The T-Bolts are going to the playoffs

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SILVER SPRING – The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts knew there was one spot left in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League playoffs as they headed into a double header Friday against the Loudoun Riverdogs at Blair Stadium.

The formula to earn that coveted sixth seed was simple in theory: Win out, and you’re in.

The T-Bolts left nothing to chance as they swept the Riverdogs, winning the first game by a score of 6-3.


Express upsets Big Train on the road 3-2

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BETHESDA — The Rockville Express (10-19) staged a road upset of the Bethesda Big Train (22-8), 3-2, in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League game at Shirley Povich Field on Saturday evening.

“Everybody played very well tonight and our starting pitcher shut them down for six innings…he didn’t give up much,” said Express head coach Rick Price.

The Express’ sophomore starting pitcher Mike Yasenka dominated early on, pitching six innings and allowing only one run during his time on the mound.


Baltimore Dodgers dominate Thunderbolts 13-4

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1005 20170626 Dodgers vs TboltsSecond baseman Patrick Burke for the T-Bolts gets the toss a moment too late as Brian Tagoe of the Dodgers slides into second base. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  SILVER SPRING — The Baltimore Dodgers dominated the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts with a resounding 13-4 victory, with a late rally by the home team preventing a blowout.

The Thunderbolts never had the lead, and were always distant from catching up. A few opportunities came up for the Thunderbolts to come back, but even then it was a long shot.

On the other hand, the Dodgers’ defense made quick work of the Thunderbolts’ offense, forcing short innings and fostering frustration.


Dodgers crush Big Train 10-1

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Dodgers vs BigTrain 1002Big Train first baseman Logan Driscoll chases down Matthew Lawrence who is caught in a pickle between Vinny Esposito and Driscoll.  PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEBETHESDA—The 13-5 Bethesda Big Train were looking to bounce back from the previous night’s 9-3 loss to the Baltimore Redbirds. However, Sunday night’s game wasn’t any better, as Bethesda ended up getting steamrolled by the 5-12 Baltimore Dodgers by the score of 10-1. While the game was played at Shirley Povich Field, the Dodgers were technically the home team.

The first score occurred in the bottom of the third inning when Baltimore infielder Joey Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly to drive in catcher Shamoy Christopher. Then, outfielder David Bellamy headed home on a passed ball to put the Dodgers up 2-0.

Baltimore increased their lead with three more runs in the fifth inning; outfielder Jaren Shelby scored on a passed ball, and Ortiz hit a two-run homer to left field to drive in outfielder Brian Tagoe. The Dodgers led 5-0.

Bethesda’s only run of the game happened in the top of the sixth when shortstop Fox Semones headed home on a sac fly to left field by second baseman Vinny Esposito that cut the deficit to 5-1.

But the Dodgers continued to dominate the rest of the game. In the bottom of the sixth, third baseman Zach Seal advanced to first and then second on a throwing error at first base as designated hitter Brandon McIlwain scored. Then Christopher hit a sac fly to drive in first baseman Shane Coker. Baltimore’s lead increased to 7-1.

Dodgers vs BigTrain 1005Brian Tagoe rounds third heading for home plate on his home run hit. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE

It didn’t get any better for the Big Train as McIlwain would make his way home again on a balk by Bethesda pitcher Noah Eppert in the bottom of the seventh to impro

ve the Dodgers’ lead to 8-1. Baltimore topped it off in the eighth inning when Ortiz and Tagoe scored on a 2-RBI single by shortstop Austin James.

Baltimore pitcher Casey Gast pitched a phenomenal seven innings, striking out four batters and allowing only three hits and the lone run. Gast would finish the night with an ERA of 1.35. Ortiz was stellar in the batter’s box as he went 2-for-4 with two runs and three runs batted in.

The Dodgers won only their sixth game of the season with their record currently standing at 6-12. Manager Derek Brown said the key to tonight’s win was at-bats. “They (batters) were really patient,” he said, “and when the pitch came, they did a lot with it tonight.”

Meanwhile, the Big Train fall to 13-6. Bethesda has now lost two games in a row where they allowed nine or ten runs. “Walks, errors, and lack of effort,” Dodgers vs BigTrain 1001Looked over by his shadow, a young boy watches the game from the only location he was tall enough to see without looking through a fence or protective netting. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFEmanager Sal Colangelo said. “That’s it in a nutshell.”

Check out the photo gallery from this story!

