Big Train falls just short in back and forth battle with Aces

by Rekha Leonard


ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Bethesda Big Train fell short in a high-scoring, back and forth battle with the Alexandria Aces on Saturday night. The Big Train bats dealt plenty of blows, but the Aces eventually took the game, 13-10. 

“I think our hitters are starting to make adjustments now,” Big Train associate head coach Galvin Morris said. “Normally when you start in this league, the pitching is always gonna be a little bit ahead of the hitters, and I think the hitters are starting to catch up a little bit now. So that’s the positive thing about today was our hitters are starting to make adjustments at the plate.”

The Aces took an early lead, scoring five runs in the first two innings. They threatened to put up more in the second inning with the bases loaded and one out, but a Big Train double play ended the inning.

The Big Train claimed the momentum in the third inning as pitcher Joey Wimpleberg (Central Florida) entered in relief and threw a scoreless frame. Wimpleberg kept the Big Train in the game with his solid outing, striking out two in the fourth and initiating a double play in the fifth.

“He did really well on the mound,” Center fielder Andrew Williamson (Central Florida) said. “He was pounding the zone, a lot of outs.”

With Wimpleberg keeping the Aces at bay, the Big Train offense made its mark, scoring five to tie the game in the third inning. Williamson and second baseman Landon Franklin (Kentucky) each hit a two RBI double.

“I was just trying to help my team win,” Williamson said. “There were guys in scoring position, so we’re just trying to get them in some way, somehow. You’re trying to help the team win.”

The hard hits kept coming for the Big Train. Williamson, third baseman Davin Whitaker (East Carolina), and designated hitter Emilio Gonzalez (Florida Atlantic) all launched deep doubles as the Big Train put up three more runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

The Aces responded, though, stacking free bases and hits to add on five runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Big Train reliever Kevin Scully (James Madison) entered in the eighth inning and recorded three quick outs, including two strikeouts. 

Trailing by five entering the bottom of the ninth, the Big Train refused to go down without a fight. Williamson launched his third double of the night, scoring left fielder Jaden Bastian, who previously reached with a walk. Bethesda subsequently loaded the bases but couldn’t knock in enough runs to close the deficit.

“We just got to make a few more adjustments,” Morris said. “We gotta find a way to just put the ball in play and see what happens. We’ll get there. It’s just a matter of time. You can tip your hat to their guys. They made pitches and got us out.”

The Big Train hopes to continue adjusting and heating up its bats against the D.C. Grays Sunday night. First pitch is 7 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field.


Notes: On Saturday night, a near capacity 694 fans attended a game that lasted three hours and 48 minutes.… To celebrate College Night, fans wore their favorite college apparel while the Big Train players wore their college hats.… It was BCC Baseball Night, and BCC President Chris Doerr introduced BCC Baseball player Alex Castro as his designated pitcher for a ceremonial first pitch.… Cap City 10U All Stars were the youth team of the night with coach Sam McFerran throwing out a ceremonial first pitch and the team taking the field with the Big Train players for the National Anthem.… Others taking part in our pre-game first pitch ceremony included birthday boy Carter Lindemuth, Issie Resti from Bethesda Jewish Congregation, Robby Brewer from one of the night’s Community Heroes Miracle League with Miracle League player Trevor Reed as the designated pitcher, Allison Stearns with the night’s other Community Hero Caring Matters with designated pitcher Austin Friedman, and Greg Kahn from the game’s sponsor Gregorio’s.