GAITHERSBURG – The Gaithersburg Giants opened their season on a balmy Monday evening at Kelley Park by hosting and defeating the Baltimore Dodgers 6-3.
The Dodgers came out swinging in the first and posted a two-run lead before the Giants even had a chance at bat.
Dodgers outfielder Jaren Shelby, who attends the State College of Florida, kicked off the second inning by slamming the ball so hard that his bat broke in two.
Unfortunately for Baltimore, the first two runs and Shelby’s broken bat were the high points of the game for the next few innings. Gaithersburg pitcher and Charleston Southern sophomore Jarett Bennett made short work of almost every Dodger that stepped up to the plate.
The Giants jumped ahead at the bottom of the fourth when outfielder Daniel Cabrera, a freshman at Louisiana State University, went to bat with the bases loaded and two outs.
Cabrera hit a single across the field that resulted in two RBIs and gave Gaithersburg the lead.
However, the LSU freshman wasn’t finished yet.
Cabrera’s hard hit at the bottom of the seventh sent two more runners sliding home and all but put the game on ice for the Giants.
It appeared as though Baltimore wasn’t ready to go down without a fight. The Dodgers registered one more run at the top of the ninth but it wasn’t enough to give Baltimore the W on opening night.
“We made a few more mistakes than they did and it cost us,” said Dodgers head coach Derek Brown. “It was our first time out but I feel pretty good about our squad over here. We kept fighting back and we’ve got a long way to go.”
Even though the season had just begun, Brown made sure his goals for the summer were perfectly clear.
“Our goal is to win it all and that’s our goal every year,” he said. “We have 39 games left to prove it. We’ll see.”
Meanwhile, Giants manager Jeff Rabberman expressed similar sentiments.
“We’re here to win a championship. I’m not a big fan of second place,” he said. “I love winning and I think these kids like to win as well. That’s our goal, to come out every day and play as hard as we possibly can and get better and the wins will come from there.”
According to Rabberman, the Giants are already starting to work well together as a team even though they’ve only been on the same team for a few days.
“I’m really excited about what we have and the start that we’ve had these first five days that we’ve been together,” said Rabberman. “The guys have really meshed and it’s everything that you hope it’s going to be. I’m really happy with what we see so far.”
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