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Wootton’s Lewis hopes to follow in his father’s NFL footsteps

Ralin Lewis hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of FameRalin Lewis hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. COURTESY PHOTO  Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis is scheduled to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Lewis, a Florida native, spent 17 years in the NFL and the fruits of his labor will be rewarded on Saturday with the ultimate prize.
Ralin Lewis, a rising Wootton High School senior, is among those who plan to be in attendance at his father’s induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
“I’m proud to see that my father finally made it after all his years of hard work,” said the 17-year-old. “It’s just great.”

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Big Train and Redbirds named 2018 Ripken League co-champions

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Bethesda Big Train vs. Baltimore RedbirdsBETHESDA — After the Bethesda Big Train’s victory of Game One of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series on Saturday, and the Baltimore Redbirds won Game Two on Sunday, Game Three between the two teams was to be played at Shirley Povich Field Monday night to determine the winners of the League Championship Series.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans, as rain forced Game Three to be canceled, and the Redbirds and Big Train were named 2018 LCS co-champions.

It’s the first time since the league’s inaugural season in 2005 where two teams have been named co-champions, the same two teams who have met in the Championship Series 10 years in a row.

“They played for the championship,” said Bethesda manager Sal Colangelo on his opponents. “They deserve it as much as we deserve it. They’re a quality organization. They play hard.”

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Baltimore Redbirds beat Bethesda Big Train 3-1, forcing Game 3 in Ripken League Series

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Bethesda Big Train's Alec Burleson (41) waits for the pick-off throw from the pitcher but Baltimore Redbirds' Carl Gindl (44) is about to get his fingertips on the bag and be called safe at first base in Game Two of the Ripken League Championship Series on Sunday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHBethesda Big Train's Alec Burleson (41) waits for the pick-off throw from the pitcher but Baltimore Redbirds' Carl Gindl (44) is about to get his fingertips on the bag and be called safe at first base in Game Two of the Ripken League Championship Series on Sunday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  TOWSON — After suffering defeat Saturday in Game One of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League’s Championship Series, the Baltimore Redbirds bounced back in Game Two Sunday at Calvert Hall to beat the Bethesda Big Train 3-1, setting up a winner-take-all Game Three on Monday at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda.

For most of the game, Baltimore Redbirds pitcher William Fleming had kept the Bethesda Big Train’s offense at bay. With his pitch count climbing and Fox Semones stealing second after a leadoff single in the top of the seventh inning, the Big Train had another golden chance to rally from a 3-1 deficit.

Only once again, Fleming avoided the jam, this time with some help from his defense. The Big Train’s Tyler Villaroman fouled off a 2-2 pitch to the right of first base, causing Redbirds first baseman Joe Zirolli to drift further and further into foul territory. Zirolli made an over-the-shoulder catch, and Semones decided to tag up and try to advance to third. Zirolli fired a strike to third base, throwing out Semones to preserve the lead.

“We know there’s no quit in those guys, they’re going to fight until the last out,” Big Train assistant coach Galvin Morris said of Baltimore. “Tomorrow is all for the marbles.”

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Big Train take Game One of Ripken League Series against Baltimore Redbirds

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All eyes are on Ben Martz's hit (17) which drove in Bethesda Big Train's AJ Lee (4) and Alec Burleson (41) during Game 1 of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League Championship Series played at Shirley Povich Field on Saturday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHAll eyes are on Ben Martz's hit (17) that drove in Bethesda Big Train's AJ Lee (4) and Alec Burleson (41) during Game One of the Ripken League Championship Series against the Baltimore Redbirds at Shirley Povich Field on Saturday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  BETHESDA — For the ninth straight year in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, the Championship Series features the same two opponents: the Bethesda Big Train and Baltimore Redbirds. Saturday night’s Game One at Shirley Povich Field showed this to be a true championship rivalry, as the Big Train came from behind in the eighth to beat the Redbirds 9-8.

The first score came from Baltimore in the top of the second when designated hitter Christian Hlinka hit an RBI single to drive in third baseman Tim Elko for a 1-0 lead.

However, in the next frame, Bethesda responded with a two-RBI single from catcher Ben Martz. The Big Train put up two more runs in the third and fourth innings thanks to an RBI double from third baseman Carson Taylor and a sacrifice double play from outfielder Jacob Westerman that sent home first baseman Alec Burleson. At that point, the Big Train led 4-1.

But the Redbirds didn’t back down, because in the top of the fifth, Elko hit an RBI single to left field that drove in outfielder Carl Gindl. Then Hlinka tied it up at 4-4 with a two-RBI double that scored Elko and first baseman Joe Zirolli.

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Bethesda Big Train heads to Ripken League Championship Series

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Bethesda Big Train logo

BETHESDA — The Bethesda Big Train advanced to the Cal Ripken League championship series Thursday by virtue of their 14-8 victory over the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts at Shirley Povich Field.

Bethesda outfielders Tyler Villaroman and Jacob Westerman helped the Big Train’s cause by posting some gaudy statistics.

