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.”
Colangelo put some blame on the umpires as well, after some calls that had him and the crowd surprised.
The Dodgers capitalized on the Big Train’s mistakes, and overcame their initial three-point deficit to take the lead, and were in danger of giving it up only at the very end.
“Big Train’s a tough team, and they’re competitive, and they’ll fight to the end, and we’re just going down to the end of the season and we’re battling, anything we can do to stay in the game, and we’re victorious today,” said Dodgers’ manager Derek Brown.
Scoring started in the second inning, with a single from catcher Justin Morris bringing home infielder Vinny Esposito.
Infielder Garrett Kueber helped bring in another run, and a single from outfielder Peyton Sorrels notched up two more points, giving the Big Train a three-point lead at the top of the second.
The Dodgers would quickly catch up in the fourth inning, however, with five runs scored in the inning, giving them a comfortable two-point lead over the Big Train.
Two pitchers were brought in to try to soften the blow at the bottom of the fourth inning, but altogether they walked five players with the bases loaded to give the Dodgers the lead.
Outfielder Logan Farrar darted home after a passed ball in the fifth inning, the Big Train now one run short of tying the game.
Outfielder Cody Brown almost scored on a sliding run to home but was ruled out, which left many in the Big Train dugout and the stands debating the umpire’s call.
A double at the bottom of the eighth inning by Dodgers infielder Shane Coker brought home three runs, giving the Dodgers a four-point lead over the Big Train and leaving victory nearly out of reach for the Bethesda team.
The Big Train pulled off a near-comeback that had nearly the entire stadium chanting their name. With two outs on the board, a double by Farrar brought home Morris and infielder Gunnar Lambert, and then a single grounder to center field by infielder Clayton Daniel pulled Farrar in for the third and final run for the Big Train.
During the Big Train’s surprise resurgence, the Dodgers pulled out pitcher Brandon Hovel and put in Edwin Lopez.
Infielder Allen Smoot was promptly tagged out after a groundball to right field, dashing hopes for a Big Train victory and handing the win for the Dodgers.
“We saw the inning down four, and we made it a one-run game,” said Farrar.