The Bethesda Big Train returns to Shirley Povich Field for their final regular season game on Friday, when they will face off against the Gaithersburg Giants for the fourth time this season. The Big Train currently leads the season series 2-1, and will attempt to take it with a victory on Friday. The game carries more significance than just that for Big Train, however, as a Bethesda victory, combined with a loss by the Baltimore Redbirds, would tie the Big Train for the best regular season record, which determines home field advantage for the forthcoming Cal Ripken League playoffs. The Big Train and the Redbirds are tied 2-2 in their season series, but Bethesda has outscored Baltimore over those four games, meaning that if the season ends in a tie, the Big Train will be awarded the #1 seed. Thus, Friday’s game is a must-win situation for Bethesda.
The last time we saw Chris Monaco (Virginia Tech University), he was hitting a home run against the Thunderbolts. This time, he’s hoping to prevent those types of hits, as he is scheduled to start for Bethesda on Friday. Monaco has a 5.70 ERA in 23 ⅔ innings pitched this season, none of which have come against the Giants. He has struck out 17 and walked six over seven pitching appearances (six starts).
Vinny Esposito (Sacramento State) has been on a tear recently, batting .500 (7-for-14) over his last four games. Over that span he has hit three doubles and three home runs. His power-hitting has translated into RBIs, a category that he now leads the team in (with 37), along with doubles (14), home runs (7), and slugging percentage (.568). Against the Giants this season, he is slugging .615. Look for him to hit the ball far and drive in runs in the regular season finale.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 PM. All tickets are $5 for Fan Appreciation Day.
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