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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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Big Train’s undefeated streak ends in Game Two of T-Bolts doubleheader

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Bethesda Big Train’s Andrew Shebloski (6) makes contact during the baseball game between Big Train and the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts at Blair Stadium on Saturday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  CUT (CN9A1385a.JPG): T-Bolts’ Josh Simon (17) pulled down a high throw and made the play on Bethesda Big Train’s Alec Burleson (41) - out at home at Blair Stadium on Saturday. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITHBethesda Big Train’s Andrew Shebloski (6) makes contact during the baseball game between Big Train and the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts at Blair Stadium on Saturday.        PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  SILVER SPRING — Out of four Cal Ripken League doubleheaders on Saturday, one involved the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts and the visiting Bethesda Big Train at Blair High School. While the Big Train shut out the T-Bolts in the first game 6-0, Bethesda saw the end of their undefeated streak when the T-Bolts took the second one 8-4.

In Game One, the first run came in the top of the fifth inning when Bethesda outfielder Udie Summerall pinch hit for Tyler Villaroman and singled to left field to drive in Tyler Reis.

Big Train infielders Carson Taylor and John Glenn each had three hits. Taylor went 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs, while Glenn also went 3-for-5 with one RBI and two runs.

“They’re great players,” said Bethesda manager Sal Colangelo. “They swing the bat very well. They went up there with an idea and went playing what they had, what they wanted to do.”

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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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Baltimore Redbirds soar past Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, 9-4

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Baltimore Redbirds' Mac Starbuck (49) manages to slide safely to first base under the glove of Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts first baseman Tucker Childers (22),Baltimore Redbirds' Mac Starbuck (49) manages to slide safely to first base under the glove of Silver Spring-Takoma T-Bolts first baseman Tucker Childers (22), PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH SILVER SPRING — The visiting Baltimore Redbirds defeated The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts Friday night at Montgomery Blair High School, 9-4. The game remained close with the T-Bolts up by one at the end of the seventh inning, but the Redbirds dominated the last two innings thanks to some huge knocks that earned Baltimore the victory.

“It’s the game of baseball,” Silver Spring-Takoma manager Doug Remer said. “In the game of baseball, you got to make sure every at-bat counts, every pitch counts no matter what the score is, so we were up, but we didn’t have that sense of urgency where we needed to shut it down right then. We thought that we could just cruise like we have been, and that’s what’s going to happen, especially against a good team.”

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T-Bolts win summer baseball season opener against Alexandria, 8-3

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Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts' Devon Jeffreys (7) waits on the pitch by Alexandria Aces starting pitcher Wyatt Rush (37).Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts' Devon Jeffreys (7) waits on the pitch by Alexandria Aces starting pitcher Wyatt Rush (37). PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  SILVER SPRING — The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts dominated the Alexandria Aces 8-3 in their season opener for the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League on Tuesday, taking advantage of a few unlucky errors by the Aces.

What started as a close game quickly went to an inevitable defeat for the Aces, as two runs at the bottom of the seventh made the lead nearly insurmountable. The Thunderbolts’ pitching proved to be on point as well, frustrating the Aces’ hitters.

“They had some good arms out there, and they were to take advantage of that and we didn’t make our adjustments, you know,” said Aces head coach Chris Berset.

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After several comebacks, Gaithersburg falls to Herndon Braves in 11th inning

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FCA Herndon Braves' catcher Mitch Mendler blocks the slide of Gaithersburg Giants' Trace Bucey. The Braves' defense held on for an 8-7 win in 11 innings. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKFCA Herndon Braves catcher Mitch Mendler blocks the slide of Gaithersburg Giants' Trace Bucey. The Braves' defense held on for an 8-7 win in 11 innings. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  GAITHERSBURG — The visiting FCA Herndon Braves baseball team survived the third comeback attempt of the night by the Gaithersburg Giants to get the 8-7 win in the 11th inning in the season opener for the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League on Tuesday night.

“No lead is ever safe,” Braves manager Chris Warren said. “You have to just execute because they definitely did not quit and put themselves in a position to win the game at the end.”

After five innings of a defensive deadlock, the Braves struck first in the top of the sixth, when pitcher Ethan Delahunty grounded a shot up the right infield line to bring home pinch hitter Brandon White.

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Howard ends B-CC Barons’ run for a state title

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Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons' Joe Eisenberg checks out the scoreboard which would turn out to be the final 5-3 score against the Howard Lions in the 4A state semifinal game. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKBethesda-Chevy Chase Barons' Joe Eisenberg checks out the scoreboard for what would turn out to be the final score, 5-3, against the Howard Lions in the 4A state semifinal game.  PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  BETHESDA — It had been 29 years since B-CC last advanced to the state semifinals. This season, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons won two playoff games on walk-off hits, and finally once again reached the state semifinals.

However, at Shirley Povich Field on Wednesday the magical run ended, as the Barons fell to the Howard Lions of Howard County, 5-3.

“The character of the guys,” Barons head coach John Schmidt said on what he took away from this season. “Say what you want about talent; I remember how you take care of yourself on the field. Even in a win or a loss, I thought we carried ourselves very well.”

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B-CC Barons walk off QO to advance to state semifinals

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Bethesda-Chevy Chase's Austin Taylor crosses the plate to score the winning run against Quince Orchard. Nils Townsend drove Taylor in with a game winning double. B-CC won its first Regional Finals win since 1989. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKBethesda-Chevy Chase Barons' Austin Taylor crosses the plate to score the winning run against the Quince Orchard Cougars, 2-1. Nils Townsend drove Taylor in with a game-winning double. B-CC won its first regional finals since 1989. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARK  COLUMBIA — Mother Nature couldn’t get in the way of the rolling Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons varsity baseball team as they triumphed Saturday over the Quince Orchard Cougars.

B-CC won the top overall seed in the 4A West region, but rain cost them the opportunity to host the regional championship game against Quince Orchard on Friday. Instead, the game moved a day later, and nearly an hour away to Columbia on a turf field.

No matter when or where the game was played, head coach John Schmidt and his Barons knew they would find a way to win.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Barons junior first baseman Nils Townsend hit a double to left field. Austin Taylor came around third and scored. B-CC had walked off Quince Orchard, winning the game 2-1, and advancing to the state semifinals for the first time since 1989.

“I got the fastball, so I cranked it. I knew it was going to be down. I was just thinking it was my time,” Townsend said.

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