After Pulling Back Into the Station, Big Train Top Senators 5-3

by Jack McGuire


Bethesda, MD -- Despite coming back from New England today on a seven-hour bus ride, the Bethesda Big Train (16-6) were able to overcome the Southern Maryland Senators (9-16) 5-3 in a come-from-behind victory. 

Jack Hostetler (Whitman College) pitched well after getting the start. In four innings, Hostetler allowed just one earned run and struck out six batters. Hostetler pounded the strike zone, throwing first pitch strikes to 64.7 percent of batters he faced. 

Despite Hostetler's strong start, Southern Maryland scored the first runs of the game in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs in the inning, catcher Ryan Kolben blooped a single to center field to score Joe Stanzione. Zeb Ruddell (LSU) came close to throwing out Stanzione, but his throw home was too far up the first base line. The Senators extended their lead to 2-0 after Jack Guerrero (UNC Wilmington) made a throwing error, allowing Kolben to come home. 

But the Big Train immediately responded. Jeffery Heard (Sacramento State) launched a ball 377 feet to right field to cut the Senators lead to 2-1. Heard’s homer was his fifth of the year, tying him with Matt Ossenfort of the Alexandria Aces for the Ripken League home run crown.


Unfortunately for Bethesda, Senators starter Brandon Wingenroth was just as effective as Hostetler. In five innings pitched, Wingenroth struck out five batters and allowed one earned run on the Heard homer. 

Once the Senators pulled Wingenroth, the Green and White quickly tied the game. Lucas Phelps (Florida Atlantic) hit his second home run of the season off of Senators reliever Nate Beal to tie the game at two in the bottom of the sixth. Phelps struck his home run to dead center field. 

“I just was on top of the fastball today and got some good pitches to hit,” Phelps said.


This morning, Phelps overslept and almost missed the team’s bus ride home. Thankfully for the Big Train, he made the game and was able to power the team’s offense. 


“I got an extra hour of sleep compared to everyone else, and it helped me out a little bit,” Phelps said with a laugh.


In the top of the seventh, the back-and-forth affair continued as Kyan Lodice hit a solo home run off Skyler Hutto (Alabama) to the same spot as Phelps to make the score 3-2, which seemed to swing momentum Southern Maryland's way. And yet, just one half inning later, the Green and White struck back. With runners at first and second, Guerrero laid down a bunt with just enough air under it to tempt Kolben to dive for it. He did, couldn't come up with the catch, and then while rushing to throw out Guerrero at first, Kolben threw the ball away down the right field line, allowing Jacob Orr (Maryland) and Jason Schiavone (James Madison) to score. Guerro quickly came home on a wild pitch, extending Bethesda’s lead to 5-3.

Gavin Jones (Alabama) relieved his Crimson Tide teammate and slammed the door for Bethesda. He earned the save after striking out four in two scoreless innings, including striking out the side in the ninth.

The Big Train travels to Alexandria tomorrow for a doubleheader against the Aces (18-2). The first game is set to start at 5 p.m.