T-Bolts Lose Season Finale 8-4 In Weather-Shortened Contest

July 26, 2012Herndon, Virginia. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts said adieu to the 2012 season in Herndon on Thursday night after a 8-4 defeat in a rain-shortened game that was called complete after 5 ½ innings. As the T-Bolts packed up their gear and prepared to head home, the scene became rather touching as teammates shook hands, hugged, and said good luck for the coming school year. The few who wore the bright-blue jersey of the T-Bolts for the last time looked teary-eyed as they took off their jerseys for the last time to finish a memorable chapter in their lives.

Paul Beers (Towson University) and Sam Beatty (Shepard College) seemed content on wearing their uniforms as long as they could, as if they were not ready for the season to end. The two hurlers went onto the Herndon High School Football field and played a game of who could heave the baseball the furthest. Beers got off one throw that must have traveled for eighty yards. Before Beatty had a chance to make a return throw, the lights went out, as if someone said, “That’s all kids. Let’s call it a season.”

“Do you know what my final batting average was?” asked Chris Bzozowksi (Keystone College), who began the season with a sixteen-game hitting-streak and was one of five T-Bolts representatives in the CRL All-Star Game. Chris would be happy to know that he finished fourth in the league with a .379 batting average.

“I head back to school on August twentieth,” said T-Bolts pitching coach Mike Bzozowski, who has only a few weeks to get organized before continuing to work towards his law degree.

After the handshakes and goodbyes were completed, the players headed to the parking lot. One by one, the cars filled with T-Bolts exited, and then disappeared into night.

Notes: Congratulations to the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts fans for clicking the turn styles nearly 3,000 times this season to take second place honors in the CRL season’s attendance.

The home plate umpire said something that Jake Taylor (RadfordUniversity) found amusing as he stepped into the batter’s box for the first time. “Does that mean I have to swing at every pitch,”Taylor replied with a laugh. Taylor then hit a RBI single into centerfield to score the first run of the night. Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s College) gave the T-Bolts a 2-0 lead in the second inning with his third homer of the season. James Vazquez of the Braves entered the game as the league’s leading hitter, but Devon Davis (University of Montevallo) and Joel Rosencrance (St. Bonaventure University) each proceeded to strike him out tonight.

Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast University) went 2 for 2 and had the last T-Bolts base hit of 2012. Before the rain, the winds picked up and a pop fly heading to left field was blown toward the third base line where Tommy Cunningham made a gallant effort to make the catch, but the gusty winds blew the pill just out of his reach. A minute later, time was called so someone could retrieve the flag that had been blown off the flagpole and into the field of play. All-Star Hurler Devon Davis and Matt Marley (Iona College) played their last T-Bolt game.

Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University), the T-Bolts All-Star middle infielder, who had not played since pulling his hamstring at Youses on July 23rd, finished his T-Bolts career with a nine-game hitting-streak.

It has been a pleasure to write the game summaries for the T-Bolts in 2012. See you next summer.  (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to our Gary Sarnoff, our T-Bolts Correspondent who covered the games and posted so many thoughtful pieces about each contest.  The T-Bolts are grateful for his contributions and look forward to having him back for the 2013 season.

T-Bolts Game Correspondent Gary Sarnoff Scoring A Game At Youse’s Orioles

T-Bolts Drop Final Two Home Games On Don’t Go Back To Rockville and Tie Dye T-Shirt Night at Blair Stadium

July 25, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland. A spirited crowd of 300 plus T-Bolts fans turned out to witness the T-Bolts’ final home games of the season. Although the T-Bolts lost both games to the Rockville Express by scores of 6-4 and 6-3, the hometown fans had fun anyway. In the first game of the double header, the T-Bolts were actually the visiting team, as the game was  a make up of an earlier rained out game at Rockville. With the game being designated our second annual “Don’t Go Back To Rockville Night,” it was most fitting as the Express did not have to go back to Rockville to play that home game, playing instead in Silver Spring. In the second game, the T-Bolts donned Tie-Dye T-Shirts during the game.

As for the games, in the first of two seven-inning contests, Rockville scored five in the third inning against T-Bolts starting pitcher James Mills (Young Harris College), who began the inning by striking out the lead off hitter. The next four batters singles to score two, then after an out the Express resumed the rally by scoring two more on a double by Johnny Cole, and Cole crossed home when the next batter singled. The Express added another run in the next inning to make it 6-0.

The T-Bolts scored one in the fifth-inning on a three-bagger by Bobby Vitulano (Iona Colelge) and a groundout by Jerry Chavarria (Southern University) then came to life in the seventh inning with a few hits, a few gifts, and a near come-from-behind victory.

With two aboard on an error and a walk, and nobody out, Ben Carson (University of California-PA) thumped a RBI double. Two groundouts scored two more to cut the lead to 6-4. With two down and the bases empty, Adam Spires (Newberry College) was hit by a pitch, and then things got very interesting when Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) socked a double to put Spire son third. And guess who was coming up?

Jake Taylor (Radford University) strolled to the plate, representing the winning run. A long one would do it, or a hit could tie it. With first base open, the Express elected to pitch to the league’s number two home run leader, and it turned out to be the best idea when Rockville pitcher Domick Vattune got Taylor to hit a grounder to end the game.

A two-run home run by Cole made it 3-0, Express, after the visiting team’s first at bat. In the second inning the Guests belted four hits to score three more against T-Bolts starting pitcher Hunter Englehart (UniversityofHartford) to go ahead by six.  After that Englehart settled down and did not allow a single hit or base runner until he felt generous enough to walk one in the seventh.

Adam Spires got the T-Bolts on the board in the fourth inning with his seventh round-tripper of the season, a solo blast, to make it 6-1. The T-Bolts inched closer in the fifth- inning when Hunter Boudreaux (University of New Orleans) walked, Curt Wertz Jr. (Towson University) doubled to put runner on second and third, and Boudreaux scored on an infield hit by Vitulano.Spiresfollowed with a single, and Bzozowski was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Jake Taylor, but the Big Guy swung and missed on a 2-2 pitch to end the threat.

In the sixth, Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast University) doubled and moved to third on a hit by Boudreaux. Thinking he could catch the Express off guard, Thompson broke for home, but was thrown out to end the inning.

The T-Bolts went down in order in the seventh-inning to end the game.

Notes: Three-hundred and thirty-two fans at Montgomery-Blair Stadium tonight. Adam Spires is 6 for his last 13 at the plate. Hunter Englehart struck out nine tonight to tie him for second in the league with 51 K’s. Hunter Renfro hit his league-leading fifteenth homer for Bethesda tonight to put him two ahead of Jake Taylor.  (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Drop Another To Vienna 11-5 in Seven Innings

July 24, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts lost to the Vienna River Dogs 11-5 in a seven inning makeup of a game originally scheduled for June 30th. History was made at Blair Stadium when Joel Rosencrance (St. Bonaventure) became the first Player-Coach for the T-Bolts, filling in for Head Coach Josh Eachues.

Player-Coach Rosencrance decided to have some fun with his lineup on Tuesday during the later innings of a rare seven-inning afternoon game. With the T-Bolts trailing, 11-4, after the Vienna River Dogs rallied for six in the top of the sixth, Rosencrance inserted six members of the T-Bolts pitching staff into the lineup as pinch-hitters and in the field. In the top of the seventh, there were six pitchers on the diamond for the team in the field, not counting Colin Kelly (Catholic University of America) who was doing the pitching. But the zaniest of the Coach’s moves was Peirce Marston (Stevens Institute of Technology) behind the plate as a left-handed catcher.

The T-Bolts hurlers did a fine job in hitting by going two for six with Paul Beers (Towson University) and James Mills (Young Harris) receiving the honors of placing the ball into the field for base hits. The fielding accolades went to Marston, who was credited with a putout, and James Mills for making one assist.

As for the game, the Vienna River Dogs scored four in the third, one in the fourth, and six in the sixth inning in an 11-5 win.

The T-Bolts started fast with three runs in the first-inning, which was highlighted by Jake Taylor’s thirteenth homer of the season which landed on the top of the  Fire Station beyond left field. In the fifth, Bobby Vitulano (Iona College) singled to score Matt Marley (Iona College). The final run was scored in the seventh inning on a single by Jake Taylor (Radford University).

Notes: Jake Taylor is just one home run away from tying for the league lead. Three RBI for Taylor today gives him 32 for the season. There have been 24 left-handed catchers in major league history. Did you know that the greatest player of all began his career as a catcher? “Sure it was awkward,” Babe Ruth said about his left-handed catching days on the sandlots of Baltimore while playing for the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys. “I used a regular (right-handed) catcher’s mitt on my left hand and when I wanted to throw to the bases I shook off the mitt and threw left handed.” (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Lose To Aces 7-3

July 23, 2012Alexandria, Virginia. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts lost their final meeting of the season with the Alexandria Aces 7-3.  Another evening in the Cal Ripken League, and another rally sent the T-Bolts to their tenth consecutive defeat before of 371 fans on a pleasant Monday evening at Frank Mann Field in Alexandria who witnessed the Aces erase a 2-1 deficit with four in the fifth inning en route to a 7-3 win. Until the Aces uprising, Matt Marley (Iona College) had pitched splendidly through four innings in his first starting pitching assignment of the season. He began the bottom the fifth by walking the lead off batter, but two fielder’s choices in a row appeared to keep him in command. That was followed by a base hit, a hit batsman to load the bases, and a reversal in fortunes for Marley and the T-Bolts when Chris Sweeney, who was four for ten with one home run, two doubles, and seven RBI against the T-Bolts in 2012, stepped in, and Whack! Sweeney connected on a two-strike pitch and sent one into the gap in right-center. As Ben Carson and Chris Thompson attempted to rundown the ball, all three base runners rounded the bases and counted to turn Sweeney’s double into a 4-2 Aces lead. Another hit followed to score Sweeney to rub salt into the wound.

In the bottom of the seventh, relief pitcher Joel Rosencrance (St. Bonaventure) induced the leadoff batter to pop one into the air. As the ball was on its way down after reaching its peak, mass confusion reigned among the T-Bolts infield over who would make the catch. By the time an answer could be determined, the ball had dropped onto the grass behind the pitcher’s mound for a single. The next batter, Alex Buccilli, made the T-Bolts pay dearly by sending a long drive to centerfield. Ben Carson (University of California-PA) immediately got on his horse until he ran out of room, 403 feet away from home plate; then watched the ball hit the top of the yellow tubing atop the fence and bounce over for a two-run homer.

