Strong pitching and an enormous two-run home run by Allen Smoot (San Francisco) carried the Bethesda Big Train to a 4-2 victory over the D.C. Grays in a makeup game after a rainout on July 9. The win gives the Big Train a 21-10 record heading into the CRCBL All Star Break.
Smoot, one of 11 Big Train players to receive a All Star nod, launched his third homer of the season in the top of the 1st inning, getting the Big Train off to a fast start and giving them a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way. Clayton Daniel (Jacksonville State) got on base with a double, setting up Smoot to score them both.
After the Grays drew to 2-1 in the 4th inning, the Big Train would add to their lead in the 5th. Vinny Esposito (Sacramento State) lead off the inning with a double, advancing to third base on an error. First baseman Justin Morris (Maryland) would then drive Esposito in with a single, followed by a sacrifice fly by Gunnar Lambert (Florida Atlantic), scoring Cody Brown (Mississippi State).
Those four runs would be all the Big Train pitchers needed. John Murphy (Maryland) had a solid start, surrendering only 2 runs in 4 innings pitched and striking out 2. Murphy kept the ball on the ground all evening long, save for two mistakes that went for solo home runs, ultimately getting the win and moving to 3-2 on the year.
Even more dominant was his replacement, sophomore right-hander Matt Marsili (James Madison). The team leader in strikeouts despite pitching exclusively in relief, Marsili added 5 more against the Grays, hurling 3 perfect innings to close out the game and earn the save.
Bethesda will next return to action Thursday night at home against the Herndon Braves, although many Big Train players will make an appearance in the All Star Game on Wednesday at Shirley Povich Field. Catch the action on the Big Train's live broadcast and watch your favorite players take on the best the CRCBL has to offer!
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