Big Train falls to Braves 11-1

by Rekha Leonard


ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Bethesda Big Train struggled defensively on Friday, falling 11-1 to the Metro SOCO Braves. The game was called in the bottom of the seventh inning due to rain.

The Braves took an early lead, stacking hits in the second and third inning to plate four. The Big Train mounted a response in the third inning after left fielder Jaden Bastian (Jacksonville) knocked a stand-up double and right fielder Davin Whitaker (East Carolina) brought him home with an RBI single.

The Braves broke the game open in the fourth inning, scoring seven runs by capitalizing on free bases. The Big Train pitching staff had an off day, but it will use the experience as a learning tool.

“Sometimes the best teacher in the world is when you’re out there pitching. You gotta get a feel for it. You gotta keep competing, gotta keep working. Sometimes it’s tough lessons, but it’s still a game,” pitching coach Craig Lopez said.

Pitcher Jack Robinson (Roanoke) entered for relief in the fourth and got out of the inning with a strikeout and subsequent throw to third from catcher Luca Perriello (Virginia Tech) to catch the Braves runner stealing. Robinson followed up with two scoreless innings, recording five total strikeouts.

“He did an amazing job. He came in in an adverse situation and did a great job. He pitched, did well, competed, and kept us in it,” Lopez said.

While Robinson took control of the game on the mound, the early hole proved too big for the Big Train’s offense. The bats never went silent, though, as the Big Train recorded eight hits throughout the game. Bastian led the way with three of those hits, continually providing a spark in the lineup.

“He comes out every day and swings it and competes,” Lopez said. “He did a good job. I’m proud of him.”

With the final score lopsided in the Braves’ favor, the Big Train will look to rebound defensively.

“We just gotta regroup and figure things out,” starting pitcher Evan Smith (Maryland) said. “Guys are playing a little tight. So we’re just gonna relax and have fun.”

The Big Train will have a chance to do just that Saturday night against the Alexandria Aces. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field.


Notes: On Friday night, 476 fans attended a game that lasted two hours and 42 minutes.… To celebrate School’s Out Night, young readers received Big Train bookmarks to promote summer reading.…The Rockville High School Marching Band performed a pre-game concert and the Cabin John Middle School Chorus sang the National Anthem.… It was Harry Potter night, and fans dressed in costume received a prize wand.… Baseball authors Gary Sarnoff (Team of Destiny), Fred Bowen (Extra Innings), and Dan Blewett were in the house and each threw out a ceremonial first pitch.… Montgomery County Little League Giants were the youth team of the night with coach Jacob Zangrilli throwing out a ceremonial first pitch and the Giants taking the field with the Big Train players for the National Anthem.… Others taking part in our pre-game first pitch ceremony included birthday twins Charlotte and Lucy Bernstein, Dave Silbert from the night’s Community Hero So What Else with Noel from Essex House, and Dr. Mallory Lostombo from the game’s sponsor Johns Hopkins Community Physicians.