Yesrerday’s Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League games were postponed due to the extreme heat forecast for the region. With the heat sticking around today, the League nevertheless will go ahead with a full slate of games as the shortened 38-game season winds to a close.
In a nod to the weather, The T-Bolts will face the Bethesda Big Train tonight at 7 pm instead the usual Sunday 6 pm start time. The Bolts (19-16) are seeking to clinch second place in the League and a first round playoff bye, through either a win over the Train (29-6) or a DC Grays (16-19) loss to the Alexandria Aces (10-24) tonight at the Nats Baseball Academy in Washington.
The Bolts will send Tanner Jacobson (Queens University of Charlotte) to the mound to face Michael Bechtold (James Madison). Tanner is 0-1 on the season, the loss coming July 7 in a game against the Big Train at Povich, in which he yielded five runs on five hits over four innings in a 7-1 Train win. Bechtold is 3-0 with one win June 20 over the Thunderbolts at Povich in which he pitched five innings allowing one run on three hits.
The T-Bolts are coming off a comeback win Friday night at Blair over the DC Grays, 9-7, in a game that saw the Bolts trail 4-0, 5-1, and 7-6 in the eighth inning. The Bolts pushed through three runs in the bottom of the frame to grab the lead and Tyler Dyball (University of Hawaii) shut the door in the ninth to preserve the victory.
The Big Train hasn’t lost a game since June 30 (a 9-4 defeat to Gaithersburg at home) and have won 12 straight League contests as they cruise into the post-season playoffs. This is the last meeting of the regular season between the teams and the Train has taken six of seven, including all contests at Blair. The Bolts did win at Shirley Povich on June 7, besting Bethesda, 13-4.
The Bolts travel to Alexandria on Monday, then finish the regular season at home on Tuesday against the FCA Braves. The Braves, Grays, and Giants are in a pitched battle for third through fifth place with the Grays a half game ahead of the Braves, and the Braves a half game ahead of the Giants. At stake is home field advantage in single elimination games. Alexandria is in last place with no chance to move up and will travel to the home field of the third place team for their play-in game. The Braves and Giants play a critical doubleheader at South County Field today while the Grays host the Aces.
Game time on the T-Bolts Radio Network is 6:55 pm with Julian Baron and Neal Lavon on the call. Clark Boinis will tweet.