Players shake hands as the Bolts fall to the Big Train two games to none in the LCS Semifinals.

By: Zachary Levine

A once improbable late-season run has reached its end with the Bolts falling 8-0 to the Big Train at Blair on Wednesday night (7/26). Quick scoring by the Big Train and a smaller Bolts squad didn’t dampen the celebratory mood at Blair, as fans enjoyed some bonus baseball under the lights. Even as the Big Train struck for five runs before the start of the fourth inning, kids still enjoyed the classic “races around the bases,” founder Dick O’Connor still made it fun to buy a “long arm” of raffle tickets, and Coach Doug Remer still found a way to talk it up with Bolts supporters mid-game. As Big Train reliever Austin Keen recorded the final out a few hours later, the Bolts received a standing ovation for their successful season and improbable playoff run. Bolts players will now head home and prepare for their college seasons or even MLB tryouts in the coming days. We thank our fans for their continued support of the team, and hope to see you back at Blair next June! Check back on our website in the coming days or on our Facebook and Twitter pages for pictures and videos from our 2017 season and playoff run. Relive the excitement of any Bolts home or playoff game on our Mixlr page in the “showreel” category, which contains an archive of all Bolts radio broadcasts from this and past seasons.


Semifinal Series Schedule

7/25: Game One • 7pm • Povich Field • Bethesda, MD • L 2-0

7/26: Game Two • TBD • Blair Stadium • Silver Spring, MD L 8-0

Round One vs. Aces Game Recap • by Zachary Levine

The Bolts knocked off the third-seeded Alexandria Aces by the final score of 15-14 in a stunning come-from-behind victory in the tenth inning to advance to the semifinals series.

It seemed practically over, the Bolts down 13-2 heading into the top of the sixth inning. Bolts fans were perhaps just about ready to give up on their team, when the miracle began. It started with an Aces pitching change, as Hughes Page took over for Alexandria starter Andrew Coker. Perhaps it was a change intended to give Coker some rest before the next round. Regardless, as Coker left, so did the Aces dominance. Jimmy Cain started the hitting for the Bolts, taking the seventh pitch he saw to right field for a stand-up double. Cain then advanced to third on an Ace Felder groundout. Up came the reliable Cooper Williams, who walked, along with Brett Simon. The bases were loaded for Alex Yi-Chen Jou, who ripped a double to right field, scoring both Cain and Williams. Colbert joined the hit-parade moments later with another two-RBI double that allowed Simon and Alex Yi-Chen Jou to cross the plate. After Page walked the next batter, Tommy Gardiner, Aces skipper David DeSilva had seen enough. Chase Evans ascended the hill as the Aces looked to him to put out the fire, which just twenty minutes ago had seemed unlikely.

Garrett Stonehouse, the right-fielder from Elon, was next to the plate. Stonehouse delivered yet another double, scoring the speedy Carl Colbert. Richie Schiekofer, a hero himself in a mid-season game against Gaithersburg, was the next batter. Schiekofer singled to right, scoring Tommy Gardiner and allowing Stonehouse to advance to third. Jimmy Cain was up next, stepping in for his second at-bat in the inning. Cain cashed in again, sending one out to left and scoring Garrett Stonehouse. Cain’s single made him two-for-two in the inning. Ace Felder was up next, and the second pitch he saw was to the backstop, allowing Cain to advance to second and Schiekofer to third. Felder, with two men in scoring position, cashed in once again, sending a hard-hit shot to right and scoring two more runs. Cooper Williams and Brett Simon were the next two batters, but the magic had run out for the Bolts, as both flew out to left. The top of the sixth saw nine runners cross the plate on seven hits.

The Bolts were back in the game, now only trailing by two, but had more work to do. The problem for the Bolts defense to this point had been run prevention. This became more important than ever after the team had clawed their way back into the game. Carson Pinkney, who had taken over on the mound for Gavin Weyman the inning prior, continued his dominance in the bottom half of the sixth, allowing only one runner to reach base (walk) and ultimately retiring the side.

The Bolts went down in order in the top half of the seventh, and only allowed one run to cross the plate in the home half of the inning, with Nick Slaughter doubling to center and eventually coming around to score on an Ethan Cady single.

The top of the eighth saw seven more batters come to the plate for the Bolts, as a Jimmy Cain double to left started a two out rally. Ace Felder drove Cain in with a single to left, and the Bolts later loaded the bases with both Cooper Williams and Brett Simon reaching, but Alex Yi-Chen Jou ended the rally, grounding out and stranding the bases loaded for the Bolts. The score was 14-12 Aces heading into the final frame.

The game felt about over as Aces closer Dom Masullo took to the mound in search of his seventh save on the year. Masullo, who had only walked two batters in just over twenty innings pitched in the regular season, walked the first two batters he faced on Monday (Gardiner, Stonehouse). The Bolts were still alive as Richie Schiekofer stepped into the batter’s box with no outs and two runners on. Schiekofer doubled, as Gardiner and Stonehouse steamed around the base pads and across the plate. The end of Masullo’s reign had come, as well as his 0.42 ERA. Jimmy Cain and Ace Felder, both with an opportunity to give the Bolts their first lead of the game, flew out.

