Big Train Super Seasons

by Bill Hickman

   While we have all heard of the 23 Major Leaguers the Big Train has produced, names like Hunter Renfroe, Logan Gilbert, and Hunter Brown among others, over our 24 seasons nearly 600 players have donned the green and black and taken to the field representing the team.  Nearly 43% of these players have gone on to sign contracts and play at a professional level.  But for every Renfroe, Gilbert, or Brown, there is a Luke Adkins, a three year player with the Big Train and a member of the Ripken League Hall of Fame, or a Matt Hiserman, who holds the teams career record for saves at 12, that never broke through at any level in a major league organization.  For today’s alumni report presented by Big Train historian Bill Hickman, we bring you a list of players who put together super seasons here in Bethesda, but never quite made it to the pros.

  •        Luke Adkins, OF (2006, ’08-09) Co-MVP of team in 2009.  Hit .380 52 hits and 37 RBI in 41 games.  Over his three years with Big Train, he averaged .50 and collected 188 total bases, the highest total in the team’s history.  He is a member of the Ripken League Hall of Fame.
  •        Brendan Hendriks, 3B (2012)  In his sole season with the Big Train, he hit .400 with 64 hits, 40 RBI, and 38 runs scored in 40 games.  His 17 doubles are a team record.  He was named the Big Train Outstanding Hitter.
  •        Bert Smith, 2B (2007)  In 2007, he led the league in runs scored (39) and stolen bases (20).  He batted .306 in 41 games.  He is tied for sixth among Big Train players in runs scored in a single season.  He was named Big Train MVP in 2007.
  •        Chris Lewis, 1B (2014-15) In 2015, he batted .306 with seven homers and 37 RBI in 40 games, and was named the League’s Most Outstanding Player.  He led the league in Runs Created.  Over his two-year period with the Big Train, he hit .294 with 10 homers and 55 RBI.
  •        Tim Yandel, Utility (2013-15)  During his three years with the team, he played three infield positions, the outfield, and he took the mound as well.  In 2015, he batted .253 and drove in 22 runs in 24 games.  He also served as a starting pitcher, and tallied a tallied a 4-1 record with a 1.32 ERA.  He earned the Big Train MVP award that year.
  •        Cameron Love, Starting Pitcher (2009-11)  Started more games and won more games than any other Big Train pitcher.  With 23 starts, he had a 15-3 record with a 2.67 ERA over his three summers with the team.  He stands second among Big Train pitchers in career strikeouts with 98.  He shares the record for winning percentage in a season with .857 based on his 6-1 record in 2009 (minimum qualification is seven decisions).
  •        Jordan Beistline, Starting Pitcher (2009-10)  Had a 5-2 record in 2009 with a 1.95 ERA and a 4-1 record in 2010 with a 2.73 ERA.  His nine-win total for the two years stands fifth all-time among Big Train pitchers.  He was co-winner of the team’s Most Outstanding Pitcher award in 2009.
  •        Matt Kleweno, Starting Pitcher (2000)  Stands fourth in the Big Train season ERA record among those pitchers who hurled 35 innings or more.   In 2000, he chalked up a miserly ERA of 1.04 in 52 and two-thirds innings pitched.  He had a perfect 5-0 record in nine starts.  Was named Big Train’s Most Outstanding Pitcher.
  •        Ryan Metz, Relief Pitcher (2018-19, ’01)  Had a 10-0 record and a 1.14 ERA with five saves over his three year career with the Big Train.  His 10-win total for the three years stands fourth all-time among Big Train pitchers.  He was named the team’s Most Outstanding Relief Pitcher in 2021.
  •        Bryan Hamilton, Relief Pitcher (2010)  In his only season with the Big Train, he recorded eight saves with a 0.42 ERA.  He had a 2-1 record.  He was named the Big Train Most Outstanding Pitcher.
  •        Mike Matta, Relief Pitcher (2007, 2009)  He was particularly dominant in 2009 when he made 16 appearances with an ERA of only 0.34.  He posted a 3-0 record with three saves.  He received the Big Train Most Outstanding Relief Pitcher award.
  •        Matt Hiserman, Closer (2007-08)  Holds the ERA single season record for the Ripken League and the Big Train team because he had an ERA of 0.00 in 2008 and the qualification for minimum innings pitched was met.  His 10 saves are the Big Train single season record.  His 12 career saves are also a team record.  He was named the Big Train MVP in 2008.
  •        Stephen Schoch, Closer (2016-17)  He also registered a stunning ERA of 0.00, but had too few innings to qualify for the record.  In 2017, he made 16 appearances, posting a record of 1-0 with four saves and the 0.00 ERA in 26 and a third innings.  He did not issue a walk during the regular season.  He received the Big Train Most Outstanding Relief Pitcher award.  For his two years with the team, his ERA was 1.07, and he struck out 47 while walking only three in 42 innings.
  •        Wyatt Stewart, Closer (2004-06)  In 2006, he had a perfect ERA of 0.00 in 13 and a third innings pitched.  He made 14 appearances that year, and chalked up six saves, leading the league in saves.  He was on the All-Star team in 2004 and 2005.  During his three-year stint with Big Train, he attained a 1-1 record with seven saves and a 1.18 ERA in 34 appearances.