Big Train Blast T-Bolts

Heading into Thursday’s game against the league-leading Bethesda Big Train, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts knew they could afford few errors against their closest rival.

Unfortunately for the Thunderbolts, they made a plethora of mistakes, falling behind early and never recovering in a 15-5 loss.

Bethesda got on the board early, with Jacob Southern roping a two-out RBI double in the first inning to put the Big Train up 1-0. Southern led Bethesda with four hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle.

The Big Train extended their lead in the third against Bryan Gilliam, as Southern homered and two runs came in on two wild pitches.

Gilliam made his first start in over two weeks and was up-and-down. He gave up seven earned runs and six hits while striking out five in 4.1 innings, taking the loss. However, he did not receive a lot of help from his defense, which recorded five errors.

The onslaught continued in the fifth inning, as Bethesda pushed across five more runs to take a 9-0 lead, punctuated by three runs scoring on two wild pitches and an error.

The Thunderbolts showed life in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs and getting to Big Train starter Michael Bechtold, who did not record an out in the inning. Bechtold allowed two earned runs and six hits while striking out four in four-plus innings.

But Bethesda kept pushing, scoring three more runs in the seventh inning to go ahead 12-3. Ryan Roell and Lucas Donlon drilled home runs in the bottom of the inning for the Thunderbolts, but it was too late to have much of an effect by that point.

The Big Train scored three more in the top of the ninth, and Jarred Billen retired the side in the bottom of the inning to cap Bethesda’s win.

The Thunderbolts will get a day off tomorrow before heading to Alexandria for a doubleheader with the Aces Saturday.