2024 Opening Day Preview

by Rekha Leonard

The Cal Ripken League defending champs are back in action this weekend. Coming off a 2023 League Championship win, the Bethesda Big Train will open this season with a home exhibition game against the Southern Maryland Senators Friday night, followed by the regular season opener against the Gaithersburg Giants on Saturday night.

On Friday, the first 200 fans 12 and under will receive a box of color chalk and all fans can pick up a 2024 Big Train schedule magnet sponsored by Lafayette Federal Credit Union. Then, Bethesda will take the field to face the Senators. Southern Maryland is coming off a third place finish in the Cal Ripken League South Division with a 14-22 regular season record. The Big Train won three of four regular season games against the Senators last season, highlighted by a 7-0 shutout win on June 12.

To celebrate opening night Saturday, the first 250 fans will win a Big Train t-shirt with Joseph Craig English art presented by Community Radiology Associates, schedule magnets sponsored by Lafayette Federal Credit Union for all fans, and fans wearing a Hawaiian shirt will earn a free hot dog from Catalyst to support Nourishing Bethesda. While fans enjoy their hotdogs, Bethesda will play Gaithersburg, which finished dead last in the North Division in 2023 with a 12-24 record. A day after Bethesda’s shutout of the Senators last year, they shutout the Giants, crushing them 26-0.

The Big Train topped the North Division with a 23-13 regular season record en route to winning the championship last season. They return six players this year: infielder Jack Guerrero (James Madison) and pitchers Brandon Cassedy, (Christopher Newport), Aidan Kelley (Jacksonville), Aden Ritenour (Shepherd), Jack Robinson (Roanoke) and Kevin Scully (James Madison).

Though the 2023 season appeared rocky at times, Bethesda ultimately came out on top. As they attempt to repeat that feat this season, they will look to start their campaign off strong at home against the Senators and Giants.

Click here to purchase single game tickets or click here to grab a flex or season ticket plan