The bottom of the T-Bolts batting order manufactured a run in the top of the eighth when Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast University) doubled to deep center and Jerry Chavarria (Southern University) singled.

Notes: Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s) had a two-hit game and drove in the first two runs of the game with a two-out bases loaded double in the second inning. Adam Spires (NewberryCollege) was 3 for 5 today. Chris Thompson made two hits in four at bats. Cunningham is now batting .295. Joel Rosencrance struck out four in three innings pitched.  (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

Four Run Eighth-Inning Subdues T-Bolts.

July 22, 2012Washington, D.C. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts lost to the D.C. Grays 7-4. Heading into the bottom of the eighth at Holy Field on Sunday, the T-Bolts were ahead by a run after Zach Ell (PennState) singled to score Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast University) with the go ahead run in the top half of the inning. But three hits by the Grays, which the T-Bolts supported with a walk, a hit batsman, and an error, led to four runs in the bottom half of the inning, and a D.C. Grays victory.

The defeat was another heartbreaker for our Thunderbolts, and for Devon Davis (University of Montevallo) who pitched a fine game before giving up a RBI double to tie the game, 4-4, in the tough-luck eighth-inning. Chris Harrison (Coastal Carolina University) then got the call out of the bullpen, and he was immediately tagged for a single to score the go ahead run. After getting the second out of the inning, he hit a batter and gave up another hit before getting the third out to stop the bleeding, but by that time the Grays owned a 7-4 lead.

There was a glimpse of hope when Kurt Wertz Jr. (TowsonUniversity) was hit by a pitch to start the ninth, but he was erased when the next batter hit into a twin killing. Two batters later, Jake Taylor (Radford University) grounded out to end the game and send the T-Bolts to their ninth consecutive defeat.

Once again, the Thunderbolts drew first blood by scoring three in their first at bat. Kurt Wertz Jr., who has been specializing in lead off homers of late, decided to start Sunday’s game with a triple, and he scored when Booby Vitulano (IonaCollege) grounded to the shortstop for a 1-0 T-Bolts lead. After Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) doubled, Jake Taylor tagged Grays’ pitcher Danny O’Donnell for a home run to make it 3-0.

But the lead did not hold. In the bottom of the second the Grays got three runs on just one hit to tie the game with two walks, an error, and two fielder’s choices aiding the Home Team’s rally.

Neither team could score in the next five innings, but in the eighth Joel Rosencrance (St. Bonaventure) walked and Chris Thompson, who came on to pinch-run, moved up a base on a passed ball; then advanced again on a long fly out by Adam Spires (Newberry College). After the second out of the inning, Zach Ell came through in the clutch with an RBI hit.

Before tonight’s game, the contest suspended between the two teams played at Montgomery-Blair Stadium on July 7th, resumed in the bottom of the tenth with the T-Bolts trailing, 15-9. The Grays quickly retired the side to end that game.

Notes: Two more hits on Sunday by Chris Bzozowski lifted his third best average in the league to .398. Jake Taylor’s home run tonight was his twelfth of the season to tie him for second best in the CRL, and place him just two away from the league lead. Chris Bzozowski and Jake Taylor are tied for the team lead and for ninth in the league with 29 RBI apiece. The T-Bolts travel to Alexandria on Monday night to take on the Aces. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Lose To Redbirds 12-2

July 20, 2012Towson, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts lost on the road to the  Baltimore Redbirds 12-2. The T-Bolts were ahead of Corey Taylor and the Red Birds, 2-1, after one inning before one of those big innings that has haunted the T-Bolts all summer changed the complexion of the game. The Red Birds scored seven in the bottom of the second to pave the way for the T-Bolts seventh consecutive loss.

For the second time this week, Kurt Wertz Jr. (Towson University) knocked the first pitch of the game over the fence. Zach Ell (PennState) followed with a walk, moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, and scored on Tommy Cunningham’s (St. Joseph’s) single for a 2-0 T-Bolts lead.

T-Bolts starting pitcher Hunter Englehart (University of Hartford) got into a first inning jam, but managed to escape the inning with just one run to make it a 2-1 game. He was not as fortunate in the next inning.

Baltimore began their half of the second with three hits and a walk before the first out was recorded. After two more singles, John Gatlin hit a three-run homer to make it an 8-2 Red Birds lead.

Fighting back from a six-run deficit against Corey Fisher, one of the league’s best, was a big order. The T-Bolts made an effort in the third when Ell and Adam Spires (NewberryCollege) singled, but any ray hope was dashed when the next batter hit into a double play. After that,Taylorallowed just two scattered hits and struck out four more before departing after the seventh inning. The Red Birds scored three in the fourth and one in the eighth to cap the scoring.

Notes: After allowing just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings tonight, Paul Beers’ ERA is 1.16. And congratulations are in order, for Beers is the CRCBL Pitcher of the Week. Likewise, congratulations to Jake Taylor who was named the CRCBL Player of the Week as well. Corey Taylor, the winning pitcher tonight, is tied for first in the CRL in wins (6), is second in strikeouts (47), and third in ERA (3.05). Zach Ell was two for three tonight to lift his batting average to .286. Hey T-Bolts fans! Get your tie dye t-shirts ready for Tie Dye T-Shirt Saturday night, when the T-Bolts play host to the River Dogs at 7:00.  (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Take One On The Chin 

July 19, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland.  It was enough to make a die-hard T-Bolts fan cry. On Thursday night, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts were getting crushed by the South Maryland Nationals when, at 9:14, the umpires thankfully called the game due to flashes of lightning in the close distance of Montgomery-Blair Stadium.

How bad was Thursday’s loss? In the bottom of the seventh, the T-Bolts trailed, 18-1 to a  team that is second to last in the league in hitting and dead last in runs scored. But the way they tagged three T-Bolts hurlers, one would think that it was Babe Ruth and the 1927 Yankees posing as the visiting team. The score reverted back to the last complete inning, such that the T-Bolts lost 12-1.

To add to the headaches, the T-Bolts committed five errors which led to four unearned runs. On offense the T-Bolts were handcuffed by CRCBL All-Star pitcher Michael Bowie, who allowed just one run on eight eights and did not issue a free pass to a single batter.

Although it was the toughest outing of the season for our T-Bolts, they did have their moments: in the fifth, Zach Ell (Penn State) singled and hustled all the way to third after the leftfielder overthrew the cutoff man and the entire Nationals infield, and he scored when Ben Carson (University of California-PA) doubled off the top of the right field fence; Alex Deise (Mississippi State) struck out eight batters in 2 1/3 innings pitched; Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s) and Ben Carson both went two for three at the plate. That’s the good news of a difficult night for everyone associated with the T-Bolts.

The T-Bolts return home on Saturday night for T-Bolts  Tie-Dye T-Shirt Night. On Friday they play at the Baltimore Redbirds.

Notes: Alex Deise struck out four in the top of the fifth. But wait a minute, you wonder. How can there be four strikeouts when there are three outs in an inning? The answer: one of the strikeout victims got on base after the third strike skipped by the catcher. A batter can advance to first base on a dropped third strike unless he is tagged or thrown out. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Lose, 11-9, After Leading by 7 

July 18, 2012Glen Burnie, Maryland. The 2012 playoff hopes of the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts turned as dark as the overcast skies that hovered over Bachman Field this evening. While the T-Bolts are still mathematically alive, it would take a lot for them surpass three other teams and overtake the Orioles to finish in the sixth and final playoff spot. Ahead, 8-1, after Bobby Vitulano (Iona College) scored on a Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast) single in the top of the fifth the T-Bolts appeared helpless as the Orioles scored ten runs in the later innings for a stunning 11-9 win.

Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College), who claimed he never hit well against the Orioles, smacked a two-run homer in the first inning for a 2-0 T-Bolts lead. One inning later, after Zach Ell (PennState) tripled and scored on a Kurt Wertz Jr. (Towson University) single, the KeystoneCollege infielder drove a hit to score another run. Jake Taylor (Radford University) followed with a single, and Bzozowski and Taylor both traveled home on a double by Joel Rosencrance (St. Bonaventure). Adam Spires (Newberry) followed with a RBI single to make it 7-0, T-Bolts.

A seven-run lead seemed safe, especially after Taylor Topping (Young Harris College) handled the Orioles through the first three frames. The T-Bolts starting pitcher retired the first nine batters before finally yielded one run in the bottom of the fourth. In the fifth, the first three Orioles batters singled to load the bases. One T-Bolts error and four runs later, the Orioles had closed the gap to 8-5. Bobby Vitulano’s second hit of the game put the T-Bolts up by four, and when Topping retired the O’s in order in the bottom of the sixth, victory seemed eminent.

In the bottom of the seventh, with two outs, a runner on base, and another run scored by the Home Team to make it 9-6, Topping suddenly lost his control. After giving up his first two walks of the game to load the bases, Colin Kelly (Catholic University) came on to pitch, and he proceeded to walk the next batter to force in a run before getting the final out of the inning.

It was clear that it was up the pitchers to nail down the win after the T-Bolts went down in order in their half of the eighth. Kelly got the first out in the Orioles eighth, but an error and a walk persuaded T-Bolts head coach Josh Eachues to call on Peirce Marston (Steven Institute of Technology), who was greeted by a single to fill the bases.

Bases loaded, just one out, and Ryan Metzler, who had two hits on Monday and one in this game, came to the plate. Marston took a deep breath and proceeded to throw three by the batter for a huge second out.

Another dangerous batter strolled up to the plate in the person of Dominick Fratanuoto, who had tagged the T-Bolts for three hits on Monday night. The O’s outfielder came through by hitting Marston’s first offering into the deep outfield, and when the play had ended, Fratanuoto had given the O’s a 10-9 lead with a three-run triple.

A single by Brendan Butler followed to score another run.

