Big Train rolls to 7-1 victory over Grays with consistent offense

by Rekha Leonard

Andrew Williamson (Esther Frances)

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Bethesda Big Train scored early and often on Friday, cruising to a 7-1 victory over the D.C. Grays. Scoring in five of eight innings, the Big Train created consistent offense with 15 hits throughout the game.

Center fielder Andrew Williamson (Central Florida) got the offense going in the first inning with a deep double to left field. Williamson continued his impressive performance with two more hits, and first baseman Emilio Gonzalez was outstanding with four hits. Gonzalez reached base safely in all five of his at bats, reaching on an error in the first inning to score Williamson for the first run of the game.

“That shows a lot,” third baseman Jack Guerrero (James Madison) said. “A really good baseball player won't have their best swing, and they'll still manage to find ways to get on.”

Second baseman Jordan Crosland (Maryland) kept the bats rolling in the second inning with a leadoff double. Guerrero and Williamson each hit RBI singles in the inning to give the Big Train an early 3-0 lead.

“I felt good today,” Guerrero said. “I was just trying to step up my game today and help out the team. I had some runners on there, so I was trying to get them in. I felt like I did what I was supposed to do today.”

Jack Guerrero rounds third base on his way to scoring (Esther Frances)

The hits kept coming for the Big Train and slowly but steadily built up a cushion of runs. The Big Train tacked on one more run in each of the fourth and sixth innings before putting the cherry on top with a two-run seventh inning. Guerrero led off the seventh with a single and ultimately scored on an error as the Grays tried to catch him stealing third but overthrew the bag. Catcher Luke Vaughn (Alabama) hit a deep sacrifice fly to bring in the final run.

“Offense was really good tonight,” pitcher Kevin Scully (James Madison) said. “This is the best I think I've seen the offensive play all summer. It was amazing to watch, and it was amazing to be behind those guys and them being behind us as a pitching staff.”

While the bats provided plenty of run support, the Big Train pitching staff locked down the Grays, limiting them to one run on five hits.

Evan Smith (Maryland) started on the mound for the Big Train and pitched four solid innings with eight strikeouts. Aden Ritenour (Shepherd) and Scully entered in relief and held the Grays scoreless for the remainder of the game. Scully struck out four, including the final batter of the night.

Evan Smith (Esther Frances)

“I'm just trying to compete, just trying to attack the zone,” Scully said. “I was losing it a little bit at the end, my hands were getting slippy. Nothing I was throwing was going straight and where I wanted it to go, so I just had to make an adjustment really quick. I started looking on the inside corner and it was going down and away, and I got the strikeout. I’m happy we won as a team. It was a team effort.”

The Big Train is back at home Saturday night to face the Cropdusters. First pitch is 7 p.m. at Shirley Povich Field.

Notes: On Friday night, 629 fans braved a blistering heat for a game that lasted two hours and 34 minutes.… It was Eve Rosenbaum Bobblehead Night. Fans received bobbleheads and American flags. Eve, the assistant general manager of the Baltimore Orioles and former Big Train volunteer, and the Orioles Bird threw out ceremonial first pitches.… It was also First Responders and Military Appreciation Night. Captain Jim Resnick of the B-CC Rescue Squad and American Legion Post 86 Commander Randy Phillipp were the community heroes and threw out ceremonial first pitches.… The night was sponsored by Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, and Dr. Mallory Lostombo from Rockville Pediatrics threw a first pitch.… Others throwing out a first pitch were County Council President Andrew Friedson, Maryland Delegate Marc Korman, Maryland Senator Sara Love, Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman, and Representative Jamie Raskin.