Preview: Big Train Take on Express in Second Game of Season

Ken Waldichuk

Following their opening night 6-1 win over the FCA Herndon Braves, the Bethesda Big Train conclude their short road trip with a visit to the Rockville Express Wednesday night.


On the heels of their first game of the season, the Big Train will look to sustain their early success, particularly through the pitching staff.


Blake Sanderson (Florida Atlantic) pitched five-innings Tuesday night, fanning six while giving up one run and four hits. Cam Vassar (James Madison) and Stephen Schoch (UMBC) pitched two innings a-piece to close out the win for the Big Train.


“You come in and throw strikes and get after them, good things happen,” manager Sal Colangelo said after Tuesday night’s win.


Ken Waldichuk (St. Mary’s) is the projected starter for Wednesday’s contest. The 6-3 lefty enters the CRCBL season on the heels of an impressive freshman campaign at St. Mary’s (CA) where he finished with a 1.86 ERA in 29 innings pitched.


Schoch and Vassar could get the night off after pitching in the Big Train’s final exhibition game on Sunday in addition to Tuesday night against the Braves.


At the plate, the Big Train will rely on catchers Gaby Cruz (Bryant) and Logan Driscoll (George Mason). Both players have been raking early on this season as Cruz had a three-hit, three-RBI night in the opener, while Driscoll collected two hits at the dish.


Cruz, a 6-1 210-pound sophomore, and Driscoll, who is listed at 6-1, 195 pounds and appears more like a wrestler than a baseball player at first sight, have shown major pop and could provide a solid foundation in the middle of the lineup throughout the season.


The dynamic duo could be up for a field day against projected Express starter Zach Thompson on Wednesday. Thompson finished last season 0-4 with a 3.42 ERA in the CRCBL and had his worst outings of the season (in terms of ERA) in his first two starts last summer.


Wednesday night’s matchup will also provide another opportunity for the players to become more comfortable with one another.


Vassar noted that outside of third-baseman Fox Semones, his teammate at James Madison, he’s still adapting to how his fielders play behind him on the mound.


“Getting to know all the other players, and knowing their strengths is always going to be good,” Vassar said.


First pitch will be at 7 p.m. at Montgomery College-Rockville.

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