Notes: All nine T-Bolts starters contributed to the T-Bolts 17-hit attack tonight with at least one hit. Kurt Wertz Jr. led the way with three hits to lift his season average to .353 (11th best in CRL). Bzozowski, the league’s third best hitter with a .410 batting average, had two hits tonight. Bzozowski is eighth in the CRL with 29 RBI.  Dominick Fratanuono went 5 for 9 with 6 RBI against the T-Bolts this season. The T-Bolts return home on Thursday night against the Southern Maryland Nationals. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Lose A Close One 5-3

July 16, 2012Glen Burnie, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts lost to Youse’s Orioles at Bachman field tonight 5-3. Monday night in Glen Burnie was a must win for the T-Bolts, who had trailed the sixth-place Youses Orioles by five games for the CRL’s last playoff spot. Two hours and seventeen minutes later, the T-Bolts found themselves one more game behind the O’s after a 5-3 loss.

Orioles’ pitchers David Sapp and Bobby Ruse were unheralded and had allowed more hits than innings pitched during the season, but on Monday the two combined to allow just five hits while whiffing eight. Sapp, who got the win tonight, kept the T-Bolts off guard with a change-up that buckled the knees of four batters who watched strike three sail by, and two others went down swinging.Ruseyielded zero hits in the game’s last 2 2/3 innings to earn the save.

Devon Davis (University of Montevallo), fresh off an appearance in the CRL All-Star game, found trouble in the first inning when the first three batters tagged him to score two runs. With nobody out and a runner on second, the dangerous K.J. Hockaday hit one deep to right field which was caught by Zach Ell (Penn State), but let the runner on second to scoot up a base, and he scored when the next batter grounded out for a 3-0 Youses lead.

There were two down in the fifth when Dominick Fratantuono (three hits) singled and stole second, and an infield hit and an error on the same play scored Fratantuono to make it 4-0.

Meanwhile, the T-Bolts had just one hit against Sapp through five innings. The Orioles starting pitcher was kind enough to include two walks, but he retired ten in a row between those two passes. The T-Bolts finally broke through in the top of the sixth when Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville) singled to extend his hitting-streak to nine consecutive games, and after the runner moved up a base on a wild pitch, Jake Taylor (Radford University) came through with a run-scoring single to add to his string of at least one RBI in his last five games.

One inning later, the T-Bolts loaded the bases on a walk and back-to-back singles by Zach Ell and Jerry Chavaria (Southern University). That’s when the Orioles made a call to the bullpen for Bobby Ruse, who uncharacteristically walked the next batter, Kurt Wertz Jr. (Towson), to force in a run. Chris Bzozowski (KeystoneCollege), who had replaced Jake Huxtable one inning earlier, hit a fly ball to centerfield that was deep enough to allow Zach Ell to trot home to make it a 4-3 game.

Billy Butler of the Orioles got onboard on a fielder’s choice, stole second, and got a ticket to cross home on two wild pitches. Ruse retired the T-Bolts in the eighth and ninth to end the game.

Notes: Jake Huxtable limped off the field and retired for the evening after adding to his hitting-streak with his sixth inning single. He is listed as day to day. Chris Bzozowski pinch-ran for Huxtable and came around to score the first of three T-Bolts runs. Jake Taylor is ninth in the league with twenty-seven RBI. Chris Bzozowski is one RBI behind his teammate. Mike Gottlieb, the head coach of the Towson Universitybaseball team, was present to watch three of his players in action. His players are T-Bolts outfielder Kurt Wertz Jr., and David Sapp, and Dominick Fratantuono of the Orioles. No doubt, he was pleased with his players’ performances. One other member of the Towson Tigers is T-Bolts hurler Paul Beers. Speaking of Paul Beers, his proud Mom was on hand on Monday to cheer on the T-Bolts. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Victimized By Rally in a 15-9 Defeat  

July 15, 2012Vienna, Virginia. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts’ strong hitting attack once again put them in position to win before their lead melted away in the sweltering summer heat. After squandering a six-run lead, they fought back to take a one-run lead, but a seven-run River Dogs eighth-inning sent the T-Bolts to another loss.

For the third consecutive game, the T-Bolts scored first when Kurtz Wertz Jr. (TowsonUniversity) hit the game’s first pitch over the fence. After scoring one in the second-inning on two errors, Jake Taylor (RadfordUniversity) made it his third home-run in his last six at bats with a three-run blast for his eleventh of the season. The T-Bolts added another one in the fourth prior to the River Dogs finally scoring one on Casey Taylor’s second round-tripper of the season. The visiting team countered with one in the top of the fifth for a 7-1 lead, but the River Dogs turned on the power for seven runs scored on three home runs to take a one-run after seven innings.

In the top of the eighth, the T-Bolts scored two to retake the lead, 9-8. A walk and the second error of the game by a River Dogs pitcher put runners on second and third with nobody out, and Ben Carson (University of California-PA) followed with a sacrifice fly to score one run. A single by Kurt Wertz Jr. scored the second run.

The River dogs tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on two singles, a sacrifice, and another single. After Sam Beatty (ShepherdUniversity) struck out T.J. Ehrsam for the second out of the inning, Johnny Bladel doubled in a pair to reclaim the lead for the River Dogs.

Two walks followed to load the bases for the Brett Williams, the leagues second best hitter, and he made the T-Bolts pay with a two-run single. Another walk and a double scored two in the inning.

Notes: The River Dogs hit four homers in four consecutive innings. Jake Taylor (11 HR’s) is just two home-runs away from the league lead. Another note about Mr. Taylor is he has added twenty-five points to his batting average since winning the league’s home-run derby on July 11th. With two hits on Sunday, Kurt Wertz Jr. is now the tenth leading hitter in the CRL at .351. River Dogs outfielder Casey Turner is 10 for 16 against the T-Bolts this season. Jake Huxtable (JacksonvilleUniversity) has an eight-game hitting streak, is 17 for his last 40, and his hitting .336. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

Herndon Braves Win Battle of the Bats, Sink T-Bolts 15-11

July 14, 2012.  Herndon, Virginia. The Herndon Braves batting duo of Jake Rowland and James Vazquez were too much for the T-Bolts on Friday night in Herndon when the two All-Stars combined for seven hits, six runs, three homers, and eleven RBI in the Braves 15-11 win over the T-Bolts.

The Thunderbolts did have an answer to the Rowland and Vazquez show in the persons of Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University) and Jake Taylor (Radford University), who had four hits apiece and combined for three homers and six RBI. The dynamic duo of the T-Bolts starred in a five run sixth-inning and contributed to two more runs one inning later to give the T-Bolts their first lead of the game. But the inability of the struggling T-Bolts pitching staff to hold leads, once again came into play when they gave way to a six-run Braves seventh which paved the way for the T-Bolts eighth loss in their last nine games.

The Guests took a 2-0 first inning lead on home runs by Huxtable and Taylor. For Taylor, who knocked in the two runs in the first inning to give the T-Bolts a 2-0 lead the previous evening, the clout was his ninth of the season.

The Braves took a 4-2 lead with two in their half of the first and two in the second with Rowland knocking in all four runs. The T-Bolts closed the gap to 4-3 when Taylor hit his second home run of the game in the top of the fourth, but in the bottom of the fifth Vazquez hit a two-run homer, and after the next batter doubled, Jake Thomas sent one over the fence to give the Braves an 8-3 lead.

In the top of the sixth, the T-Bolts matched the Braves with a pair of two run homers and upped them by one to tie the game. After Huxtable began the rally with a two-bagger, Chris Bzozowski (KeystoneCollege) blasted his sixth round-tripper of 2012. Taylor followed with his third consecutive hit and Tommy Cunningham came through with his second home run of the season to match the pair of  two-run homers by the Braves. The T-Bolts proceeded to do one better when, later in the inning, Bobby Vitulano went yard to tie the game, 8-8.

The Braves took a 9-8 lead with an unearned run in the last of the sixth, but in the seventh the T-Bolts took their first lead since the first inning when Taylor made another hit to score a pair for a 10-9 lead.

The table was then set for Mr. Rowland and Mr. Vazquez in the Braves half of the seventh. With the bases loaded, Rowland belted a two-run single to reclaim the lead. Vazquez then stepped in and hit his second homer of the night for three more. Before the inning was over, an error and two singles added another to give the Braves a 15-10 lead.

In the top of the eighth, Huxtable drove in the final run with his fourth hit of the game.

Notes: After going 4 for 5 tonight, Jake Huxtable is batting .333. Hunter Englehart struck out seven tonight to give him thirty-three this season (ninth best in the CRL). James Vazquez leads the league in hitting (.463), is third in HR’s (9) and RBI (33). Jake Taylor is second in the league in HR’s (10).Chris Bzozowski and Adam Spires (NewberryCollege) have six home runs apiece. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts Lose 9-4 to Aces

July 13, 2012. Silver Spring, Maryland. The hope of a repeat brilliant pitching performance from the night before by Taylor Topping (Young Harris) and Paul Beers (Towson University) which led to a Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts win in twelve-innings at Waldorf was not meant to be. Before the second largest crowd of the season at Montgomery-Blair Stadium on Friday night, three Thunderbolts hurlers combined for ten walks, two hit batsman, and two wild pitches in a 9-5 loss to the Alexandria Aces. Those base on balls were especially hurtful, especially in a top of the fifth when three backboned a three-run rally to give the Aces a 5-2 lead.

Jake Taylor, the batting star from the night before, and the home run derby winner from two nights ago, continued his successful week by smacking a two-run double to give the T-Bolts a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The lead, however, would be short-lived, because in the next inning Anthony Papio hit his fourth home-run of the season, and in the following inning one of those walks, a hit, and a sac fly tied the score, 2-2.

The fatal fifth began innocent enough when T-Bolts starter James Mills (Young Harris) retired the first two batters. A seemingly harmless two-out base hit followed, but that escalated into a run after a walk, another hit, and another walk followed.

At this point T-Bolts Head Coach Josh Eachues elected to replace Mills with Chris Harrison (Coastal Carolina), and the relief pitcher walked the first batter he faced to force in another run, and then uncorked a wild pitch to allow the third run of the inning.

The score became 6-2, Aces, in the seventh when Chris Sweeney connected for his sixth home-run. In the bottom of the seventh the Thunderbolts scored one after a sacrifice by Jake Huxtable put runners on second and third and Adam Spires followed with a sac fly to reduce the lead to three again. The Aces extended their lead with one in the eighth, and two walks and a T-Bolts error led to another pair in the ninth.

For what it was worth, the T-Bolts scored two in their last at bat when Jerry Chavarria (Southern University) doubled and scored on an error and Adam Spires blasted a RBI triple.

