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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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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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G’burg Giants defeat Bethesda Big Train in exhibition game 13-9

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Gburg Giants vs. Big Train Exhibition 1b 0187Gaithersburg’s Mark Fraser (30) gets Bethesda’s Kurk Salwell (31) out at first base.         PHOTO BY MARK POETKER BETHESDA—The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League returned this weekend, as Bethesda Big Train, who won the championship last year, hosted the Gaithersburg Giants (19-21, third in North Division last year) in a seven-inning exhibition game on a warm night at Shirley Povich Field. The Giants won in a high-scoring affair 13-9.

In the top of the first inning, the game seemed to go Gaithersburg’s way as all nine batters were at the plate against Big Train pitcher John Cerretani. The at-bats included an RBI single by designated hitter Jake Huggins, which drove in a run scored by center fielder Daniel Cabrera. After that, a three-run shot to left field by first baseman Mark Fraser gave the Giants a 4-0 lead.

However, within three innings the Big Train tied it. Bethesda’s comeback began in the bottom of the first, as left fielder Matt Green had an RBI single which drove in center fielder Jacob Koos, who ran from second all the way home, cutting the deficit to 4-1. Then in the bottom of the third, catcher Logan Driscoll hit a single to score Koos, who originally hit a leadoff single and eventually stole second and third base. Then Green followed up with a two-run homer to tie the game at 4-4.

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Big Train lose in close game to Dodgers 8-7

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Bethesda Big Train logo

BETHESDA – The Bethesda Big Train almost mounted an improbable comeback victory in the last minutes of the game, but ultimately fell to the Baltimore Dodgers 8-7.

The game was played at Shirley Povich Field, but the Big Train’s home ground gave them little advantage.

Pitching woes plagued the Big Train throughout the match, giving up too many runs and being inconsistent throughout the night.

“We didn’t pitch the ball well tonight,” said Big Train manager Sal Colangelo. “We walked a… load of guys, and when we walk a lot of guys, it comes back and bites you in the butt.”

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Big Train make their mark on the community

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Big Train mascotBethesda Big Train mascot Big Train mascot Homer performs for the crowd. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

Ever since 1999, the Big Train baseball team has been a staple in Bethesda, providing high-quality baseball from a mix of future professional players and draft hopefuls who won’t make the cut.

Of those who have played for the Big Train, 11 have gone on to play for the MLB throughout its 17-year history.

The local baseball crowd and those who follow the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League know the Big Train’s home at Shirley Povich Field, a well-trimmed ballpark resembling a miniature Major League stadium that has been up since the team’s inception.

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