Big Train dramatic comeback falls short in 13-12 loss to Cropdusters

by Rekha Leonard


ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Bethesda Big Train launched a dramatic comeback attempt in the ninth inning on Thursday but ultimately fell just short in a 13-12 loss to the Cropdusters. Although the Big Train didn’t secure the win, its eight-run ninth inning highlighted the team’s resiliency.

“They did what they needed to do,” Colangelo said. “We call them quality at-bats. You take quality at-bats and it’ll come. And they did that. They swung the bat well.”

After two walks put runners on, pinch hitter Jackson Giacone (Cal State Fullerton) began the surge with an RBI single, and infielder Landon Franklin’s (Kentucky) double brought in another two. Then, the most dangerous hitter of the day, infielder Kenan Bowman (East Carolina), came up to bat. 

Bowman had already doubled in the fourth inning and hit a solo shot to left in the eighth inning — his first homer of the season. He gave the Cropdusters déjà vu with a two-run bomb to the same spot over the left-field wall to continue the Big Train onslaught in the ninth inning.

“Three-two count in my last (at-bat), two-strike approach. I just got the barrel head out, and it happened to go out,” Bowman said. “I wouldn’t have even been able to hit if it weren’t for the guys in front of me. We battled in that ninth inning.”

Two walks and an error loaded the bases after Bowman’s home run with outfielder Josh Skowronski (Kentucky) up to bat next. Skowronski sent a ball high into the air, and the Cropduster center fielder couldn’t come up with the catch, allowing three runs to score on the error.

Bethesda scored seven of its eight ninth-inning runs with two outs on the board. When it seemed like the Big Train was beaten down, it found a way to rise back up. The Cropdusters secured the final out before the comeback could take full effect, but the Big Train was emboldened by the ground it was able to make up in one inning.

“It’s there, and I saw what I needed to see in the ninth inning,” manager Sal Colangelo said. “We’ve been waiting for that all summer. If they continue to give that effort, we’ll blow people out of the field because it’s there.”

With the ninth inning full of fireworks, center fielder Andrew Williamson’s solo home run in the first inning feels like a distant memory. Williamson continued his blistering hitting streak with two hits on Thursday, bringing his batting average to .484. With batters like Bowman and Franklin gaining confidence and contributing big hits as well, the Big Train offense is on the right track.

The Big Train is back in action Friday night, facing the Southern Maryland Senators at Shirley Povich Field. First pitch is at 7 p.m.


Notes: On Thursday night, 352 fans attended a game that lasted three hours and 28 minutes.… It was the third annual Big Train Pride Night. Fans received Big Train Pride hand fans, and we honored Montgomery County Councilmember Evan Glass with a Big Train Community Hero Award. Glass threw out a ceremonial first pitch.… It was also Ultimate Frisbee Night, and members of the D.C. Breeze were in attendance and threw a frisbee in place of a first pitch.… Candace Sahm of the C-SAHM Foundation and Larry Weiss of Rainbow Families represented our two Community Hero groups.