Notes: Adam Spires (NewberryCollege) and Jake Taylor (RadfordUniversity) had two RBI apiece to give them twenty-one for the season. Chris Bzozowski (KeystoneCollege) leads the T-Bolts with twenty-two. Chris Harrison struck out five in 2.2 innings tonight. Alex Deise (Mississippi State) struck out the first three batters he faced. Zach Ell (PennState) and Jerry Chavarria (Southern University) led the team tonight in hits with two apiece. Our Thunderbolts hit the road for four consecutive road games before returning home next Thursday for a7:00game against the South Maryland Nationals. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts Win!  Defeat Southern Maryland Nationals 4-3 in 12

July 12, 2012Waldorf, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts returned to action last night following the CRCBL All Star Break and defeated the Southern Maryland Nationals 4-3 at Regency Furniture Stadium in 12 innings. Taylor Topping and Paul Beers combined to throw one of the T-Bolts’ most impressive pitching performances of the season. Recently-crowned CRCBL Home Run Derby winner Jake Taylor hit a solo shot in the top of the 12th, providing the margin of victory for the T-Bolts.

Jake Taylor (Radford University) was zero for his last ten when he stepped in with two outs in the top of the twelfth and with the game tied, 3-3. Nickolay Uherek, the fourth Southern Maryland pitcher of the game, fell behind in the count after missing on his first two pitches. Knowing that the hurler had to get a strike over,Taylor dug in, and he sent the pitcher’s next offering over the outfield wall to send the T-Bolts to their first win in July.

But while Taylor’s eighth home-run of the season scored the winning run, it was the pitching of Taylor Topping (Young Harris) Paul Beers (Towson University) that made the difference. Topping held the Nationals to 3 runs over seven and two-thirds innings. Beers entered the contest in the bottom of the eighth with the T-Bolts trailing by a run. The Thunderbolts relief specialist proceeded to retire the Nationals in order through the eleventh, and by doing so he allowed his teammates to tie the game, and eventually take the lead on Taylor’s home run. In the bottom of the twelfth, Bryce Shemer snapped Beers’ string of retiring ten in a row with a lead off double before moving up a base after the next hitter sacrificed.

With just one out, the trying run on third, and with the T-Bolts clinging to a 4-3 lead, the pressure was on.  Beers induced the next batter to hit a harmless fly to right field that Zach Ell clutched for the second out. Down to the last out, Southern Maryland Head Coach Adam Gladstone matched a lefty pinch-hitter against the right-handed Beers, but Beers was unfazed, and after throwing a strike past the batter and a foul ball, he threw another that the batter waved at for strike three.

T-Bolts Head Coach Josh Eachues gave the starting pitching assignment to Taylor Topping, and the young man from the University of Montevallo came through by striking out nine in 7.2 innings. He was supported by his teammates, who did not commit an error tonight and scored two in the third for a 2-0 lead. In that inning, Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University) and Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) singled and moved up a base on a passed ball. They both scored when, with two outs, the Nationals third baseman muffed one.

Topping yielded just two hits, struck out five, and kept the Nats off the board through four innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Nationals outfielder Danny Breen tripled before scoring on a groundout, but all seemed fine since the T-Bolts still led, 2-1. That changed, however, when Spencer Wolfe, who homered in the Nationals come-from-behind win over the T-Bolts back on July 2nd, did it again with a man aboard to give the Nationals a 3-2 lead. That’s when the call went to the bullpen, and into the game came Beers.

Cunningham and Thompson began the ninth inning with back-to-back singles, and following Bobby Vitulano’s sacrifice, Zach Ell tied the game with a fly ball deep enough to centerfield to allow Ben Carson (University of California-PA, pinch-running for Cunningham) to tag and score to tie the game, 3-3.

Notes: After his superb pitching performance to earn his third win of the season, Beers’ ERA stands at 1.00. Jake Taylor knows what it is like to decide the contest in extra innings. Back on June 6th in Rockville, he hit a tremendous blast to break a 7-7 tie in extra innings in a T-Bolts win. And on Wednesday in Bethesda, he hit five out in the extra frame to win the CRCBL Home Run Derby. Chris Bzozowski went 3 for 5 to increase his batting average to .430 (3rd in the CRCBL). Jake Taylor’s eightth home run is second best in the league. Taylor Topping struck out nine tonight to give him twenty-six on the season and to tie him with Hunter Englehart (University ofHartford) for the team lead. (Summary by Gary Sarnoff – Happy Birthday Gary!)

T-Bolts Fight Hard But Lose 9-4 To Big Train

July 9, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland.  The month July continues to be unkind to the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. On Monday night our Home Town Team fell to the Bethesda Big Train, 9-4, to remain winless in July. Sam Kimec  (Wake Forest) pitched well for several innings, but was done in by a few miscues in the fourth and fifth innings which the Big Train batters readily took advantage of to pad their lead.  The T-Bolts hitters scored just four runs on seven hits, which is unusual for the T-Bolts lineup that has been producing runs and double-digit hit totals in most games this season.

Joel Rosencrance, who took over mound duties in relief, was one of the T-Bolts stars of the game. He was tough on the Big Train after entering the game in the sixth inning with a man on first and just one out. The versatile athlete from St. Bonaventure University proceeded to retire the first two batter he faced to end the inning. After facing the minimum during the next two innings, and retiring the first batter in the ninth, the Big Trains threatened by loading the bases, but Rosencrance managed to escape the jam without damage.

Another T-Bolts star on Monday night was Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast University) who hit two homers off the Big Train’s top hurler, Bo Logan. Thompson’s  first round-tripper cleared the right field fence to give the T-Bolts a 1-0 first inning lead. His second came two-innings later with a teammate aboard, and it sailed over the left field barrier to make it 3-1 in favor of the T-Bolts.

The Big Train quickly dissolved the lead with five runs in the top of the fourth while making it the seventh inning in the last five games that the opposition has batted around against the T-Bolts. When the rally finally ended, the Big Train had sent ten to the plate.

A two-run double one inning later made it 8-3, and after the Big Train added another run, T-Bolts Head Coach Josh Eachues turned to Rosencrance, who pitched the team’s best game since Devon Davis’ strong performance one week ago in Waldorf.

Chris Bzozowski led-off the T-Bolts’ sixth with a drive over the padding in centerfield for his fifth homer of the season.  It was estimated the drive traveled 440 feet before landing in the area around O’Connor’s Swamp.

The final T-Bolts’ star of the game belongs to the die-hard T-Bolts fans and TPSS baseball and softball teams for making Monday evening the biggest home crowd of the season.

Notes:  Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) was 2 for 3 on Monday to increase his season batting average to .426. He is also eighth in the league with 22 RBI. How about that T-Bolts’ defense turning five double plays this evening? While the fine fielding performance was a team effort, much credit must be given to Bobby Vitulano. The sweet-fielding shortstop from Iona College was involved in turning three of those twin killings. In the seventh inning, Vitulano ranged to his right to snag a grounder, then made a twisting move to make the throw to second while in the air. Second baseman Chris Bzozowski made a great pivot and throw to first, and first baseman Jake Taylor made a fine stretch to complete the 6-4-3 DP. Talk about a hard-working ballplayer, one morning last week Bobby Vitulano and a teammate put their priority of taking fielding practice ahead of needing a break from the recent intense heat. Chris Thompson now has four home runs for the season after hitting two on Monday night.    (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Pounded by Big Train 21-8.

July 8, 2012Bethesda, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts are struggling; especially the pitching staff. On Sunday night at Bethesda the Thunderbolts hurlers were tagged for twenty-one runs in a 21-8 loss to the Big Train to make it fifty runs in the last three games against their pitching staff.

The good news is the T-Bolts batters are still producing. All nine starters got at least one hit on Sunday. In the top of the third, they scored five runs to take a 5-4 lead before the pitching staff gave way to seven runs in the bottom of the fifth. One inning later, the Big Trains added five more for a 19-5 lead to assure the T-Bolts of their fifth consecutive defeat.

Big Train Hunter Renfroe had four hits, including a grand slam to add to his league-leading home run total. The Thunderbolts will get another chance to tame Hunter Renfroe and Bethesda when the Big Train travels to Montgomery Blair Stadium on Monday night at 7:00 pm.

Notes: Jake Taylor (Radford University) is second in the league with 7 home runs. Adam Spires (NewberryCollege) has 6 round-trippers. Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) is third in the CRCBL in batting (.421) and tenth in RBI (21).  (game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts Game Suspended In Bottom Of Tenth After D.C. Gray’s Score Six Runs In Top Of Tenth. 

July 7, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts game against the D.C. Grays was suspended in the bottom of the 1oth inning due to the onset of the 10:45 curfew at Blair Stadium with the Grays leading 15-9.  The remaining half inning of baseball will have to be made up at a later date when the Grays and the T-Bolts next face each other.

T-Bolts Lose 14-8 to Baltimore Redbirds 

July 6, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland. Over one-hundred faithful T-Bolts fans braved the extreme summer heat to watch their team take on the first-place Baltimore Redbirds at Montgomery-Blair Stadium on Friday night. As usual, the T-Bolts batters gave them plenty to cheer about by scoring eight runs on eleven hits against the league’s second best pitching staff. The improved Thunderbolts fielding also entertained the home crowd by executing another errorless game. The team’s struggling pitching staff, however, allowed fourteen earned runs on twenty-two hits in the T-Bolts fourth consecutive loss.

The pressure was on the T-Bolts batters from the start, thanks to Redbirds catcher Ian Rice who highlighted a five run first with a two-run homer, his fourth of the season. The Home Team came back with three in the bottom of the third when Chris Bzozowski (KeystoneCollege) added another game to his hitting-streak with a three-run home run.

The T-Bolts three-run rally was equaled by the Redbirds in the top of the fourth when they countered with three more to extend the lead back to five. Back came the T-Bolts with two more in their half of the fourth, thanks to a clutch two-out, two-run double by Kurt Wertz Jr. (Towson University). One inning later, after the Redbirds put three more on the board, Bzozowski doubled and scored on a hit by Jake Taylor (RadfordUniversity). A wild pitch counted for another run later in the inning to cut the lead to four. After Matt Marley (IonaCollege) held Baltimorescoreless in the sixth and seventh innings, the T-Bolts added another one on a wild pitch to cut the margin to three.

