Entering the 2019 season, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts looked to avenge last season’s League Championship Series loss to the Bethesda Big Train on Opening Day.
That goal did not come to fruition, as Bethesda jumped out to a big lead early and buried the Thunderbolts, who could not muster any offense against Ryan Okuda in a 10-1 loss.
The Big Train plated four in the first thanks to RBIs from Matt Thomas, Drew Hamrock, Tate Soderstrom and Anthony Piccolino.
Bethesda continued to pour it on against Thunderbolts pitcher Luke Rettig in the second, scoring three on an error and two-run groundout to go ahead 7-0.
Rettig struggled with his command all evening, lasting just two innings and taking the loss while issuing five walks and hitting a batter. He gave up seven runs and struck out just one.
Austin Weber entered for the Thunderbolts in the third and settled the game down a little, giving up two runs and striking out five in three innings.
Kobe Kato, Soderstrom and Thomas led the way for the Big Train, driving in seven runs, while Gio Diaz and Ryan Daugherty each had a multi-hit game.
Catcher Tyler Murray was one of the lone bright spots for the Thunderbolts, drilling two of the team’s five hits.
Rojo Prairie did a solid job covering the final 4 innings, allowing just one run and striking out eight, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep the Thunderbolts in the game as Bethesda’s pitching continued to dominate.
Okuda remained locked in for the Big Train, striking out nine and allowing just two hits over six shutdown innings while picking up the win.
Kato added another sacrifice fly in the ninth to extend Bethesda’s lead. Thunderbolts’ first baseman Ryan Roell flared an RBI single to plate a run in the bottom of the frame, but Chase Lee then retired Evan Blum to seal the Big Train win.
The Thunderbolts return home Thursday night looking for their first win of the season against the 0-2 FCA Braves.