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Rockville Express crush T-Bolts, 9-0

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Rockville Express' Billy Godrick (13) connects against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts during the Cal Ripken League game Saturday.  PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHRockville Express' Billy Godrick (13) connects against a T-Bolts pitch during the Cal Ripken League game Saturday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  SILVER SPRING — The R.E.M. song “Don’t Go Back to Rockville” was the theme of Saturday’s Cal Ripken League contest between the Silver Spring-Takoma Park Thunderbolts and the visiting Rockville Express.

The Thunderbolts’ eighth annual “Don’t Go Back to Rockville” night featured tunes from the alternative rock band throughout the evening. The song was written by band member Mike Mills as a plea to his then-girlfriend not to return to Rockville.

Unfortunately for the Thunderbolts, the Express did go back to Rockville, escaping Blair Stadium with a 9-0 victory.

“We were neck and neck up until like the third or fourth inning and then made a couple mistakes that kind of cost us a couple runs,” Thunderbolts outfielder Ace Felder explained afterward. “In baseball if you don’t hit that switch soon things are contagious in baseball.”

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Loudoun Riverdogs keep Rockville Express at bay to win 9-8

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Rockville Express' Myles Coston brings in a high throw as Loudoun Riverdogs' Brady Lloyd safely steals a base. The Riverdogs held on for a 9-8 win. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKRockville's Myles Coston brings in a high throw as Loudoun Riverdogs' Brady Lloyd safely steals a base. The Riverdogs held on for a 9-8 win. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK ROCKVILLE — The Rockville Express (11-14) almost overcame a 9-4 deficit, but the visiting team, the Loudoun Riverdogs (7-19), were able to hang in there for the 9-8 win Friday in an offensive slugfest at Montgomery College.

In the top of the first, with a runner at second, Loudoun shortstop Alejandro Aponte hit a line drive to Express second baseman Matt Kruszka, but just as he attempted to turn a double play, Kruszka committed a throwing error which resulted in outfielder Ben Blackwell scoring to put the Riverdogs on the board first.

However, in the next frame, Rockville responded with a sacrifice groundout from first baseman Evan Blum that sent outfielder Billy Godrick home to tie it up at 1-1.

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Walk-off turns tide and lifts Express past T-Bolts

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Rockville Express players clear the dugout and rush toward teammate Jarel McDade (20) on first base after he drove in Alex Yi-Chen Jou (2) to win against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts by a score of 6-5 in the Cal Ripken Summer Collegiate Baseball League game at the Express home field at Montgomery College - Rockville on Saturday night. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHRockville Express players clear the dugout and rush toward teammate Jarel McDade (20) on first base after he drove in Alex Yi-Chen Jou (2) to win against the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts by a score of 6-5 in the Cal Ripken League game Saturday night. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  ROCKVILLE — The odds were stacked against Jarel McDade when he walked up to the plate Saturday. It was the bottom of the ninth inning and the Rockville Express trailed the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts by one with two outs and a man on second and third base.

The Express had trailed since the top of the fourth. Rockville’s last chance at a victory rested squarely on McDade’s shoulders.

T-Bolts pitcher Garrett Pearson wound up and fired a fastball right at McDade. The outfielder swung hard and slammed the ball across the length of the field as two players sped over home plate. In a matter of seconds, Rockville’s fate had changed from a likely loss to a one-point win on a walk off by a score of 6-5.

“I had been struggling all game long and I was down to the last at bat. I was waiting for a fastball because all I see is [Pearson] throwing fastballs,” said McDade. “I saw my pitch and I just put the best swing I could on it.”

The walk-off win couldn’t have come at a better time for McDade, who stated that he had been waiting for a moment like this all season.

“Things haven’t gone our way all season. We’ve had some bad calls, stuff like that, but tonight we battled hard and got the win,” he said.

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Gaithersburg Giants beat Rockville Express in dominant pitching duel

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Rockville Express second baseman Matt Kruszka tags out Gaithersburg Giants' Ryan Shinn in a steal attempt, but the Giants would go on to win the game, 3-1. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKRockville Express second baseman Matt Kruszka tags out Gaithersburg Giants' Ryan Shinn in a steal attempt, but the Giants would go on to win the game, 3-1. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  ROCKVILLE — In Monday night’s game between the Gaithersburg Giants and Rockville Express, it was more about the pitching than the hitting, but the Giants were able to come through with clutch hitting towards the end for the 3-1 victory on the road.

The first score came from Gaithersburg in the top of the second inning when outfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo reached on an infield single as outfielder Ryan Shimm made his way towards home plate to give his team a 1-0 lead.

But the Express responded in the bottom of the fourth when catcher Evan Blum singled to left field to score outfielder Billy Godrick and tie the game up at 1-1.

The next four innings involved some hits but no runs thanks to some quality pitching. Nick Pantos of the Giants had himself a night on the mound, as he went seven innings and struck out 10 batters. This was the second 10-strikeout game for Pantos this season. Chandler Schultz pitched the last two innings and got the save.