There was still hope for the Thunderbolts with the top of the batting order due up in the bottom of the eighth, especially after Marley held the visiting team scoreless for the third consecutive inning. But Redbirds pitcher Trevor Kelley sent them down in order. In the Baltimore ninth, with two outs and two runners on, Kyle Neverman smacked his fourth hit of the game – a two run triple – to seal the win. Sean Keselica followed with his fifth hit of the game to score the fourteenth and final Redbirds run.

Notes: Adam Spires (Newberry College) had one hit tonight to make it nine starts in a row with at least one hit. Chris Bzozowski is third in the league in hitting and sixth in RBI with twenty-one. Ben Carson (California University-PA) and Hunter Boudreaux (University of New Orleans) returned to the starting line up tonight. Carson celebrated his return with two hits. Thanks to our loyal T-Bolts fans, Montgomery-Blair Stadium was one of two CRCBL contests to host over one-hundred fans tonight. (Summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Lose 13-6 to Herndon Braves

July 5, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland. The second half of the 2012 summer season began for the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts with a drubbing by the Herndon Braves. After leading, 1-0, behind five strong innings by Taylor Topping, the T-Bolts were stunned by two Herndon rallies in consecutive innings. The Braves batted around in the sixth and seventh inning to take a commanding 8-1 lead. It became 10-1 before the T-Bolts bats came alive to post five in the eighth, but it was too little to late.

When the game finally ended after three hours and eighteen minutes in ninety-four degree heat, the T-Bolts had sustained their sixteenth loss of the season.

Taylor Topping (Young Harris College) faced just two over the minimum through the first five innings. But after the first five men reached base in the top of the sixth, Silver Spring-Takoma Head Coach Josh Eachus called on Joel Rosencrance to snuff the threat. After the new pitcher walked the first batter he faced to force in the third run of the inning, he retired the side.

Trailing by just two, the T-Bolts proceeded to load the bases in their half of the sixth but failed to score. Then the Braves proceeded to put the game out of reach after sending eleven to the plate in a five-run seventh inning. They added two more in the next inning.

In the bottom of the eighth, Bobby Vitulano, who has been hot of late, nailed a RBI triple. Zach Ell followed with a single to score Vitulano. Two walks, a hit batsman, and a sac fly scored two more, and Tommy Cunningham brought home another run with a single to cut the lead to 10-6.

The Braves finished with a home run in a three-run ninth inning. For the record, the final score was 13-6.

Notes: Two hits by Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) extended his current hit streak to six consecutive games, following a previous 2012 season streak of 15. Adam Spires (Newberry College) got a hit today to give him at least one hit in his last eight starts. Give credit to the T-Bolts hurlers for holding the league’s leading hitter, James Vazquez, to zero hits this evening. Bzozwoski is 13 for his last 23 for a .565 batting average. Six runs batted in by 6 different T-Bolts this evening.  (Summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Drop Doubleheader To Southern Maryland Nationals

July 2, 2012.  Waldorf, Maryland.  Monday Night at RegencyFurniture Park in Waldorf was expected to be a cakewalk for the T-Bolts. After all, our improving Home Town Team was playing a twin bill against a team that was riding a seven-game-losing-streak. But the unexpected happened when the T-Bolts lost twice to fall to 8-15 on the season.

The first game was a continuation of the June 22nd rain-shortened affair.  The game resumed where it had left off: with the T-Bolts as the home team and with no score in the bottom of the second. That changed in the fourth when, with a man on third and two outs, the South Maryland right fielder dropped a fly ball to allow the runner to score. Bobby Vitulano (IonaCollege) followed with a long drive to deep left field. The T-Bolts’ shortstop dropped his bat in disgust, as if he expected a fly out, but he seemed pleased after watching his drive hit the leftfield wall. Another run counted for a 2-0 lead.

Meanwhile, T-Bolts starter Devon Davis (University of Montevallo) was pitching a gem. He walked a batter in the fourth and a gave up one hit in the sixth, but he erased both base runners with a devastating pickoff move to first base that caught both opponents flatfooted. The Nationals seventh ended whenDavistagged a runner trying to score on a wild pitch. T-Bolts catcher Joel Rosencrance (St BonaventureUniversity) made a fine recovery and throw toDavisto get the would-be scorer by two steps.

A hit by Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s University) made it 3-0 in the fifth, and one inning later, the T-Bolts scored one without the benefit of a hit. Four-zero seemed like a safe bet, especially the way Davis was throwing, but pitching on a sweltering hot night wearied our pitcher, and as he exited with the bases loaded, Head Coach Josh Eachues called on Samuel Beatty (Sheppard College) to put out the fire.

Things did not go well. Beatty’s second pitch skipped by Rosencrance to allow the lead runner to tally. After his next two pitches missed for ball three and four, Beatty uncorked another wild pitch that resulted in another run.  With runners now on second and third, and with a two-and-two count on the batter, Beatty threw one into the batter’s wheelhouse. Chris Wolfe swung and connected to send a deep fly to left field that left fielder Chris Thompson could only watch sail over the Ball Park’s miniature replica of Fenway’s Green Monster. The home run scored three to give the Nationals a 5-4 lead.

Beatty responded by getting the last two outs on three pitches. The T-Bolts batters also answered by loading the bases in their half of the eighth with two outs, but Rosencrance flew out to deep right center field to end the threat. The Nationals scored two more in the ninth and won by a final score: Nationals 7 T-Bolts 4.

The Thunderbolts took a 3-1 lead in the second inning of game two. Tommy Cunningham drove home two in the first inning with a double (his third hit of the evening). One inning later, Vitulano singled, stole second, and scored on Kurt Wertz JR’s (TowsonUniversity) hit. In the bottom of the second, the Nationals tagged T-Bolts starter Sam Kniec for a three-run homer to cap a four-run inning and take a 5-3 lead.  The Nationals tacked on 4 more runs to win the contest 9-3.

Notes: Chris Bzozoswki (Keystone College) was two for three in the nightcap to lift his season average to .414 (third best in the league). Kurt Wertz, Jr. is up to .362 (8th in the league). The T-Bolts went errorless in first game to make it two straight without a misque. Monday’s first game was scheduled for nine-innings; the nightcap for seven-innings. The T-Bolts are off on Tuesday and Wednesday. They resume action at7:00 on Thursday night when the Herndon Braves come to Montgomery-Blair Stadium. (Summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Drop One To Alexandria, 8-6

July 1, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland. There were no power outages in the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolt’s hitting attack at Montgomery-Blair Stadium on Sunday night, but there was shortage of innings. Our Home Town Team lost, 8-6 to the Alexandria Aces, 8-6. The T-Bolts showed character by fighting back to tie the game, but in the end the bat of Aces proved to be too much.

The T-Bolts started where they had left off in their sixteen-run attack from two nights before. In the bottom of the first, Kurt Wertz Jr. (TowsonUniversity) took a strike before sending one down the right field line for a leadoff double. Jake Huxtable (JacksonvilleUniversity) followed with hit to right field to score Wertz for a 1-0 lead. Chris Bzozwoski (KeystoneCollege), who appears to have caught fire at the plate again, singled. With runners on first and second, Huxtable tried to swipe third, but was thrown out. Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s College) walked and dependable Jake Taylor made it 2-0 with a RBI single.

Starting pitcher Hunter Englehart didn’t get the strikeouts tonight, but he did retire the first six of seven batters he faced, and he appeared to be heading for a good outing until the third inning when the Aces batted around and scored five for a 5-2 lead. Chris Sweeney applied the big blow by following an intentional pass with a three-run double. The T-Bolts did get one back in the fourth on singles by Adam Spires (Newberry College), Chris Thompson, and Zach Ell (Penn State), but the Aces responded by tallying in the top of the fifth when University of Maryland Sophomore Anthony Papio belted a solo homer, his third of the season.

In the bottom of the inning, Cunningham snapped a 0 for six spell with a single to score Bzozowski to cut the lead to two. After Chris Harrison (CoastalCarolinaCollege), who replaced Englehart in the fifth, retired the Aces in order in the top of the sixth, Chris Thompson (GulfCoastUniversity) hit a 3-2 pitch over the leftfield wall for his second homer in as many games. The next batter, Bobby Vitulano (IonaCollege), reached base on an error, and a sacrifice by Ell moved him into scoring position. After an out, Huxtible reached first on an infield hit to put runners on first and second for Bzozowski. The Aces manager responded by bringing in a fresh pitcher.

Bzozoswki patiently greeted the new hurler by watching three pitches miss the strike zone. Then after taking strike one, the T-Bolts batting Star hit one through the middle for his third hit of the game. Vitualano rounded third and scored to tie the game, 6-6.

Harrison disposed of the first two batters in the seventh, but he got into a jam when he hit the next batter and gave up a hit to put two men on for the dangerous Mr. Sweeney due up.

Sweeney battled and battled by fouling off three pitches after taking a strike and missing at the second offering. He then looked at ball one before connecting. Both runners scored on the double to give the Aces an 8-6 lead.

Notes: Chris Thompson has homered in back-to back games and has hit safely in his last six games. Adam Spires currently has a seven game-hitting-streak. The T-Bolts had an errorless game on Sunday – their first one since June 8th.  Chris Bzozowski was three for four on Sunday to up his batting average to .405. The T-Bolts will meet the South Maryland Nationals on Monday night for two games in Waldorf. Sunday’s game marks the halfway point of the season. With twenty-one games remaining, the T-Bolts are in ninth place. The second half of the season promises to be better. The T-Bolts have plenty of potent bats in the lineup, and the fielding is improving. Can the pitching staff come through? Will the team maintain its current level of intensity and consistency?  Come out to Blair Stadium and find out.  (Summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Away Game Against Rockville Express Postponed.

June 30, 2012.  Rockville, Maryland.  Due to damaged caused  by the historically crazy weather Friday evening, the T-Bolts game against the Rockville Express at Montgomery College tonight was postponed.  A makeup date will be announced soon.

T-Bolts Make It Two In A Row With 16-6 Win Over D.C. Grays.

