BETHESDA — The 2018 Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League All-Star game was played at Shirley Povich Field, the home of the Bethesda Big Train. It was the stars from that very Big Train team that led the way for the South team, as they soundly defeated the North, 15-1.
“Honestly, no,” FCA Herndon Braves manager Chris Warren, who coached the South team, said when asked if he expected the offensive outburst. “That was a little bit unexpected. But hey, guys came out and swung the bat well.”
The South team scored 14 unanswered runs in the game, leading them to their dominant win.
The Big Train had the most players selected to the All-Star game out of any team in the league, with 15. Carson Taylor, a member of that Big Train contingent, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the game. He finished the game with four hits in four at bats, and three runs scored.
“I was just trying to have fun honestly,” Taylor said of his day.
“It never crossed my mind,” Taylor said when asked if he was thinking about the award during the game. “I was just trying to have fun.”
The South team opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, and held a 1-0 lead into the top of the third inning. There, Anthony Servideo of the North team, and a member of the Baltimore Redbirds, drove in a run to tie the game.
In the bottom of the third, the South responded, and took a lead they would never relinquish. The South scored four in the bottom of the third, three in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the bottom of the fifth. At that point, the South held a commanding 11-1 lead.
The North pitching staff found more success in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, including a scoreless top of the seventh with one strikeout from Gaithersburg Giants starting pitcher Jaret Bennett.
However, the South team had one last big inning in their bats. In the bottom of the ninth, the South added to their lead with four more runs, ultimately winning the game 15-1.
“It was definitely a hitters’ game tonight, which is good for the fans. The fans want to see runs scored, they want to see home runs, they want to see action,” Cal Ripken League commissioner Jason Woodward said.
The fans didn’t get to see any home runs, but the big crowd at Shirley Povich Field certainly saw a ton of action.
The South team scored their 15 runs on 15 hits with no errors. The North had one run on seven hits with four errors.
In addition to Taylor, a number of South hitters had big days. Jahleel Sewer of the DC Grays had two RBIs and two runs scored. Tyler Villaroman of the Big Train and Brett Norwood of the Braves each had three RBIs, tying for the game high. John Glenn of the Big Train also had two RBIs.
The North team was led by Servideo, who had a two-for-three day with the only RBI on the North squad.
Brett Kreyer of the Braves recorded the win in the game, while Alex Klitsas of the Giants took the loss.
All in all, of the All-Star players from the four Cal Ripken League teams in Montgomery County (Big Train, Giants, Rockville Express and Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts), the Big Train led the way with 15, the Giants had 6, the Thunderbolts had four and the Express three.