“All I was trying to do was fill up the zone,” Pantos said. “The slider was working well today so I stuck with that. Good things tend to happen when you’re throwing strikes, and the defense made some good plays behind me. Everything really goes into it.”

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Bethesda Big Train flattens Rockville Express, 14-5

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Bethesda Big Train’s Udie Summerall (29) hits the team's second grand slam home run during their victorious game, 14-5, against the Rockville Express at Povich Field on Sunday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHBethesda Big Train’s Udie Summerall (29) hits the team's second grand slam home run during the game against the Rockville Express on Sunday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  BETHESDA — The Bethesda Big Train scored three runs in the first inning Sunday en route to a 14-5 victory over the visiting Rockville Express at Shirley Povich Field.

The win marked the Big Train’s 10th victory in 11 games while the Express suffered their fourth loss in nine games.

Fox Semones (James Madison University), AJ Lee (University of Maryland) and John Glenn (California Baptist University) all scored runs in the first inning to help the Big Train jump out to a 3-0 advantage.

However, the Express answered with a pair of runs in the third inning before the Big Train scored multiple runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

“You always want to score in the first inning,” said Big Train pitcher Alec Burleson, “and that just helps the pitchers out knowing they got a lead, they can pitch with a lead and then we just keep adding on to it in the game.”

The contest was highlighted by a pair of grand slams including one from Burleson in the sixth inning.

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Amidst pitching and defensive duel, Bethesda Big Train defeats Rockville, 4-1

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Rockville Express vs. Bethesda Big TrainBETHESDA — On a sometimes rainy Saturday night at Shirley Povich Field in a game that involved quality pitching and defense on both sides, the Bethesda Big Train got the runs they needed for a 4-1 victory over the Rockville Express.

Bethesda got things going in the bottom of the first inning when outfielder Justin Wylie stole second base to get in scoring position and shortstop AJ Lee singled to center field to drive in Wylie for the 1-0 lead. The RBI knock occurred on the Big Train’s second at-bat of the game.

A few at-bats later, with outfielder Jacob Westerman at the plate, Lee scored on a wild pitch thrown by Express starting pitcher Mike Yasenka, extending Bethesda’s lead to 2-0.

Rockville finally got on the board in the top of the fourth when catcher Eurick Perez reached on first on a throw too high by Big Train second baseman Conor McCormack, allowing shortstop Myles Coston to make his way towards home plate. The Express cut the deficit to 2-1.

The game remained close as it went four more innings without a run. During that time frame, the Big Train turned two double plays (5-2-3 and 4-3), while Rockville turned one (4-3).

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Crosby’s sac fly lifts Express to 4-2 win over DC Grays

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ROCKVILLE—Two last place teams faced off Tuesday night as the Rockville Express (12-21, fifth in North division) hosted the DC Grays (11-20, fifth in South) at Montgomery College. The game remained tied until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Express added two more runs en route to a 4-2 win.

Rockville would strike first in the bottom of the first when outfielder Justin Smith hit an RBI single to drive in a run scored by outfielder Pearce Howard and give the Express an early 1-0 lead.

However, in the top of the fourth, DC would respond when outfielder Darius Gillus doubled to drive in first baseman Miles Jones and tie the game at 1-1. Then two at-bats later, hit an RBI triple as catcher Andrew Webb was able to round the bases, making his way from first to home plate to give the Grays a 2-1 lead.

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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.

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Dodgers defeat Express prior to All-Star break

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ROCKVILLE—The Rockville Express (10-19, fifth in North) were looking for some luck and appeared to have it by the ninth inning. That is until the Baltimore Dodgers (12-17, third in North) went on a five-run rally in the ninth to defeat the Express 7-6 Sunday night at Raptors Field at Montgomery College.

The game was scoreless for the first three innings due to solid pitching by Baltimore’s Eli Ginsburg and Rockville’s Anthony Hernandez. Hernandez would go six innings, strike out four batters, and allow only one hit and one run.

Ginsburg, on the other hand, didn’t have that same touch when the bottom of the fourth inning came. The Express would get on the board first when outfielder Justin Smith scored an unearned run due to Dodgers catcher Colin Burgh dropping the ball at home plate. Then, third baseman hit a sac fly which allowed shortstop Billy Lennox to head home. That followed with an RBI single by catcher Jacob Barnwell to drive in outfielder/pitcher Dakota McFadden. Rockville took a 3-0 lead.

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Express overtake Bolts, 6-5

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TBolts vs. Express MPI 0071Express Pitcher Brett Jones . PHOTO BY MARK POETKERSILVER SPRING – It took 10 innings for the injury-ravaged Rockville Express to slip past the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts by a score of 6-5 and improve to 7-9 on the season.

The victory landed Rockville in a three-way tie for second place in the Cal Ripken Collegiate North Division.

The Express didn’t waste any time jumping out to an early lead. Catcher Trent Brosdahl from Chowan University hit a single that resulted in 2 RBI at the top of the first.

The Thunderbolts, on the other hand, got off to a slow start. The Bolts managed one hit at the bottom of the third but didn’t get their first run until the bottom of the fifth.

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