The Bethesda Big Train played their first full doubleheader of the 2022 season against the Gaithersburg Giants on Wednesday at Shirley Povich Field and took game one in dominating fashion. The game initially began on July 2 before being rained out one batter into the game. On Wednesday afternoon, the sun was shining, particularly on the Big Train offense. The Giants were serving as the home team after switching home games with the Big Train on June 12th.
The Green and White got off to a fast start. Peyton Schulze (California) drove in Luke Nowak (ECU) with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0 in the top of the first. The Giants responded quickly when first baseman Jeremiah Jenkins got a sacrifice fly of his own in the bottom half.
After a scoreless second inning, Schulze stayed hot in the third. Working a 1-2 count, Schulze put a ball down the right field line for a double, bringing Emilien Pitre (Kentucky) home to make it 2-1 Bethesda.
Kade Woods (Alabama) got the start for the Train and was dialed in. Wednesday marked his fourth start of the season since coming back from Tommy John surgery and it was his longest. Woods showcased a strong fastball as he struck out five, gave up only one hit, walked two, and gave up a run in 3.2 innings of work.
After a 1-2-3 inning for the Alabama sophomore in the third, the offense took control in the top of the fourth. Despite getting two outs in the first five hitters, the Big Train would hit around and grab key hit after key hit.
It started with Nowak’s RBI single to center, bringing in Warren Holzemer (Virginia Tech) to make it 3-1. Then, DM Jefferson (Notre Dame) joined the party with a line drive base hit to center. Jefferson gained an extra base due to a throwing error from Giants center fielder Joshua Wilson, which brought two runs home to make it 5-1.
After Pitre’s RBI single made it 6-1, Schulze delivered again with a two-run homer to deep left field making it an 8-1 ballgame. Garrett Felix (Nicholls State) hit a bloop single to center and Sean Lane (Maryland), who led-off the inning, got an infield single to add to the hit parade. The damage was done.
The Giants attempted to respond right away in the bottom of the fourth. Dustin Mercer reached on an error by the shortstop, Pitre, and Woods walked Joshua Wilson. Woods retired Dean Mercer but a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and Big Train Manager Sal Colangelo brought in Kai Burdick (USF) to finish the inning, which he did by retiring Bryce Demory.
With the threat neutralized, the Big Train added runs for extra insurance in the sixth and eighth. Lane singled to left bringing Schulze home in the top of the sixth. In the eighth, Colton Hegwood (Louisiana Tech) scored on a passed ball and Schulze scored again on a sacrifice fly by Lane.
Along with scoring three runs, Schulze finished the game 4-for-4, which boosted his batting average for the season to .341. He is third in the Cal Ripken League with 21 RBIs.
After the 11-1 win, the Big Train and Giants turned right around to begin game two of their doubleheader at Shirley Povich Field. Stay tuned for that game’s recap.
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