Bethesda Blanks Aces 6-0 in Regular Season Finale

by Jack McGuire



Alexandria, VA – The Bethesda Big Train (23-13) blew by the Alexandria Aces (30-6) 6-0 in Bethesda’s final game of the regular season. Because Bethesda and Alexandria both already clinched their respective decisions, the coaches agreed to play only seven innings in today’s game.


Bethesda’s win over the Ripken League Regular season champs gives the Big Train confidence going into the playoffs.


“[Aces] are a great program. They do it the right way, so anytime you can come out with a win against a good team, it builds your confidence. You know you can beat them,” said Big Train manager Sal Colanagelo.


In the game, Aces starter Cade Mattison held Bethesda scoreless for two innings, but in the top of third, the Green and White put up three runs against him. In the inning, Dean Toigo (Oregon) continued his recent hot streak with a RBI double, Dixon Williams (East Carolina) scored on a Mattison wild pitch, and Teddy Ruffner (Youngstown State) hit a sacrifice fly to give Bethesda a 3-0 lead.


In the third and fourth innings, Alexandria threatened with leadoff doubles. However, Bethesda pitchers Aden Ritenour (Shepherd University) and Kevin Scully (James Madison) worked through trouble and got through the innings unscathed. 


The Big Train added to their lead in the top of the sixth. Zeb Ruddell (Tulane) and Connor Rasmussen (Tulane) executed a double steal, with Rasmussen scoring, to make the game 4-0, and Williams and Toigo both walked with the bases loaded, increasing the Green and White lead to 6-0. 


Patrick Galle (Ole Miss), Ritenour, Scully, Gavin Jones (Alabama) and Max Martzolf (Florida Atlantic) combined for seven shutout innings and only allowed five hits. Bethesda is the only team in the Ripken League to shut out Alexandria this season, and they have done it twice.


It has been an up-and-down year, but the Bethesda coaching staff are proud of the team.


“It's been a joy to coach this group, it's one of the better groups as far as being really close,” Colangelo said. “They've been awesome. It doesn't matter who it is, they've been awesome.”


The Big Train hosts the first game in the best-of-three Ripken League semifinals on Sunday at 7 p.m. The winner of one of the play-in games tomorrow will be Bethesda’s opponent. Bethesda will play on the road Monday and then be back at Povich on Tuesday if the series were to go the distance.