Simply put, Bethesda Big Train's superb offensive depth allowed them to excel at the plate all season long.
The Big Train finished the Cal Ripken League’s regular season with 27 wins in 35 games to capture the No. 1 spot in the standings and top seed in the playoffs. Out of those 27 victories, Bethesda scored double-digit runs 17 times and never lost when putting up 10 or more runs in a game.
In comparison, the other five teams in the CRCBL combined for just 36 total games in which an individual team scored double-digit runs in a single game. The next closest team to the Big Train’s 17 mark was the South County Braves, who scored 10 or more runs 10 times.
Bethesda’s astonishing 9.80 runs per game comfortably ousted the former 2019 title team’s offense, which put up a mere 8.24 runs per game.
And with a lethal roster that was like night and day with each passing game at the plate, unsurprisingly, there were a plethora of other team and individual offensive records that Big Train either reached or broke this past regular season.
In the Cal Ripken League record books, the 2021 Big Train now have the best team slugging percentage (.467), the best team on-base percentage (.448), the top team OPS (.915), and the second best team batting average (.306).
This year’s Bethesda team reached new heights in other areas as well. The Big Train now sit atop the Cal Ripken League leaderboard for team runs scored with 343. Darius Foster (San Francisco), Matt Thomas (William & Mary) and Rocco Peppi (Long Beach State) combined for 105 (30.6%) of the team’s run total.
The Big Train also eclipsed the 2018 Bethesda team in the total team RBI category, as this season’s roster compiled a whopping 284 RBIs. The previous record was 273.
Just about every team in the CRCBL failed to stifle the Big Train’s stellar efforts from the plate in the regular season. That resulted in a substantial amount of walks for Bethesda, too. The Big Train officially moved into second place all-time in walks with 247 total, trailing the seemingly unreachable mark of 286 walks set by the 2019 Bethesda squad.
The most notable individual league record chase came from slugger Kemp Alderman (Ole Miss). Alderman, who has been a relentless force at the plate for the Big Train all summer, finished the regular season atop the league with 47 RBIs. The total puts him in second all-time in Cal Ripken League history behind current Red Sox slugger Hunter Renfroe, who totaled 53 RBI with the Big Train back in 2012.
The difference? Renfroe played in 35 games in that season nine years ago, while Alderman played in just 25 this summer. That means Alderman’s RBIs per game sits at a sparkling 1.9 and Renfroe’s is at 1.5 per contest.
Besides Alderman, Foster also blew away a previous stolen base record to round out Bethesda’s record-filled season. Combining his swipes this season with his efforts in 2019, he now holds the team record for stolen bases over a Big Train career with 44. The previous record was held by the speedy Gio Diaz, who stole 39 bases in 2019, his lone season in a Big Train uniform.
Bethesda will now turn its attention to the postseason after a more than exceptional 35 games to finish off the regular season. The broken records show promise for the defending champions of the CRCBL, and if the Big Train can maintain their show-stopping offense, their opponents will struggle to obtain victories against them.
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