June 29, 2012.  Silver Spring, Maryland. Baseball games are postponed due to inclement weather but never for excessive heat, and although the mercury reached 101 with a heat index over 120, the game went on as scheduled on Thursday evening at Montgomery-Blair Stadium, but the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts aren’t complaining after they scored 16 runs in 10-run romp over the D.C. Grays for their second consecutive win. Suddenly our T-Bolts are as hot as the weather.
Speaking of hot, how about Jake Taylor (Radford University), who has added seventy-four points to his batting average in his last three games by going eight for last twelve. On Thursday he went three for five with two home runs and also pitched a shutout inning in relief. Lately, there seems to be nothing that Taylor can’t do. Just give him a bat or ball and stay out of his way.

Kurt Wertz, Jr., (Towson University) and Zach Ell (Penn State) were also timely hitters in Thursday’s win. Wertz celebrated his return to the lineup by knocking in six runs, including three on his first homer of the summer. Zach Ell had three hits in four at bats and scored four runs. Adam Spires (Newberry College) and Bobby Vitulano (Iona College) also contributed with their second straight two-hit games.

James Mills (Young Harris College) and Peirce Marston (Steven Institute of Technology) pitched well. Mills pitched five-plus innings to earn his second win and Marston struck out three in two innings in relief. Mills struck out three while keeping the Grays off the scoreboard through the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, with the T-Bolts up, 2-0 after Chris Thompson’s (Florida Gulf Coast University) two-run homer, the Grays solved Mills for three runs. John Beaubien hit a one-out solo home run, and a hit, an error by Mills, a double, and a sacrifice fly scored two more for a 3-2 Grays lead.
Taylor led off the bottom of the forth with his first of two home runs. Spires followed with a two-bagger and scored on Vitulano’s single to give the T-Bolts a 4-3 lead. After Ell singled, Wertz snapped his 0 for his last 10 slump with a three-run homer to make it 7-3 in favor of the T-Bolts.

In the top of the sixth, the Grays pulled within two on a two-run, bases loaded hit and an error on the play. With just one out, and with runners at the corners, the T-Bolts suspected the Grays were up to something. Following three pickoff throws to first base, the runner broke for second on a two-strike pitch. After the batter swung and missed for strike three, T-Bolts catcher Joel Rosencrance (St. Bonaventure University) fired to second baseman Adam Spires, who applied the tag for a stike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play and retire the side.

The T-Bolts scored two without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the inning on two walks, two wild pitches, a balk, and a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the seventh, which was the biggest inning of the T-Bolts season, the home team sent twelve to the plate in a seven-run inning. The scoring started with Taylor’s second home run of the game; a two-run blast for his seventh of the season. Vitulano followed two walks with an RBI single, then after Ell singled to load the bases, Wertz smacked a two-run single for runs number four and five. After a wild pitch scored the inning’s sixth run, Chris Bzozowski Keystone College) singled in the last run of the frame for a 16-5 T-Bolts lead.

The Grays scored a run in the eighth on Beaubien’s second home run of the game. Jake Taylor struck out one batter while pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Notes: Two wins in a row have taken our T-Bolts (8-12) out of the League’s cellar. Jake Taylor now has seven home runs to place him second in the league to Hunter Renfro of the Big Train, who has eight. Taylor’s sudden surge should come as no surprise to T-Bolts fans since he had a five for five game earlier in the season. Chris Bzozowski (.386) is second in the league in hitting. Kurt Wertz, Jr., was six for seven before going 0 for ten, but he went 2 for 2 to finish Thursday’s game. Bobby Vitulano returned to short stop on Thursday and cleanly handled four chances at that position. (Summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Back In The Win Column With 7-4 Victory over Vienna River Dogs

June 28, 2012. Silver Spring, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts defeated the Vienna River Dogs 7-4 tonight behind seven strong innings of one-run ball by T-Bolts pitcher Taylor Topping (Young Harris College).  Thursday evening’s win before over one-hundred happy fans at Montgomery-Blair Stadium can be described as a team win. The T-Bolts executed in all areas of their game – batting, pitching, defense, and played perhaps their finest game of the season.

The solid defensive play tonight was encouraging. The T-Bolts have struggled in this department, and hopefully, Thursday night is a sign of things this come. Bobby Vitulano (Iona College), who played his best game of the summer, was a factor in tonight’s defense by having a hand in all three double plays. Zach Ell (Penn State) also contributed with his league-leading seventh outfield assist to putout a runner at the plate.

Jake Taylor (Radford University) led the offensive with three hits, three runs, and a double. Four other T-Bolts finished with two hits, including Vitulano. Topping pick up his third win (team high), and Paul Beers (Towson University) had another fine performance out of the bullpen to earn his second save.

The game started off as if the T-Bolts were in for another rough night. Bobby Rice greeted Topping with a lead-off single, and he would score when Trent Higginbothem, the CRCBL RBI leader, doubled. After Topping struck out the next batter, Casey Turner singled, and perhaps unaware or not thinking about who was about to field the hit, the third base coach waved Higginbothem around third base. The result at the plate was obvious, but the lesson learned: Zach Ell has a great arm; run at your own risk.
In the bottom of the second, Taylor, Vitulano, and Ell singled to manufacture the tying run. Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) led off the T-Bolts fourth with his third home run of the season. Taylor followed with a double and Adam Spires (Newberry College) singled to put runners on the corners. Spires broke for second, and after the catcher made an errant throw, Taylor trotted home to make it 3-1, T-Bolts.

A three run fifth was produced by consecutive singles from Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s University), Bzozowski, Taylor, Spires, and Vitulano for a 6-1 lead.

Things got nerve-racking when the River Dogs scored three in the eighth.  Sam Beatty (Shepherd College) got the first two outs of the inning, with two runners scoring. A T-Bolts’ error, their only one of the game, allowed the third run of  the inning to score. Paul Beers entered and stopped the bleeding, and when Zach Ell made a catch for the final out of the inning, it reminded us that the past is done and the best is ahead for our T-Bolts.

In the bottom of the eighth, leftfielder Matt Marley (Iona College) doubled and scored on a Chris Thompson’s (Florida Gulf Coast University) second hit of the night.

Notes: Chris Bzozowski, who lost his hitting streak the game before, socked two hits tonight. Adam Spires made his season debut behind the plate and was on the receiving end of Zach Ell’s assist as described above. Brett Williams, first baseman of the River Dogs, entered the game with 29 hits in 60 at bats, but tonight the T-Bolts limited him to one hit. Hey T-Bolts fans: come on out tomorrow night to Montgomery-Blair Stadium to see our T-Bolts take on the D.C. Grays. (game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Score 5 In The First, Lose 8-6 to Rockville Express in 9

June 27, 2012Rockville, Maryland.  The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts couldn’t hold on to a five run lead against the Rockville Express and dropped their third game in a row, by a score of 6-8.  The T-Bolts led the first place Rockville Express for six full innings at Knight’s Field on Wednesday night. Then came a Rockville rally in the bottom of the seventh followed by a squandered opportunity by the T-Bolts in the eighth, and after the heart of the order went down in order in the ninth, the Thunderbolts found themselves on the short end of the final score for the ninth time in their last ten contests.

Things started off beautifully in the top of the first when the T-Bolts batted around. After Ben Carson (University of California-PA) began the game with an infield pop out, Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University) drilled his first of three hits. Adam Spires (Newberry College) followed with his sixth home run of the season to give the T-Bolts a 2-0 lead. After two walks sandwiched a single to load the bases, Bobby Vitulano (Iona College) unloaded them with a triple for a 5-0 lead.

Rockville scored one in their first at bat and added two in the second on a two gifts from the T-Bolts. An error led to one run; a passed ball allowed a runner to reach third, and he tallied on a sacrifice fly. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, T-Bolts starting pitcher Sam Kmiec (Wake Forest) had a 0-2 count with two outs. But he lost that hitter after throwing four straight balls, and it cost him. Two straight hits scored the runner to cut the lead to 5-4.

In the Thunderbolts’ sixth, hits by Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast University) and Vitulano put runners on the corners with nobody out. Thompson scored on Zach Ell’s groundout for a 6-4 lead. Kmiec retired the Express in order in the sixth, but after allowing two hits to begin the seventh, Head Coach Josh Eachues replaced him with Chris Harrison (Coastal Carolina College). The new pitcher’s second pitch was a passed ball to put the runners into scoring position. Three pitches later, Harrison uncorked a wild pitch to allow a run to score to cut the T-Bolts’ lead to one. His next pitch was ball four.
After a single scored another run to tie the game, Harrison threw another wild pitch to move the runners into scoring position. They both scored when the next batter singled to give the Express an 8-6 lead.

Zach Ell (Penn State) began the eighth inning with a walk, but he was erased after trying to swipe second. The T-Bolts kept fighting, as usual, and Carson and Huxtable singled to put two on the bases for Adam Spires, the league’s leading home run hitter.

With his starting pitcher now having thrown 144 pitches in eight-plus innings, Rockville Manager Rick Price called to his bullpen. Spires swung at the new pitcher’s first offering and grounded one that resulted in a 6-4-3 twin killing to end the inning.
In the ninth, Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) flew to right to complete a 0 for four day to snap his fifteen-game-hitting streak. The next two batters struck out to end the game. (game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts’ Rally Falls Short in 11-8 Loss To Youse’s Orioles 

June 25, 2012. Silver Spring, Maryland. Cal Ripken, Jr., paid his second visit of the season to Montgomery-Blair Stadium on a pleasant Monday evening to watch Youse’s Orioles (and his son Ryan who plays first base for them) take on the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. Baseball’s Iron Man arrived after the first pitch, but in plenty of time to see the T-Bolts make a gallant effort to overcome a seven-run deficit. Our Hometown Team managed to cut the margin to two with a five-run seventh-inning before falling for the second straight night, by a score of 11-8.

Errors once again hurt the T-Bolts. Although they committed just two, they accounted for three unearned runs in a three-run loss. On the other hand, the T-Bolts bats pounded out 13 hits, with Ben Carson (California University of Pennsylvania) and Joel Rosencrance (St. Bonaventure) leading the attack with three apiece. Rosencrance, making his first appearance in the starting lineup in 2012, went 3 for 4 with three runs and two RBI. In his first plate appearance he powered two long drives high over the right field fence that landed in the next zip code. Unfortunately, both drives were foul. He settled for a walk and later came around to score the T-Bolts’ first run to tie the score, 1-1.

