Tuesday, March 11, 2014 5:59 PM
Published on: Thursday, June 27, 2013
By Holden Wilen
ROCKVILLE – With each team in desperate need of a win after starting the season off slowly, the Rockville Express and Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts split a pair of games Friday.
Rick Price, manager of the Express, said each team had a turn playing a sloppy game. The Express lost the first game 8-1 and won the second game 12-2.
The Thunderbolts came into the series with a 3-5 record after losing two in a row and four of their last five games. Standout performances by first baseman Taylor Fennewald and starting pitcher Danny O’Donnell helped the Thunderbolts bounce back and win their first game.
O’Donnell pitched all seven innings, gave up just two hits and one unearned run, and struck out four. Fennewald contributed with a two-out single in the second inning to bring in two runs, as well as another two-out single in the third that scored another two runs. Fennewald finished the game 3-4 with four RBIs.
“I recruited him because his college coach told me about his power,” said Thunderbolts manager Doug Remer. “He has not even shown his power yet but he can go to all parts of the field and he is very confident. It does not surprise me at all what he did tonight. He is a guy that is going to be relied on to do that on a regular basis.”
Remer said it has been tough for his team to get going because there was a long layover between the end of the college season and the beginning of league play, along with poor weather causing several games to be rained out. Before Friday, the Thunderbolts were tied with the Express for fewest games played in the league.
The Express dominated the second game, jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first and adding another two runs in the bottom of the second. With a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth, the Express put the game out of reach for the Thunderbolts with a five-run inning. In total, eight different Express players got a hit and scored a run.
Starting picher Daniel Garganus picked up the win for the Express after pitching seven innings, striking out six and giving up two runs. Will Kengor scored four runs and went 2-3 with two walks out of the leadoff spot in the lineup. Leftfielder Nicholas Bateman went 2-3 with a double and two RBIs to raise hit.
Price, now in his second year managing the Express, said it was nice to get back home after the team played five of its first eight games on the road because of rainouts. Price also said playing on consecutive days was helpful to the hitters.
“We had 11 hits last night and the second game tonight had some,” Price said. “It helps the hitters to get their strokes back.”
Since Friday’s doubleheader, the teams have gone in opposite directions. The Express went 2-1 in their next three games and now has a 7-6 record, while the Thunderbolts lost their next three games and stand at 4-9.