By Matt Brown
Special to the Sentinel
SILVER SPRING – The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts extended their winning streak to six after prevailing in their first game against the Alexandria Aces, 8-1, and dominating the second game with an 11-1 win at Montgomery Blair Stadium on July 14.
With the playoffs right around the corner in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, the Thunderbolts have been consistent both offensively and defensively in their past six games.
“Obviously, a lot of things are clicking. Pitchers are settling in, which gives our offense a little more rhythm, and our defense is not out there as long, so that is the main reason we have been winning recently,” said Thunderbolts Manager Doug Remer. “I think as long as the guys continue to want to work hard, it shows off.”
The Thunderbolts wasted no time jumping out in front early in their second game of the doubleheader. After leadoff batter Corey Rosier walked, first baseman Ryan Roell crushed a first-pitch home run over the left-field fence to put Silver Spring-Takoma up by two. Two walks later in the inning set the stage for third baseman Daulton Martin and shortstop Dominic Ford to connect with a single each to score an additional four runs, making it a six-run advantage after one inning.
Aces starting pitcher Connor Campbell lasted just one inning after every Thunderbolt batter in the lineup got to the plate once during the period.
“We’ve been hitting all year; it’s just a matter of finding the right guys for the right spots and also linking them up with certain pitchers they are facing that day,” said Remer.
Pitcher Bradyn Kail had a stellar performance on the mound for the Thunderbolts, giving up only five hits and one earned run in his six-inning outing. Kail only struck out four batters in his six innings of work as he pitched to contact, allowing his defense to do the work for him.
“We haven’t had that performance all year. That was huge for us to be able to rest some arms,” said Remer. “Now the starters might be more inclined to go the distance now that they see we can do it. It should be a trickle effect.”
The Aces threatened multiple times but could not manage to push any of their runners in scoring positions across. Center fielder Javon Fields doubled to lead off the game but was stranded at third. Shortstop Ryan Peltier smacked a double of his own in the second inning but was stranded at second. Fields was left on base again in the third in scoring position after roping a single to center and stealing second.
Roell extended the hit parade for the Thunderbolts in the fifth inning when he ripped a double down the left-field line, scoring two more runs for the Thunderbolts. Roell started the season slow hitting-wise but has now emerged as one of Silver Spring-Takoma’s go-to power hitters in the middle of the lineup with four home runs on the season. He trails only left fielder Tony Gallo, who has six home runs.
“I was just looking for fastballs out of the hand, not trying to do too much. I started off slow. I was actually going through a struggle. It wasn’t a fun time.” said Roell. “I am starting to trust my hands, more especially trying to stay towards the right part of the field, especially right-center.”
The Thunderbolts have momentum going into the last part of the regular season as the Cal Ripken League playoffs begin after July 25.