After being sent to the losers’ bracket of the Cap Ripken Collegiate Baseball League tournament by the Baltimore Redbirds two nights earlier, the top-seeded Bethesda Big Train avoided its season ending on Friday afternoon when it edged the Redbirds, 2-1, at Kelley Park in Gaithersburg.
Baltimore could have clinched its third straight Cal Ripken tournament championship with a victory on Friday, but instead the Big Train forced a deciding game Saturday at Shirley Povich Field. Originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, the game is now tentatively set to begin at 5, pending potential weather-related issues.
Bethesda left-handed Bo Logan and Baltimore southpaw Sean Kennedy were virtually inseperable through eight innings Friday, with each pitcher allowing just one run. Baltimore scored first against Logan in the fourth on a two-out single by Mac Caples, but the Big Train drew even by getting an unearned run against Kennedy in the seventh on a single by Andrew Brown.
Although the eighth inning would be Kennedy’s last inning of work, Bethesda coach Sal Colangelo had no qualms about sending Logan back to the mound for the ninth after his team had forged a 2-1 lead on another run-scoring single by Andrew Brown that enabled Chris Lewis, who led off the inning with a broken bat double down the left field line against reliever Alex Massey to score the go-ahead run.
“I think Bo was only at 91, 92 pitches when he went back out for the ninth,” Colangelo said. “He had really good command all day and they had only managed one run on three hits against him, so I thought he would be strong enough to finish it.”
Logan, a rising fifth-year senior at Florida Atlantic University who played for the Big Train in 2012 but took last summer off, admitted his pending fatigue changed course when Bethesda scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.
“I was getting a little tired late, but when we scored I felt a huge adrenaline rush and then I couldn’t wait to get back out there,” Logan said. “I really didn’t have a changeup today, but my fastball and curveball were really working. It’s meant a lot to me to be back on the team this summer. I don’t know who’s going to pitch tomorrow night, but I’m glad we’re back at home.”
Logan was stellar through nine complete for Bethesda and his counterpart Kennedy was equally as good through eight innings on the mound for the Redbirds. Kennedy allowed one unearned run in the seventh when Brandow Lowe reached on a broken bat grounder, Lewis followed with a single and later Brown added an infield single that enabled Lowe to score the tying run.
“I was just able to find a hole,” said Brown, who also later drove in the winning run in the ninth. “It was just a matter of not trying to do too much. Sometimes when you try to do too much you make mistake. I just took some good swings and both times found a hole.”
Lewis led off the ninth with a broken bat double down the left field line, then with one out Brown delivered a single up the middle that enabled Lewis to score the go-ahead run. Ryne Willard also singled that inning, but the Big Train failed to score an insurance run when Tony DiLeo grounded to third.
Bethesda 2, Baltimore 1
Bethesda 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 - 2
Baltimore 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 - 1
WP - Bo Logan - LP - Alex Massey - 2B - BBT - Chris Lewis - RBI - BBT - Andrew Brown 2. BR - Mac Caples 1.