Garrett Stonehouse scores to tie the game on a Richie Schiekofer two-RBI double.

The Bolts faithful were on their feet as Tyler Robinson took the mound in an attempt to shut down the Aces and send the game to the tenth. After giving up a walk to lead-off batter Max Schuemann, Robinson settled in and struck out the powerful Nick Slaughter. With only one down, up came Eli Boggess. Boggess hit one to third, where Jimmy Cain fielded it, threw it to the waiting SS Carl Colbert at second, who fired a throw right down into the dirt, which bounced back up and landed in the glove of an outstretched Cooper Williams at first base for the improbable double play to end the ninth frame. The Bolts had staved off the heart of the Aces lineup, and with the game well past the three-hour mark, it was time for free baseball.

Dan Buratto, a junior from Santa Barbara Community College, took over on the mound for the Aces, as his team looked to stop the Bolts and set themselves up for a walk-off in the bottom half of the frame. The hard-hitting Cooper Williams was first up for the Bolts. Williams hit one deep to center field, yet playable, but Aces CF DaVonn Griffin dropped the ball, allowing Williams to reach second. Brett Simon, next up for the Bolts, grounded out, but Williams advanced to third on the play. The Bolts were ninety feet away from taking the lead in a game they once trailed 13-2. Alex Yi-Chen Jou, one of three T-Bolts Taiwanese players and the subject of preseason talk and excitement, was the next batter. After battling it out with Buratto, Alex topped a ball which landed a few feet in front of the plate. It was ruled fair and picked up by Aces catcher Nick Slaughter, who airmailed a throw over the head of first baseman Mack Nathanson, allowing Cooper Williams to score from third and give the Bolts the lead. The Bolts went down quietly in the rest of the inning, leaving it up to Tyler Robinson to finish the job.

Robinson took to the mound with a one-run lead and a chance to finish off the comeback. Mack Nathanson started off the bottom half of the frame with a ground out to Bolts second baseman Tommy Gardiner. Alex Andronica, pinch hitting for Ethan Cady, was the next batter. Andronica grounded as well, bringing the Bolts within one out of glory. Kam Smith was up next. Smith singled past shortstop Carl Colbert, giving the Aces a much needed baserunner. Logan Goodnight was called in to pinch run for Smith. Todd Elwood stepped up to the plate with the Aces showing signs of life. On the third pitch he saw from Robinson, Elwood hit a grounder right towards the second baseman Gardiner, who threw to Cooper Williams for the final out. The comeback was complete, but the celebration had just begun for the Bolts.

We will have more images and video from this incredible playoff game soon.


The game will now be played at Shirley Povich Field at 7pm on Monday, July 24, 2017.

Your Silver Spring Takoma Thunderbolts defeated the Loudoun Riverdogs last night in a doubleheader at Blair Stadium last night (July 21) and the twin winds propelled the TBolts into the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League Playoffs. The sixth seed TBolts will take on the third seed Alexandria Aces on Sunday July 23rd at Frank Mann Field in Alexandria, Virginia. Game time 7:00 pm Congratulations to our T-Bolts for landing a CRCBL playoff spot three years in a row! Note: The playoffs are operated by the league, thus Tbolt passes will not be honored for the playoff games.


As the Bolts take on the field for a must-win playoff game on 7/23 against the Alexandria Aces, we are pleased to announce we will be bringing our Mixlr radio broadcast set on the road! Tune in as your Bolts radio team has the call live from Frank Mann Field in Alexandria, VA. Click here to listen now.


TBolt All Stars Garrett Stonehouse, Cooper Williams (HR Derby), William Brown, Brodie Leftridge, Carl Colbert, and Head Coach Doug Remer

Congratulations to Thunderbolts pitcher William Brown (Anne Arundel CC), infielder Carl Colbert (University of South Carolina Beaufort), center fielder Brodie Leftridge (University of Tennessee), and outfielder Garrett Stonehouse (Elon University) for their selection to the North Division 2017 Ripken League All-Star team. The game will be played at Povich Field in Bethesda on Monday, July 10 with a start time of 7:30 pm. Gates open at 3:30 pm for batting practice. Admission is $5.




Meet the 2017 T-Bolts Video Series

Our 2017 Meet the T-Bolts video series is out! Get to know our players and then come on out to see them in action at Blair.

*There are seven videos in this series. Click the button in the top right corner of the player to view more.

Help keep the T-Bolts on the air!

Fans, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts need your support to keep the internet broadcasts on the air. We would welcome a small donation from you that would defray the costs of the broadcasts and ensure you can hear all our home games for the 2017 season. Please make your check out to the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, and send it to Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, 8639B 16th Street; Suite 135, Silver Spring, MD 20910. And rest assured that whatever you send is fully tax-deductible. So help support the Thunderbolts radio efforts this season—Go Bolts! On the field and on the air!

Keep up with the T-Bolts by listening to our weekly podcast!

