Jake Valdez (St. Mary's College (CA)) got the start for the Bethesda Big Train as they traveled to Washington D.C. to visit the Grays on Monday night. Valdez gave up three hits and one run while striking out five batters in six innings of work en route to the 15-1 hammering of the Grays.
The bullpen was out in full force again on the night. Jacob Billingsley (Mississippi State) pitched two innings of scoreless ball and Eric Martin (Tennessee) pitched a perfect 9th inning, striking out the side. As a team, the pitching staff only gave up five hits all game.
Down 1-0 going into the 2nd inning, the Big Train bats came alive. Ryne Willard (N.C. State) singled and later scored on a fielders choice hit by Tony DiLeo (Eastern Michigan). Andrew Brown (San Diego State) then singled home Cody Manzella (High Point), who reached base after getting hit by a pitch, to give the Big Train a 2-1 lead.
The Big Train never looked back as the scoring continued in the 4th inning. After consecutive singles by Cody Manzella and Kevin Tatum (Cornell), Andrew Brown recorded his second hit and second RBI of the night, scoring Manzella on a single to right field. Tatum crossed the plate later in the inning off a sacrifice fly hit by Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth).
The Big Train was able to push across runs in each of the next four innings. After Chris Lewis (Sacramento State) walked in the 5th inning, Ryne Willard hit his second home run in three games, to put the score at 6-1.
In the 6th inning, Tony DiLeo, and Andrew Brown walked, and Cody Brown (Mississippi State) was hit by a pitch, which gave Brandon Lowe (Maryland) his first good opportunity of the season to create havoc for the Big Train offense. Lowe singled home two runs and later scored on a two RBI double hit by Ryne Willard, which also scored Cody Brown. Willard started the season slow, but his hitting has really turned a corner, recording four RBI on the night on four hits.
With the Big Train already up 10-1, the onslaught continued in the 7th, pushing across four more runs. With the bases loaded, Logan Farrar grounded into a fielders choice scoring Sean Labsan (Florida Atlantic) who came in as a pinch hitter and then as a defensive substitution. Then, Brandon Lowe came up to bat and had his second impact hit of the night, hitting a three run dinger, giving him five RBI on the night. Even though Lowe only recently reported, he has come up big in the little time he has played, proving why he was a key factor in the University of Maryland's suprise success this past season.
In the 8th inning, Ryne Willard recorded his third extra base hit of the night and then scored on a Sean Labsan double to complete the scoring for either team.
After giving up a 1-0 lead after the first inning, the Big Train pitching staff kept the Grays hitters in check for the rest of the game. With a pitching staff that does not like to give up many runs, and an offense that is putting up double digit hits consistently, the Big Train has become a force in the league and look to continue their torrid start.
Notes: Seven Big Train players had hits.... Five players had multiple hit nights....Brandon Lowe went 3-5 with five RBI....Ryne Willard went 4-5 with four RBI.
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