strong fielding by both teams early limited scoring in the first half of the game. Bethesda pulled two double plays in the first three innings, keyed by consistent play at first base by Carter Cunningham (East Carolina).
However, the Giants kept the Big Train at bay and began adding to their lead. After Hickson yielded a leadoff double in the sixth, an RBI single from Eli Meredith and an RBI groundout by Gibbs made it 3-0. Gaithersburg threatened for more runs with the bases loaded but Hickson salvaged the inning, recording a swinging strikeout and flyout to deep left field to strand three Giants runners.
With the Big Train running out of time, Bethesda finally put up a run in the bottom of the ninth as Dixon Williams (East Carolina) launched an RBI double to drive in Teddy Ruffner (UNC Wilmington) and put the tying run at second base. Gaithersburg brought closer Mason Levin into the game and he immediately yielded a scorching line drive off the bat of Jacob Orr (Maryland) that went right to the third baseman for out number two. Levin then got Lucas Phelps (Florida Atlantic) to bounce out to short to stifle hopes of a Big Train walk off and give the Giants their first win over the Big Train in four tries this season.
A lack of offensive production was the clear factor in Bethesda’s loss. Associate Head Coach Galvin Morris explained what he hopes to work on with his hitters before the team’s next matchup. “Just trying to keep the ball out of the air,” said Coach G. “At this level, the ball is caught when it’s in the air. It’s important for us to hit the ball back up the middle.”
The Big Train looks to apply these adjustments when they return to play on Wednesday, June 28 in a road game against the Southern Maryland Senators at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, MD.
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