06/29/2023 8:57 PM
Bethesda, MD -- The Bethesda Big Train (14-5) got by the D.C. Grays (6-14) 5-0 to give Bethesda sole possession of first place in the Cal Ripken Sr. League North Division. The Big Train pitchers, led by starter Brandon Cassedy (Christopher Newport), dominated, striking out 12 batters in the shutout.
Today’s game featured a matchup between two of the premiere pitchers in the .eague: Cassedy and Eddie Kaftan.
Going into the game, Kaftan had a 1.95 ERA in a league leading 27 and two-thirds innings pitched. Meanwhile, Cassedy had not allowed an earned run in his three starts to begin the season.
Cassedy continued his dominance and maintained his 0.00 ERA. In five innings of work, Cassedy struck out a whopping nine batters and did not allow an earned run. Cassedy attributes his success to trusting himself and his teammates.
“Every time I get the ball, I try to fill up the zone, make hitters beat me and trust my defense. That's about it,” he said.
Thanks to today’s performance, Cassedy now qualifies for the ERA title. In a league with mostly division one players, a division three pitcher is dominating.
“D-1, D-3, JUCO? Whatever it is. It don't mind me. You know, I still go out there and compete,” Cassedy said.
For the Grays, Kaftan pitched well to start the game. In his first three innings, he held Bethesda scoreless. The Big Train came close to scoring off of Kaftan in the bottom of the second. After Jacob Orr (Maryland) reached base on a well struck single, Dean Toigo (Cyprus College) smashed a double to right field. While Orr was rounding third base, home plate umpire Dwight Godwin got in Orr’s way by standing in the basepath allowing the Grays to throw him out at the plate. Big Train Manager Sal Colangelo tried to argue the interference, but to no avail. The ruling stood and the game remained scoreless.
Despite Kaftan’s good start, the Big Train bats finally showed up in the fourth. Carter Cunningham (East Carolina), Jason Schiavone (James Madison) and Nick Delisi (East Carolina) all had RBIs in the inning, and Toigo scored on a wild pitch. When the dust settled, the Big Train had a 5-0 lead. In four innings of work, Kaftan allowed five earned runs, ballooning his ERA to 3.13.
The Bethesda bullpen pitched four scoreless innings, but allowed countless baserunners. Griffin Stieg (James Madison) made his season debut and pitched into jams but got crucial strikeouts and double plays to work through three scoreless innings. In the ninth, Darin Kuskie (So. Carolina - Upstate) loaded the bases but closed the game out after Grays runner Henry Zipay was out on appeal after trying to score on a sacrifice fly from Miles Newsome. The double play was odd, but the Big Train took it, considering the Grays had the tying run in the on-deck circle at one point.
The Big Train continue their homestand with a doubleheader against the Metro SOCO Braves (6-11) on Friday, June 30. The games are at 4:30 and 7:00, and both games are only seven innings long per league rules.
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