Bethesda Big Train won both games of Friday's double header against the FCA Braves. The team stays undefeated against their foes from Lorton.
GAME ONE: Big Train 8, Braves 2
The Bethesda Big Train began the battle against the Braves at 5 p.m. at South County High Schoo, going into into the game with a vengeance, wanting to keep their record against the Braves clean. Scoring started early on in the seven inning game.
In the first inning, Christian Jayne (East Carolina), advanced to first on a walk. He quickly made it to second from a wild pitch by the Braves' pitcher, and soon found third after a single by Gio Diaz (St. Mary's CA). Jayne scored, unearned, after a throwing error by the pitcher on a pickoff attempt. Bethesda brought in one run in the second, on a home run smashed by Darius Foster (University of San Francisco). This being the second homerun for Foster's season, he put Bethesda ahead 2-0 over the Braves.
Scoring came to a halt until the top of the fourth, when Bethesda was able to increase their lead by three runs. Matt Thomas (William & Mary) advanced to first on a walk, moving onto second as teammate Foster was walked as well. Keith Torres III (Sacramento State University) smacked a double to center field, bringing both Thomas and Foster home. Torres quickly found his way home after a single by Jayne, putting the Big Train ahead 5-0.
The Big Train kept on rolling into the top of the fifth. Bethesda was able to score two additional runs on four hits. Kobe Kato (Arizona) made his way to first after a single, and Jacob Southern (Jacksonville) smacked a double to the outfield, bringing Kato home. Southern was able to make it closer to home, advancing to third on a fielder's choice, and hustled home on a sac fly hit by Tate Soderstrom (Arizona).
Hunter Cooley (Florida Atlantic) cruised through four innings before the Braves finally responded in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the lead to 7-2. Cooley finished with seven strikeouts and one earned run over 4.2 innings, earning his first win of the year. Heading into the sixth, Big Train had a comfortable lead but were not quite finished yet. Jayne found contact at first once again after a hard hit single. He soon advanced to second after Diaz was walked. Southern came up to bat, hitting a single and bringing Jayne home for the final run of the first game.
Logan Barker (Liberty) finished out the contest with 2.1 scoreless innings, and the Big Train defeated the Braves 8-2 in the first game of the double header.
GAME TWO: Big Train 12, Braves 2
The Bethesda Big Train and FCA Braves were not quite finished on the hot summer evening. The teams would now begin their regularly scheduled nightcap of the doubleheader.
Bethesda again found the scoreboard quickly in the top of the first, when Diaz hit his first home run of the season, giving Big Train an early lead.
"It felt good off the bat. A lot of my at-bats felt like good contact on the ball," Diaz said after the game.
Scoring continued for Bethesda in the top of the second. Thomas found his way to first after he was walked by the Braves' pitcher. After a quick steal to second, he was now in scoring position. Thomas would make his way to third after the first out, a ground out by Foster. After the Braves' catcher dropped the third strike against Martin Vincelli-Simard (Sacramento State) and overthrew to first, Thomas came home to put Bethesda ahead 2-0.
The FCA Braves got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third, cutting into Big Train's lead to make it 2-1. Heading into the top of the fourth, The Big Train were ready to swing.
Bringing in a total of four runs on three hits, they extended their lead to 6-1. Foster singled and quickly stole second. After an error commmitted by the Braves' first baseman, he was able to find his way to third. Ryan Daugherty (St. Mary's CA) advanced to first on a walk, quickly moving to second after hit by pitch to Vincellli-Simard. Jayne came up to bat once again, smacking a triple to right field, which brought in Foster, Daugherty, and Vincelli-Simard. Jayne would later make his way to home, scoring on a passed ball.
Later in the frame, Diaz stole second - his 26th stolen base of the season - which ties him with Stephen Alemais for the single-season team record.
Not done yet, the Big Train were able to bring in one run in the fifth. Thomas hit a hard double, later advancing to third after a double hit by Daugherty. Vincelli-Simard hit a sac fly, bringing Thomas home to push Bethesda's lead to 7-1. Heading into the bottom of the inning, the Braves were prepared to retaliate, bringing in one run to cut Big Train's lead to 7-2.
Top of the sixth proved to be a heavy hitting inning for Bethesda, as they raked in five total hits and runs. Kato started off the barrage, smacking a double deep into the outfield. Southern walked, and then Kato would cross home after a double by Thomas. Cade Hunter (Virginia Tech) hit a single to bring Southern home. Daugherty would come up next, hitting a double to drive in Thomas and Hunter. The doubles kept coming as Vincelli-Simard took the plate. He smacked a double into the right field gap, bringing Daugherty back home.
Ryan Okuda (Virginia Tech) and Chase Lee (Alabama) were all that Bethesda would need on the mound. The two combined to give up just two runs across seven innings while striking out 14 in the 12-2 victory.
The Bethesda Big Train kept their record against the Braves clean, allowing them little to no wiggle room. The team will return home to Shirley Povich Field for Sal Colangelo Night on Sunday, June 30!
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