Big Train offense rolls early, cruising to a 15-8 victory over Metro SOCO

by Ian Domeika

                            Davin Whitaker blasting a fourth inning home run (Esther Frances)

Box Score

The Bethesda Big Train had no problems offensively Tuesday night, as it put up four home runs en route to a 15-8 victory over the Metro SOCO Braves.

The surge was led by star center fielder Andrew Williamson (Central Florida), who opened up the scoring with a powerful home run to right field.

“It definitely meant a lot, it was a huge win, with having to fight back, it looked a little concerning. We got ahead early and they started to respond, so it was definitely a character win,” Williamson said.

The Central Florida product added another home run in the eighth inning that went a whopping 459 feet. Williamson is now tied for the league lead in home runs with seven.

On the mound tonight, Williamson’s college teammate, Joey Wimpleberg (Central Florida) got the start. The Winter Springs native tossed an impressive 4.2 innings while striking out three and making countless smart defensive plays.

“He was controlling his body, and controlling what he could control. He works hard, got after it, and was able to throw all of his pitches in a count that he wanted to,” said pitching coach Craig Lopez.

                              Joey Wimpelberg striking out Braves batter (Esther Frances)

Wimpelberg’s college teammate was also impressed with how the sophomore pitched.

“Joey’s a great pitcher, unfortunately, I’ve had to face him plenty of times, and I know his stuff is really good. Whenever he is out there, I definitely have a lot of confidence in him and so does his team. He’s definitely a guy you want pitching if you want to win a game,” said Williamson.

The Big Train put up runs in six separate innings. A five-run inning in the seventh put the game out of reach for the Braves, who had just come up with six runs of their own to cut the lead to one. Left fielder Jaden Bastian (Jacksonville) delivered the final blow in the form of a three-run home run.

“I didn’t know it was going to leave, I thought it just might get over his head, and then I saw that it left, so it felt good. I was waiting on it all summer,” said Bastian.

Bastian's homer capped off an inning that also saw an RBI single from Emilio Gonzalez (Florida Atlantic).

With this win the Big Train brings its record back to .500 on the season. Coach Lopez is confident that more wins like this can be expected after the upcoming two-day holiday break.

“They all need a break right now. We had that Sunday morning game that was really hot, then you come back to emotional games. We are learning how to put it together as a team and as a unit and that was the right time to do it. We’ll come back fresh,” said Lopez. 

The Big Train will look to do just that on Friday when they take on the D.C. Grays at Shirley Povich Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.