Big Train Fall to Cropdusters 6-0 in Exhibition Game

The Bethesda Big Train opened their 2022 season Saturday night in a pre-season exhibition game against the Cropdusters. The Big Train struggled to put the bat on the ball, with just two hits in a 6-0 loss to the Cropdusters.

Despite the defeat, Shirley Povich Field was packed for the first game of the season. A cool, sunny evening brought 665 fans to the ballpark to cheer on the team for the Big Train’s 23rd season. 

“It was great,” head coach Sal Colangelo said of the Cropdusters performance, considering it will be their first season in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. “[The Cropdusters] worked hard all year round to get them[selves] in a good situation.”

The Cropdusters got on the board first and didn’t look back. The team scored first in the third inning after Wes Gingrich launched a home run to right. 

Another towering home run from the Cropdusters off the bat of Coleman Calabrese, this time to left, extended the lead to 3-0 in the top of the 6th. 

They would eventually add on two more runs with a two-run double and RBI groundout in the top of the 9th to put the game out of reach. 

“They had a game under their belt and it showed,” Colangelo said. “They felt a little bit more comfortable at the plate. They will be one of the better teams for sure.”

Bethesda had several players absent from the team for its opener, as a large chunk of them are competing in the NCAA tournament. 

The team has three players from Maryland, four players from East Carolina and four players from Virginia Tech, all of whom are hosting regionals. Colangelo said that even though important players are absent, he believes that the team chemistry will come as the season progresses. 

And despite the offensive struggles, the Big Train was still able to get on base, drawing multiple walks. 

However, Bethesda struggled on the base paths, getting caught stealing at second multiple times. But Colangelo believes all of that comes with figuring out how to play well as a team. 

“​​It's about a two-week project,” he said. “Once everyone starts learning their strengths and weaknesses, what they can and can't do, we'll just flourish.”

The Big Train will play its final pre-season exhibition game on Sunday against the Southern Maryland Senators. First pitch will be at 7 p.m. at home.


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