Cropdusters Top Big Train 8-3

by Jack McGuire



Olney, MD -- After two days off in a row, the Bethesda Big Train (3-2) lost 8-3 to Cropdusters Baseball (2-3) 8-3 on Friday night. The Cropdusters silenced the Big Train bats for most of the game in handing Bethesda their second straight loss. Josh Beck earned the victory for the Cropdusters, while Patrick Galle (Ole Miss) took the loss for the Big Train.


Despite taking the loss, Galle pitched well. In three and a third innings pitched, he struck out three without allowing an earned run. Galle, unfortunately, received minimal support from his offense, which is something the coaching staff is taking in stride as part of the process for players coming off a long college season.


“[Our lineup] faced some good pitching and you know, it's a tough adjustment sometimes going from the spring to the summer,” said Big Train assistant coach Bob O’Conor.


In a game that started as a fast-paced pitcher's duel, the Cropdusters struck first in the second. With runners at first and second and no out, Galle induced Cropdusters third baseman Taye Robinson to hit a ground ball that could have resulted in a double play, but Dixon Williams (East Carolina), making his Big Train debut, made a throwing error, allowing a run to score and giving the Cropdusters a 1-0 lead. The Cropdusters extended their lead to 2-0 in the fourth after Will Baumhofer hit a bloop single to center field to drive in another run.


The Cropdusters starting pitcher, Josh Beck, pitched extraordinarily well through five plus innings. Beck struck out seven and only allowed two hits. Bethesda had an opportunity to score off of Beck. In the fifth inning, the team loaded the bases with no outs, but Beck struck out Nick DeLisi (East Carolina), John Long (North Carolina) and Casey Bishop (Towson) to miraculously escape the inning without allowing a run and hand the momentum right back to the home side.


After Beck's escape in the top of the fifth, the Cropdusters extended their lead to 4-0 in the bottom half after a pair of singles from Cam Nelson and Matt Miura. In the top of the sixth, the Big Train had another chance to score after the first two batters of the inning walked off of a tiring Beck, but reliever Benjamin Rhodes got the next three Bethesda batters out to end the threat. 


The Cropdusters continued to add to their lead in later innings and at one point, led by seven, but the Green and White were finally able to break through and score in the top of the eighth inning after Jason Schiavone (James Madison) came in to score on a wild pitch after reaching on a single. Bethesda added two more runs thanks to an error from Robinson and an RBI single from DeLisi, but the Cropdusters limited the damage to three.


Despite the lack of scoring, the Big Train offense showed positive signs. Schiavone reached base three times, and Jeffery Heard (Sacramento State) hit two scorching line drives that, unluckily, resulted in outs. Baseball isn't always about results and the Bethesda coaching staff feels confident they can quickly return to their winning ways.


“We just have to keep doing what we're doing, do the right thing, and stay focused on getting better every day, and things will work out,” O’Conor said. 


The Big Train returns home to Shirley Povich Field tomorrow to play the Silver Spring - Takoma Thunderbolts at 7 p.m.