Big Train squeaks out win after back and forth battle with Cropdusters

by Lily Stewart

Box Score

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Bethesda Big Train beat the Cropdusters 13-10. The game started tight as both teams held each other scoreless. Payton Prescott (Jacksonville) started on the mound for Bethesda and recorded one strikeout in the inning.


Jordan Crosland (Maryland) and Davin Whitaker (East Carolina) could single and reach base in the bottom of the first. Matthew Westley’s  (Virginia Tech) hit was caught and used for a double play to end the inning. 

The Big Train kept their defensive streak hot in the second inning. Luca  Perriello (Virginia Tech) threw a laser to Crosland to catch the Cropduster stealing and keep them scoreless. 


Bethesda got hot, scoring four runs in the inning. Chris Diaz (Tulane) walked to reach base. After reaching, he stole second to put Bethesda in scoring position. Josh Skowronski (Kentucky) hit a double to center, bringing Diaz home and putting a run on the board.


Following Diaz’s footsteps, Skowronski stole third base, allowing Bethesda to inch closer to extending their lead. Perriello also reaches base after being walked. Enter Jordan Crossland, who added to the long history of massive Big Train home runs against the Cropdusters, scoring both Skrowronski and Perriello and extending the lead to 4-0. 


The third inning was silent as neither team scored, but Prescott added another strikeout to his tally. He stepped it up to the top of the fourth, adding two more Ks. His strikeout count now lies at four. 


However, the Cropdusters were able to add a run, and this confidence boost proved to be a game-changing moment. 

The fifth was a battle. Prescott handed the ball off to Aidan Kelly  (Jacksonville). Kelly started strong striking out two of the Cropdusters. Unfortunately, the Cropdusters scored another run, cutting Bethesda’s lead to two.  


After closing out the fifth, Kevin Scully (James Madison) entered the sixth inning. The Cropdusters added another run, cutting the lead to one. After, they were able to load the bases. Scully walked in a run and kept the base loaded. The same sequence happened again, allowing the Cropdusters to take the lead by one.


The ball is passed off to Jordan Capuano  (UNC-Wilmington) to try and slow the Cropdusters. Capuano walked a batter, extending the Cropduster lead by two before getting an inning-ending strikeout to stop the bleeding.


The Big Train never lost faith, as the seventh inning shows. Josh Skowronski hit a double right off the bat and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Crosland gets on base, and then Jaden Bastain (Jacksonville) grounds out, scoring Skowronki and cutting the Cropduster lead to two. 


“I mean, we never thought we’re out of it. We always were like we’re gonna win this; we got this. So, I think that mentality was very encouraging to each other,” said Bastain.


Whitaker knocks a double into center field, scoring Crosland and cutting the Cropduster lead by half with the tying run standing on second. The Cropdusters throw another wild pitch, advancing Whitaker to third. Again, a wild pitch goes, bringing Whitaker home and tying the game.


“We were down three at one point and you can’t get three in one swing usually. So, just keeping the chain connected, one through nine, and just having quality at-bats,” said Whitaker.


Capuano strikes out two batters in the eighth inning but allows one to score, and Cropdusters takes the lead 8-7.

After seeing the momentum swing back their way, Bethesda didn’t let it go.


Newman is walked to start the inning. He then steals second. The tying run is now in scoring position. Then, Perriello is walked. Crosland comes up next, and the Cropdusters intentionally walk him. The bases are now loaded for the Big Train. Bastain steps up and hits a double, allowing Newman and Perriello to score.

Bethesda takes the lead by one, 9-8.


Emilio Gonzalez (Florida Atlantic) steps in as a pinch hitter just a few hours after arriving in town and quickly makes his presence known by coming up with a timely hit to add to the Big Train lead. Diaz steps up and walks. The Cropdusters throw another wild pitch, bringing home  Bastain. The score is now 11-8. Landon Franklin (Kentucky) steps up and hits a double, allowing two runners to be batted in.


The Big Train takes a 13-8 lead heading into the ninth.

“Our hitters and our pitchers responded when adversity was handed their way."  Jonathan Stevens (Alabama) comes in to close out the night. The Cropdusters close their night with two more runs, scoring 13-8. But Stevens strikes out two batters to end the game and give the Big Train the win and the lead in the season series against their in-county rivals. 

Notes: On a gorgeous Monday night, 619 fans packed Shirley Povich Field for the team's game against the Cropdusters. The game lasted 3 hours and 12 minutes… Our Community Hero Bethesda Green provided games and treats to fans as they entered the park.... Just Ice Tea gave the first 100 fans free tea... Our game night sponsor was Gelberg Signs… A chorus of 60 fourth graders from Wood Acres Elementary School performed the National Anthem and Principal Sweta Zaks threw out the first pitch... Others taking part in our pre-game first pitch ceremony included Chris Meade of Gelberg Signs and Dave Feldman of Bethesda Green…. In the second running of Banana v. Hot Dog, Banana extended its lead to 2-0 over Hot Dog.