@hslichtman  @The_Red_D


Baltimore Redbirds surge past Bethesda Big Train 9-3

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Redbirds vs. BigTRN 0145The Redbirds' Randy Bednar (38) from Bethesda, at bat against friend BigTrain catcher Justin Morris (13). PHOTO BY MARK POETKERBETHESDA — Two of the best teams in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League faced off Saturday night as the 13-4 Bethesda Big Train hosted the 9-6 Baltimore Redbirds. The game was close up until the eighth inning, when the Redbirds scored seven runs and hung on for the 9-3 win at Shirley Povich Field.

Baltimore struck first in the first inning when Drew Blakely singled to center field to score outfielder Dusty Baker. Then, in the second inning, Lael Lockhart Jr. scored as Laney Orr singled and advanced to third base on an error by right fielder James Outman. As a result, the Redbirds led 2-0, and the score would remain the same for the next few innings.


Pitchers lead Rockville Express to victory against DC Grays

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DC Grays vs. Rockville Express MPI 0031 1Rockville Express’ pitcher Cesar Capellan (30) on the mound. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER ROCKVILLE —The Rockville Express (6-9) pitchers zoned in, beating the DC Grays (6-8), 4-3, in a Cal Ripken Collegiate League baseball game at Montgomery College-Rockville Field on Thursday evening.

After a sluggish start, Express junior starting pitcher Cesar Capellan pitched a stunning masterpiece, retiring 13 of the last 15 batters he faced, five on strikeouts to pick up the win. Equally impressive was Express sophomore closer Joe Kruszka, who picked up the save, smothering any attempted rally.

For Capellan of Bonao in the Dominican Republic, who has a tryout with the MLB’s Atlanta Braves on Monday, the 108 pitches were his longest outing for the Express.


Big Train Buries T-Bolts 8-2

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BigTrain vs TBolts 1001bT-Bolts pitcher Huei-Sheng Lin looks for the sign on the windup. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  SILVER SPRING — It was a rough Tuesday night for the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, as the Bethesda Big Train dominated in a 8-2 rout of the home team.

Some innings went quickly, with nothing of note happening. Other innings had a run and some missed opportunities.

“We just decided we’re not going to play against the scoreboard; we’re going to play against the game,” said sophomore outfielder Brant Blaylock.


. . . After Dodgers blasted The Big Train 10-5

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Dodgers vs. Big Train JGS 1407bBaltimore Dodgers catcher Shamoy Christopher at bat.   PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH  BETHESDA — With the Bethesda Big Train at 7-1, Thursday night’s game looked like a surefire win against the 2-7 Baltimore Dodgers, but Baltimore pitcher Josh Hejka put on a show on the mound and got the run support he needed as his team upset Bethesda, 10-5, at Shirley Povich Field.

The Dodgers got on the board early when center fielder Jaren Shelby advanced to first base on an error as second baseman Joey Ortiz headed home to put his team up 1-0 in the first. Then in the second, right fielder Nick Ortega grounded out on a 6-3, but left fielder Brian Tagoe scored as Baltimore led, 2-0.

Bethesda was able to get on the board in the bottom of the second when center fielder James Outman headed home even though catcher Michael Emodi grounded out to cut the deficit to 2-1.

But the rout was on for the Dodgers in the third. First, third baseman Taj Porter hit an RBI single to score Shelby and shortstop Austin James and give his team a 4-1 lead. James appeared to have been thrown out at the plate by a couple of inches; home plate umpire Rob Miller called him safe. “The guy was in a position to make the call,” Big Train manager Sal Colangelo said. “He was behind the plate, and therefore you couldn’t see it, so he made the best call he could do.”


D.C. Grays top Gaithersburg Giants 8-6

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Grays vs. Giants MPI 0169bGiants’ Jake Huggins at bat in a game won by the DC Grays. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  GAITHERSBURG – DC Grays outfielder Lamar Briggs had a solid performance in Friday night’s 8-6 victory over the Gaithersburg Giants at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park.

Briggs, a Jackson State University product, finished 2-for-4 including a three-run double that helped propel the Grays to victory.

Down 4-2 in the fourth inning, Briggs smacked a double that put the Grays ahead, 5-4.

“We got down to an early deficit but we stuck it out [and] kept fighting,” said Briggs. “We got a couple clutch hits when we needed them.”


Thunderbolts rally late over Giants to win 8-4

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TBolts vs. Giants MPI 0321bGaithersburg Giants’ Jake Huggins gets hit in the ribcage at bat. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER SILVER SPRING — The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts rallied late Saturday to beat the Gaithersburg Giants 8-4.

The Giants tied the game at 4-4 in the seventh inning, but the momentum shifted toward the T-Bolts as they came away with the win in a back-and-forth affair.

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