The Orioles countered and rallied with four in the third and one in each of the following two innings for a 7-1 lead. In the T-Bolts’ sixth Adam Spires (Newberry College) connected for his fifth home run of the season. Rosencrance and Carson followed with back-to-back singles, and both moved up a base on a sacrifice before Rosencrance counted on Chris Thompson’s (Florida Gulf Coast University) sacrifice fly to make it a 7-3 game.

Three hits and a walk engineered three runs for the Orioles in the seventh for a 10-3 lead. But the T-Bolts were not about to give up. They had the top of the order leading off the last of the seventh and they went to work.  After pinch-hitter Zach Ell (Penn State) grounded out to begin the inning, the next eight T-Bolts reached base. Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University) and Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s University) singled, Spires doubled to score one, Rosencrance smacked his third hit of the game to send two more across, and the game became very interesting when Carson doubled and Bobby Vitulano (Iona college) walked to fill the bases with just one out.

After a pitching change by the Orioles, Thompson hit an RBI single for another run. With the bases still loaded, Jerry Chavarria (Southern University), who entered the game in the top of the inning, hit a slow roller which left the shortstop with a just one play, at second base, but the shortstop misplayed the ball and another run scored, the bases remained loaded, and the top of the order was coming up. With the score now at 10-8, Zach Ell, up for the second time in the inning, lined one, but right at the second baseman, who doubled up the runner at second to end the inning.

The Orioles scored one in their half of the eighth while the Thunderbolts went down in order their last two at bats.

Notes: Cal Ripken, Jr., was a true gentleman to the T-Bolts fans who, throughout the evening, lined up near where the Hall of Famer was standing along the third base side to get his signature on their scorecards, baseballs, or whatever they wanted signed. Mr. Ripken, true to form, obliged all requests. His son Ryan, who is University of South Carolina bound this fall, went two for five with a double and one RBI. T-Bolt Adam Spires is now tied teammate Jake Taylor (Radford University) for the team lead with five home runs, one shy of the league lead. Pat Aloisio, the winning pitcher for the O’s, is from Maine South High School (Park Ride, Illinois). That school’s famous alumni include four former MLB players, former Redskins great Dave Butz, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodhan-Clinton. Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) and his fifteen-game-hitting-streak took the night off.  (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

 T-Bolts Topped By Big Train, 9-4 

June 24, 2012Bethesda, Maryland. The start of Sunday’s game at Povich Field in Bethesda was delayed for thirty minutes by a passing thunderstorm. Two hours and fourteen minutes later, Kurt Wertz Jr. (TowsonUniversity) grounded out for the final out to complete a stormy performance by the T-Bolts, who committed four errors which led to four unearned runs for the Big Train; a disappointment when considering the outstanding defensive play by the T-Bolts from the night before.

The T-Bolts did have their moments on Sunday night: They socked two home runs, Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) extended his hitting streak to 15 consecutive games, Kurt Wertz Jr. continued his hitting serge with two hits, and Alex Deise (Mississippi State) and Joel Rosencrance  (St. Bonaventure) both threw well in relief to make it two consecutive nights of strong relief pitching. But our team made errors, and as they say, errors can cost ballgames. It certainly hurt the T-Bolts tonight in a 9-4 loss.

The Thunderbolts did lead at one point. That was after their first at bat, when Wertz Jr. singled and advanced two bases on a wild pitch and a groundout, and scored on a sac fly by Cunningham. In the bottom of the first a lead off single, a wild pitch, a hit, a RBI single, and a home run made it 4-1 before the first out was recorded.

Adam Spires (Newberry College) got one run back with one swing of the bat in the top of the second on his fourth home run of the summer. But his run was erased when the Big Train scored one on a T-Bolts’ error in the bottom of the second. Two more errors in the seventh aided a two-run rally for the Big Train to make it a 9-2 game.

In inning number eight Bzozowski came to bat with his hitting streak on the line. He was 0 for three on the day, but he quickly fixed that by hammering his second home run of the season.

Notes: Curt Wertz Jr. singled in his first two at bats to give him six hits in his last seven at bats and his batting average now stands at .355. Chris Bzozowski is third in the league in hitting (.412).  Hunter Renfro of the Big Train homered in the first to tie him with Jake Taylor (RadfordUniversity) for the league lead with five. Hunter Englehart (University ofHartford), tonight’s T-Bolts starting pitcher, struck out five to bring his season total to twenty-three. Adam Spires is tied for second in the CRCBL with four home runs.  (game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts Back In The Win Column, Defeat Vienna River Dogs 8-5.

June 23, 2012.  Silver Spring, Maryland.  Finally! For the first time in nine days, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts won, on Saturday night, before 157 happy fans at Montgomery-Blair Stadium, when the Home Team defeated the Vienna River Dogs, 8-5.

The T-Bolts looked good in winning their sixth game of the season. The batters totaled thirteen hits and, by doing so, defeated Vienna’s top pitcher Connor Bach. T-Bolts reliever Paul Beers (Towson University) put in a great effort, allowing just two hits while striking out three in 3.2 innings to earn his first win of the season. The T-Bolts fielders made just one harmless error and had several good plays that would qualify for ESPN’s Diamond Gems.

T-Bolts Line Up After Win Over Vienna June 23rd

Kurt Wertz Jr. (Towson University) led the T-Bolts hitting attack by going four for five. Only a brilliant defensive play by the River Dogs second baseman prevented Wertz from saving a perfect day at the plate. Ben Carson also had a good night, socking a home run to score the T-Bolts’s first run of the evening and belting a RBI double in a 3-run sixth inning. Hunter Boudreaux (University of New Orleans), making his first start in five days, was also a cog in the hitting attack with two hits.
Beers entered the game after the River Dogs scored two in the top of the sixth to take a 5-3 lead. With two outs, two men on base, and with the River Dogs threatening to break the game opened, Beers induced the first batter he faced into a pop fly to snuff the threat. Then T-Bolts batters went to work.

Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) led off the T-Bolts half of the sixth by smacking a drive into the power alley in right centerfield. The hit, which resulted in a double, officially extended his consecutive-game hitting-streak to thirteen. Carson followed with another double to score Bzozowski, and cut the deficit to one. After a wild pitch allowed Carson to go to third, Bobby Vitulano (Iona College) tied the game with a single.

Vienna’s Bach, who by this time must have been dog-tired after throwing over one-hundred pitches, managed to get the next two batters out, but he would not escape the inning without further damage, thanks to an error that allowed Vitulano to move into scoring position, and a RBI single by Wertz.

In the eighth inning, with the T-Bolts looking to add insurance to their one run lead, a two base error and Ell’s long fly out put Vitulano on third with one out. Hunter Boudreaux brought him home on his second hit of the game. Wertz Jr. and Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville Univeristy) followed with singles to score Jerry Chavarria (pinch-running) with the T-Bolts final tally of the night.

Many thanks to our T-Bolts fans who donated food, clothing, and money to Shepherd’s Table Saturday night, making the evening an all around feel good event.

Notes: Paul Beers retired the last seven River Dogs batters of the game and was aided greatly by the T-Bolts’ defense. Jake Taylor made a great diving stop and throw to Beers, who covered first base on the play to end the River Dogs seventh. Outfielder Zach Ell made a great diving catch to retire the River Dogs in the top of the eighth. Head Coach Josh Eachues shuffled the defensive alignment by switching Huxtable to shortstop and Vitulano to second, and the two middle infielders executed two twin killings. Also, Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s University) played a good game at third base. His rocket arm gave him three assists on the night. With the infield being occupied in putting out the opposition, Jake Taylor, a busy man at first base on Saturday night, got several chances to show off his great first baseman’s stretch. Brett Williams, the first baseman for the River Dogs, kept his league-leading average at .500 by going two for four. Boch didn’t make his season average of two strikeouts per inning, but he did whiff eight T-Bolts in six innings. The T-Bolts looked good on Saturday night. Come on out to Montgomery-Blair Stadium on Monday night when they take on the Youse’s Orioles. Tonight our Thunderbolts will be at Povich Field to take on the Big Trains. Game time is at 7:30. (game summary by Gary Sarnoff).

T-Bolts Halt Skid, Game Suspended After Inning And A Half 

June 22, 2012.  Silver Spring, Maryland.  The game between the Silver Spring -Takoma Thunderbolts and the Southern Maryland Nationals at Blair Stadium tonight was halted in the bottom of the second with the score tied at 0-0 due to a torrential rain that rendered the field unplayable.  The game will be resumed July 2nd as the first game of a double header beginning at 5 pm.

Tomorrow, June 23, 2012, the T-Bolts take on the Vienna River Dogs at Blair Stadium.  It’s Shepherd’s Table Night at Blair.  If you’re coming to the game, don’t forget to bring some canned food or gently used clothing to donate to Shepherd’s Table.

T-Bolts Lose 14-7, Losing Streak Now at Six Games 

June 21, 2012.  Alexandria, Virginia.  Seven runs on fourteen hits couldn’t get the job done for the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, who sustained their sixth consecutive defeat tonight by a score of 14-7 at the hands of the Alexandria Aces.

On a sweltering hot Thursday evening in Alexandria, the T-Bolts fell into the basement of the Cal Ripken Senior League standings, courtesy of fourteen runs on twenty hits by the Alexandria Aces. It was a disappointing evening, because our Thunderbolts had rallied for four in their half of the sixth to take a one-run lead after trailing, 6-0. When the big inning concluded, the T-Bolts took the field with a new found energy, but that quickly vanished when the Aces scored five to reclaim the lead and all but put this game away.

In the bottom of the second the Aces roughed up T-Bolts starting pitcher Sam Kamiec (Wake Forest) by sending eleven men to the plate in a sixth run inning. The T-Bolts took their time before going to work, and when they did they scored seven times in the middle three innings.

Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) singled to extend his consecutive game hitting- streak to thirteen, and the next batter, Jake Taylor (Radford University), blasted his fifth home run of the season. One more run was added in the fifth when Zach Ell (Penn State) singled, stole second, and tallied on a single by Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University).

In the T-Bolts sixth: a walk, a hit, and a sacrifice put two runners in scoring position, and both counted on a single by Zack Ell to cut the deficit to one. Jerry Chavarria (Southern University) picked a great time to connect with his first hit of the season, followed by Huxtable who cleared the bases with a two-run double for a 7-6 T-Bolts lead.