Maryland Community Baseball and The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts present a weekly podcast called Takoma Baseball Today about baseball in the region, with a focus on the T-bolts. The podcast can be accessed by the link at the T-bolts website as well as on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/neal-lavon/takoma-baseball-today so make sure you listen in.

The half hour programs will update listeners on the latest information from the T-bolts and will also look at local college baseball, youth baseball in the region, and the latest trends in the major and minor leagues.

Host Neal Lavon will talk with the Thunderbolts’ Dick O’Connor and others about these topics and we hope you’ll listen in for the latest updates on your Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts.

Listen to all T-Bolts home games LIVE online

As the season gets under way, take note that all T-bolts home games will be broadcast live on Mixlr this year. If you can’t make it to the ballpark, broadcast veterans Neal Lavon and Nate Kresch return for another year on the call. The pair is joined by college broadcasters Zachary Levine, Lauren Hoffman, and Gary Perry. Tune in at http://mixlr.com/silver-spring-takoma-t-bolts/.

2017 Season Starts on Friday 6/9

The Thunderbolts get set to host the Koa Green Wave in a final preseason test before tomorrow’s opener against Rockville. Activities leading up to tonight’s game include a family picnic, beginning at 4:30pm.

Opening day is set for Friday, June 9th at 7pm against the defending Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League, the Bethesda Big Train. Arrive before 6:40 and receive free raffle tickets for a chance to win one of many fun prizes. Four players from Taiwan join the T-bolts this season.

Shortstop Alex Yi-Chen Jou comes over straight out of high school, where he was studying abroad in Fukuoka, Japan. Jou had a .370 batting average, with 12 home runs and 44 RBIs in his high school career.

Come out to one of nineteen home games this year to enjoy watching college players chase their big league dreams. We have games and prizes all throughout the night, taking in a T-bolts game at Blair is sure to be an action-packed experience.

Longtime Coach,
Board Member Passes at 67

The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts are deeply saddened by the passing of long time Thunderbolts Board Member Gordon Pavy. Gordon was a beloved and talented youth baseball coach and supporter of the Silver Spring-Takoma Park baseball community. Our hearts go out to Gordon’s family and all who were touched by his love for the game.

Here is the link to Gordon’s obituary, as published in the Washington Post. Gordon was honored for his dedication to the community in a ceremony on April 16, 2016 at Montgomery Blair Stadium.

 Former T-bolt, Cecil, Signs with Cardinalsbrett-cecil-cardinals

Former Thunderbolts pitcher Brett Cecil, showing the power of free agency in the current off season, signed a $30.5 million, 4 year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals in November. Click here to read more.


T-Bolts Announce Partnership with KOA

Contact: Richard O’Connor

Thunderbolts Baseball signs sponsorship agreement with Koa Sports League, Inc.

The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts are pleased to announce a two-year sponsorship agreement with Koa Sports League, Inc.

The Thunderbolts have been in operation since 2000 and are a charter member of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. Koa operates youth training and competition programs in baseball, field hockey, flag football and basketball.

As part of the agreement, Koa will provide funding and promotional assistance to the Thunderbolts during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Koa will also provide administrative staff to promote Thunderbolts summer baseball camps, recruit players and host families, and assist with game-day promotions and operations. Koa will advertise its sports programs during Thunderbolts home games, utilize the Thunderbolts’ social media programs and promote special games that focus on Koa programs.

“We are excited to join with Koa in this sponsorship,” said Edward Sharp, President of Maryland Community Baseball (the parent corporation of the Thunderbolts). “This agreement will enhance our longstanding commitment to promote youth baseball in Montgomery County and the Silver Spring-Takoma Park communities.”

“We look forward to helping the Thunderbolts promote youth baseball in Silver Spring and Takoma Park, which we see as our prime commitment in the community,” said Tony Korson, founder and CEO, Koa Sports League.

“Koa becomes the first long-term official sponsor of the Thunderbolts,” said Richard O’Connor, Thunderbolts founder and director. “We think this agreement with Koa is, in baseball parlance, a grand slam. It’s a great deal for all involved.”

Koa Sports League, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating in Montgomery County, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which promotes youth baseball in Maryland, operates a collegiate summer baseball team, and youth baseball camps.


Local photographer extraordinaire Susie Shaffer took pictures of your T-Bolts. To view Susie’s wonderful photos of your favorite T-Bolts from 2016, CLICK HERE.


Celebrate a birthday, hold a family picnic, or have a company outing at Blair Stadium during a Thunderbolts home game this summer. For more info see T-Bolts Game Day Parties.


Please support the Thunderbolts through the Combined Federal Campaign.  Our CFC Number is 84598. We are listed in the Children’s Services and Youth Sports CFC catalog as Maryland Community Baseball, which is the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that operates the team. Visit www.localyouth.org and click on “Members” to see the listing for the team.

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For more information, call (301) 983-1358 or email Tboltsbaseball@gmail.com.

©2017 Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts Baseball except where otherwise noted.
All Rights Reserved.

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