Villaroman went 3-for-5 and scored three runs and registered four RBI’s while Westerman batted 3-for-3 with an RBI and scored a run.

Big Train catcher Carson Taylor added two hits and four RBI’s to help Bethesda move into the championship round.

Bethesda took a 2-0 lead early in the game thanks to Fox Semones, Villaroman and Alec Burleson.

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Bethesda Big Train trounce Gaithersburg in Ripken League game, 7-1

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Bethesda Big Train vs. Gaithersburg GiantsGAITHERSBURG — 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.

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Big Train out runs Gaithersburg to clinch Montgomery Cup

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Bethesda Big Train's Gavin Hinchliffe (9) pitches against the Gaithersburg Giants in the Cal Ripken League game played at Povich Field on Saturday, July 14. The Big Train would go on to win the game, clinching the Montgomery Cup. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHBethesda Big Train's Gavin Hinchliffe (9) pitches against the Gaithersburg Giants in the Cal Ripken League game played at Povich Field on Saturday, July 14.  PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — The Gaithersburg Giants had been the only team capable of catching the Bethesda Big Train for the 2018 Montgomery Cup, until July 14.

A four-run, bottom-of-the-third inning proved to be all the Big Train would need to defeat the Giants 5-3, and clinch the Montgomery Cup.

The Big Train had a 1.5 game lead over the Giants in the Montgomery Cup standing coming into their meeting on July 14, and upped that lead to 2.5 games with the win. With only one more Montgomery Cup game left to play, no team will be able to overtake the Big Train.

The Montgomery Cup features the four Montgomery County-based teams in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. Only the games played against other County-based teams count towards Montgomery Cup standings.

However, the Big Train, who have dominated for the large part of the 2018 season, certainly didn’t have an easy road to its Montgomery Cup-clinching win.

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Bethesda Big Train demolish T-Bolts 14-3

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Bethesda Big Train's Andrew Shebloski (6) during the Cal Ripken League game against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts played at Povich Field on Friday, July 13, 2018. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITHBethesda Big Train's Andrew Shebloski (6) at bat during the Cal Ripken League game against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts played at Povich Field on Friday, July 13, 2018. PHOTO BY GEORGE P. SMITH  BETHESDA — Coming off a dominating 18-0 victory over the Baltimore Dodgers, the Bethesda Big Train (30-5) continued to cruise over their opponents as they steamrolled the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts (14-21) 14-3 on Friday night at Shirley Povich Field for their 30th win of the season.

The Big Train got on the board in the bottom of the second when catcher Ben Martz singled up the middle to drive in outfielder Justin Wylie for the 1-0 lead.

Bethesda went on to score nine more runs in the next five innings to take a 10-0 lead. Among the scores included a home run and an RBI double from first baseman Udie Summerall, RBI singles from Wylie, third baseman Carson Taylor, infielder Fox Semones, and designated hitter Alec Burleson, a sac fly from outfielder Andrew Shebloski, and runs on wild pitches by Burleson and shortstop AJ Lee.

“Tonight we hit the ball really well,” Summerall said. “We do that every night. It’s not a big surprise, but I think everybody had fun tonight, even me. We’re having fun.”

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Big Train defeat Redbirds 12-10 in nail-biting eighth inning

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Baltimore Redbirds' Kevin Madden (19) up to bat against the Bethesda Big Train during the baseball game on Saturday.  PHOTOS BY GEORGE SMITHBaltimore Redbirds' Kevin Madden (19) up to bat against the Bethesda Big Train during the baseball game on Saturday. PHOTOS BY GEORGE SMITHBETHESDA — The marquee matchup in the Cal Ripken League Saturday night featured the Bethesda Big Train (21-7) and Baltimore Redbirds (25-4), the best two teams in the league, facing off at Shirley Povich Field.

Both teams put up a ton of runs in the eighth inning with the Big Train coming out victorious in the end for the 12-10 victory in what may have been the game of the year.

Bethesda got things going in the bottom of the first when second baseman Fox Semones hit a leadoff home run to deep left field. Then, baserunners Carson Taylor and Tyler Villaroman both advanced on an error by Redbirds catcher Will Harless. Villaroman scored and Taylor moved to third, and then to home plate on a wild pitch to give the Big Train a 3-0 lead.

But Baltimore responded in the top of the second with an RBI double from designated hitter Bo Majkowski that drove in Harless and that cut the deficit to 3-1.

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Big Train deals out Aces 4-1

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Alexandria Aces vs. Big Train 6 29 18BETHESDA — The Bethesda Big Train hosted fellow South division opponent the Alexandria Aces at Shirley Povich Field Friday night, and the Big Train continued to show they’re the best team in the Cal Ripken League through dominant pitching from Chris Clarke and enough run support for the 4-1 victory.

Bethesda got on the board early in the bottom of the first inning when first baseman John Glenn hit an RBI double down the left field line which drove in second baseman Fox Semones for the 1-0 lead.

However, the next inning, the Aces got things going with a home run from first baseman Ethan Cady that tied things up at 1-1. Though after that, Alexandria failed to score again.

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