The Big Train and Gaithersburg Giants entered Monday night’s game tied at the top of the standings, setting the stage for an intense battle for the rights to sole possession of first place. The game certainly contained the excitement you’d expect in such a showdown.
Michael Boyle (Radford) got the start for the Big Train, and gave the team six shutout innings. Boyle struck out five batters, while allowing just five total base runners (four hits and a walk).
While runs were generally hard to come by, the Big Train did manage to push across three.
The first two runs of the game would come in the third inning off the bat of right fielder Kyle Wernicki (Virginia Tech). After back-to-back one-out singles by second baseman Tim Yandel (Tulane) and center fielder David Del Grande (Sacramento State), Wernicki hit a two-RBI double to give the Big Train a 2-0 lead heading into the fourth.
In the top of the fourth, the Giants would manage to get a runner on base. However, Yandel made what is the early favorite for defensive play of the year at second base, throwing himself into the air to deny Gaithersburg’s Jay Graham a single up the middle and kill any chance of a big inning.
After four shutout innings by Boyle and reliever Will Resnik (High Point), the Big Train would manage to add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth.
After a one-out single by first baseman Johnny Cole (Coastal Carolina), outfielder Logan Farrar (Virginia Commonwealth) would pinch run, and after being moved to second base on a single by third baseman Tyler France (Florida Atlantic), would steal his way over to third base. Then with two outs, Farrar would score on a passed ball to give the Big Train a 3-0 lead heading into the ninth.
Cody Mizelle (Florida Atlantic) would come in for the save for the second consecutive night, and for the second consecutive night, he would hold down the fort. Mizelle struck out the side in the ninth, giving up no runs en route to picking up his second save of the season, and the sixth win of the season for the Big Train.
With the victory, the Big Train now sit alone at the top of the CRCBL standings, boasting a league-best 6-2 record. They’ll look to add to their one-game lead on the Giants tonight, as they host the Vienna Riverdogs at 5:00 PM at Povich Field.
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