Walter Johnson, the original Big Train, earned his nickname for the speed of his pitches. By getting off to a fast and furious start to the 2017 season, Johnson’s namesake team continues to honor his legacy.
“These kids come here, want to work, want to get better, want to get after it,” manager Sal Colangelo remarked.
A 7-1 record shows that the Big Train have been putting it together pretty well so far.
“There are some great guys in the dugout,” Tanner Allen (Mississippi State) said of his teammates.
Not only have the Big Train secured easy victories carried by their prodigious offense, but have also won close contests that put their gutsy pitching on display.
The latter was never more evident than in last night’s thrilling win against the rival Baltimore Redbirds. In a back-and-forth game that saw the two teams trade leads several times, the Big Train entered the eighth inning clinging onto a 5-4 lead. After the Redbirds loaded the bases with none out, Stephen Schoch (Maryland-Baltimore) promptly struck out the side to end the threat. Then, for good measure, he struck out the side in the ninth to seal the victory for the Big Train.
“Mentally, he’s prepared. That’s the role he’s in,” Colangelo said about Schoch’s performance. He’s got that mindset when he comes in that he needs to come out and get hitters. Hats off to him, he did a great job.”
The Big Train hope to carry their momentum into their first matchup against Baltimore’s other team. The Dodgers have stumbled out of the gates, playing to a 2-7 record in the season’s early goings. Last summer, the teams split their season series, 2-2.
Three Big Train regulars are sporting averages above .300 – James Outman (Sacramento State), Logan Driscoll (George Mason) and Gaby Cruz (Bryant) – and they will look to continue their hot streaks against the Dodgers.
The first pitch at Shirley Povich Field is at 7 pm. Come out and enjoy ‘80s night at the ballpark! If you can’t make it, the game will be live-Tweeted (@gobigtrain) and broadcast by Max Wolpoff and P.J. Glasser (mixlr.com/big-train).
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