Big Train Crush Thunderbolts 21-2 on the Road

by Jack McGuire



Silver Spring, MD -- The Big Train continued the momentum from their home opener win yesterday by destroying the Silver Spring - Takoma Thunderbolts 21-2 on Sunday night in Silver Spring. The game ended after seven innings because of the league mercy rule. 


While the Big Train offense will take the headlines, after putting up a 10-spot in the first, a football score on the board, and recording 14 hits and 12 walks, starter Brandon Cassedy’s (Christopher Newport) dominant outing was noteworthy. Cassedy earned the win after striking out five and not allowing an earned run in five innings of work. Cassedy had a perfect game through four and a third innings, but lost it after a single from Thunderbolts shortstop Coleman Calabrese. 


“I just go out there compete, try to throw strikes and make them beat me,” Cassedy said. 


Just like in the home opener, the scoring started early for the Big Train as the team batted around in the first inning. The Big Train scored ten runs in the first, and each player in the starting lineup came in to score. It was the second consecutive game the Big Train knocked the opposing starter out in the first frame as Thunderbolt starter Eddie Sargent took the loss after allowing nine earned runs while only recording two outs. The high-scoring inning featured a pair of two-run singles from Zeb Ruddell (LSU) and Casey Bishop (Towson) and was capped off with a deep three-run home run to left by Jeffery Heard (Sacramento State), Big Train’s first home run of the season.


The barrage of scoring continued in the second, with the Big Train offense putting up five more runs and batting around for the second inning in a row. Lucas Phelps (Florida Atlantic), Bishop and Teddy Ruffner (UNC Wilmington) all had RBI hits in the inning.


In the third inning, the Big Train scored three more runs, giving them an 18-0 lead. Bishop and Heard continued their impressive games with RBIs in the inning. Both players had three hits and five RBIs in the game. There was little hope for a Thunderbolts comeback, especially considering how well Cassedy was pitching.


“The team was kind of just playing on all cylinders offensively today,” Heard said. “It felt nice coming out with a blowout today for sure.”


The Thunderbolt bullpen was able to cool off the Big Train bats in the fourth and fifth innings, but the Big Train offense punctuated their massive victory with a three-run sixth inning that saw an RBI triple from first baseman Jason Schiavone (James Madison).


The Thunderbolts added a couple runs in the latter half of the game, but it was far too little, too late, as Skyler Hutto (Alabama) closed out the 21-2 victory.


The big win and collective success of the team early on are good indications that the players are already bonding and building good rapport have been assembled from across the country.


“I think that team chemistry is there,” Cassedy said. “All the guys are starting to talk to each other a lot more, and all the guys are nice and here to win."


The Big Train stays on the road as they play the Metro SOCO Braves on Monday, June 5, at 7 p.m. at South County High School in Lorton, Virginia.