GAITHERSBURG — Early Thursday afternoon, the Baltimore Redbirds lost, which meant the Bethesda Big Train clinched homefield advantage in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League playoffs. Later that night, the Big Train proved why they’re the best team as they defeated the Gaithersburg Giants 7-1 at Kelley Park.
“We’re here to get better,” Big Train manager Sal Colangelo said. “We’re here to have fun, and our goal was to win the division, we did that, win the Montgomery Cup, we did that, and win the regular season, we did that. But the ultimate prize is to also win the tournament and win all four.”
The first run came from the Giants though. In the bottom of the fourth, with outfielder Ryan Shinn in the batter’s box and two runners on first and third, designated hitter Sam Bertelson tried to advance to second, but was caught in a rundown for the 1-3-6-3 putout. However, no one seemed to notice catcher Saul Garza who was able to make it from third to home plate and give Gaithersburg the 1-0 lead.
For the first five innings, the Giants appeared to have this one in the bag. Starting pitcher Matt Whelan had not allowed a hit in his five frames. Unfortunately, he was still taken out in favor of Brad Sawyer in the top of the sixth.