The Aces wasted little time in retaking the lead in their half of the sixth. A walk, a double, and a two-run single quickly made it an 8-7 Aces lead. After another Alexandria player reached base, Ronnie Glenn smacked a three-run homer, and the T-Bolts, who had worked so hard to claim the lead, were suddenly down by four.

The Thunderbolts managed to put a runner on base in each of the last three innings, but two double plays choked off any hopes of another comeback.

Notes: Chris Bzozowski, now with the second best batting average in the league (.433), had three hits tonight. Last night’s game summary was incorrect in mentioning that three home runs led the league. Jake Taylor was the league leader with four; whoops! Make that five after he went yard this evening. The T-Bolts have been struggling in the fielding department this season, but it’s encouraging to note that they made just one error this evening.  There his hope, also, for tomorrow brings with it another game, this one back home at Blair Stadium against the Southern Maryland Nationals on Friday June 22nd.  Gates open at 6 pm.  First pitch is at 7 pm. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts Summer of Woes Continues, Drop Fifth Straight – Bzozowski Extends Hitting-Streak 

June 20, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland. Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) was one strike away from saying goodbye to his consecutive-game- hitting-streak. Silver Spring-Takoma’s leading hitter was o for 2 in three plate appearances when he faced a 2-2 count in the bottom of the ninth and with one last chance to keep his streak alive. He then connected and sent a pop fly into shallow left-center field where two Herndon outfielders ran to make the play but weren’t even close. The ball fell to outfield grass and Bzozowski added another game to his hitting streak.

A walk, an error, and a hit batsman followed the hit to propel Bzozowski across home plate for the first and only T-Bolts run of the evening, but that hardly mattered. By that time they were down, 7-1, and on their way to their fifth consecutive defeat.
Silver Spring-Takoma was far from their best in Wednesday night’s loss to the Herndon Braves at Montgomery Blair Stadium. The Home Team batters made just four hits while their pitchers yielded eleven. Their fielders contributed to the poor performance by making five errors. Above all, the Thunderbolts, who began the season with promise, lacked intensity.
The T-Bolts did get four-plus strong innings from starting pitcher Devon Davis (University of Montevallo) who allowed just one hit and a walk through 4.2 innings, but no harm was done, thanks to Davis. After a one-out single in the top of the first, he proceeded to erase the base runner with a sweet pickoff move. In the fourth he gave up his first walk, but induced the following hitter to bounce into a double play. The next batter, James Vazquez, lined one over the right field fence for a 1-0 Herndon lead.
In the fatal fifth inning, the Braves batted around to scored three on four hits and were greatly supported by two T-Bolts fielding miscues.

Meanwhile, the T-Bolts had their hands full with Braves starting pitcher Ryan Ashooh. The member of the University of Virginia’s pitching staff allowed just two hits and no walks in five innings. Raul Jacobson replaced Ahsooh in the sixth and in two innings the hard-throwing right-hander permitted just one hit. After the T-Bolts went down in order in the eighth, they had just three hits and were down by four. When the Braves added three more in the ninth, all hope of a victory for the T-Bolts was lost.

Notes: Chris Bzozowski has hit safely in all twelve games he has played this season. Hopefully this is as tough as it will get for our T-Bolts. Currently they are on a five-game losing streak and have lost seven of their last eight. Bzozowski is third in the league in hitting (.417) and Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University) is fifteenth (.353). Adam Spires (Newberry College) is tied for the league-lead in home runs (3). Bzozowski and Spires are tied for third in the CRCBL in RBI (12). Jake Taylor (Radford University) is among the RBI leaders (10). Hunter Englehart (University of Hartford) is third in the league in strikeouts (19). New T-Bolts catcher Jerry Javerria of Southern University, played his first game tonight, giving Hunter Boudreaux (New Orleans), who had caught every inning of every game so far this season, a much needed night off.  Javerria made an instant impact on this new team and boy does he hustle. He ran to back up a play in the third inning and his hard work paid off. After an overthrow on the play, the Braves base runner took off for second base. Javerria retrieved the ball and threw a bullet to second base. You should have seen the amazed look on the base runners face when he saw Bobby Vitulano (Iona College) with the baseball and ready to apply the tag. The poor Braves base runner must have thought he somehow missed a week. The sun will rise tomorrow, it will be a new day, and the T-Bolts will be at Alexandria tomorrow to take on the Aces. Let’s cheer the T-Bolts on to victory. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts Prove That No Lead Is Insurmountable, Drop Fourth In A Row  

June 18, 2012.  Washington, D.C.  Staked to an 8-0 lead in the second inning, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts lost to the D.C. Grays 12-11 in the bottom of the ninth on a one-out, three run home run.  They say that bad things happen when you walk the first batter of the inning and the T-Bolts proved that adage once again.  Leading 11-9 in the bottom of the ninth,  the T-Bolts gifted the first two D.C Gray runners aboard on consecutive bases on balls.  With those two runners on and no outs it didn’t take much imagination to know that bad things were about to happen, and they did.  On a bright note, the T-Bolts have an off day tomorrow to rest and hopefully regroup.  They return to Blair Stadium on Wednesday June 20, 2012, to take on the Herndon Braves.  Please be sure to come out to Blair Stadium on Wednesday and show the T-Bolts some love.  They could use it.

T-Bolts Give Away Game, Drop Below .500

June 17, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland.  The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts let one slip away from them tonight at Blair Stadium when the league-leading Rockville Express game back from a three-run deficit in the sixth inning to score 5 runs in the top of the frame and take a 5-3 lead that they then never relinquished.  T-Bolts starting pitcher Hunter Englehart (Hartford) who had cruised to a 3-0 lead through five innings got the first two Rockville batters out in the sixth inning on a fly out and a strike out.  He then walked the next three batters he faced to load the bases.  Englehart then faced Rockville’s Christian Wolf who  hit what looked like a routine grounder to short that would have gotten the T-Bolts out of the inning, but T-Bolts shortstop Bobby Vitulano (Iona) was unable to make the play, allowing Rockville to score its first run.  Rockville batter Johnny Cole then worked the count full before taking Englehart’s next offering over the right field fence and into O’Connor’s Swamp for a grand slam.

Rockville tacked on another run in the 7th inning and the T-Bolts’ bats stayed silent the rest of the game.  The final score -Rockville six, T-Bolts 3.

T-Bolts Drop Two In A Row

June 16, 2012Vienna, Virginia. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts lost two games in a row for the first time this season,  losing to the Vienna River Dogs 10-8 at James Madison High School in Vienna on Saturday June 16, 2012, and to Youse’s Orioles 16-4 at Blair Stadium on Friday June 15, 2012.  The T-Bolts look to rebound tonight, June 17th when they take on the league-leading Rockville Express at Blair Stadium starting at 6 pm.

T-Bolts Defeat Baltimore Redbirds 4-3 in Marathon 15 Inning Game 

June 14, 2012Towson, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts traveled north of Baltimore, Maryland, to Towson this evening and returned victorious, battling the Baltimore Redbirds in a 15 inning affair and winning by a score of 4-3. T-Bolts starting pitcher Devon Davis (Montevallo University) held the Redbirds to one unearned run through seven innings to bring his ERA to a paltry 0.75 and departed the game with the T-Bolts leading 3-1.  The Redbirds battled back in the bottom of the ninth, however, and tied the game at 3-3.  T-Bolts reliever Sam Beatty (Shepherd), pitched 5 strong innings in relief of Davis and departed the game with the T-Bolts still leading 3-3 in the 12th.  T-Bolts pitcher Matt Marley (Iona) relieved Beatty and held the Redbird scoreless the rest of the way, earning the win.

Offensively, Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast) drew a walk in the fifth inning and scored on a single by Ben Carson (University of California-PA).  In the 6th inning, Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s) and Adam Spires (Newberry) lined back-to-back singles and Thompson, with two outs, lined a double to left, scoring Cunningham and Spires.  In the top of the 15th, with the game still tied at 3, Kurt Wertz, Jr. (Towson), led off the inning with a triple and scored on a clutch single by Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville).

Notes: The T-Bolts return home tomorrow June 15th to face Youse’s Orioles at Blair Stadium.  Recent MLB draftee Ryan Ripken, a member of Youse’s Orioles and son of Baltimore Orioles’ legend Cal Ripken, Jr., will make his first appearance at Blair Stadium this season.

T-Bolts Implode In Late Innings, Lose To Bethesda Big Train

June 13, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland.  The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts couldn’t hold on to a 4-0 lead heading into the 8th inning tonight at Blair Stadium, allowing the Bethesda Big Train to get back into the game with two runs in the 8th and another 6th in the top of the 9th.  The T-Bolts jumped out to an early lead in the first inning on a grand slam by Adam Spires (Newberry College).  Neither team scored again until Bethesda awoke in the 8th and continued rolling into the 9th.  The final score, Big Train 8, T-Bolts 4.

Notes: Spire’s grand slam was the first for the T-Bolts this season and the fifth team home run in this young season.  James Mills (Young Harris College) started for the T-Bolts, holding the Big Train scoreless through five innings of work, striking out 4 and walking two. The T-Bolts travel to Towson, Maryland, tonight to face the Baltimore Redbirds who, along with Rockville, Vienna, Southern Maryland, and Alexandria, are in a six-way tie for second place.

T-Bolts Back On Winning Track with 9-4 Victory over Southern Maryland Nationals

June 11, 2012.  Waldorf, Maryland.  The T-Bolts defeated the Southern Maryland Nationals tonight 9-4 at Regency Furniture Stadium.

The best starting pitching performance of the season and a strong hitting attack led to the fourth Thunderbolts win. Hunter Englehart (University of Hartford) pitched seven strong innings following a shaky first inning. The 6’5 Junior from Wyoming, Pennsylvania struck out eight (a T-Bolts season high) and allowed just one hit after the first inning.
The Southern Maryland Nationals scored three runs on four hits in their first at bat. Unbeknown to them, this was the best it would get. Englehart seemed to get stronger as the game progressed. All eight of his strikeouts came after two down in the fifth inning, against the last thirteen batters he faced.

The T-Bolts scored one run in the top of the first on a hit by Ben Carson (University of California PA), a double by Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College), and a sacrifice fly by Jake Taylor (Radford University). After the Nationals three-run first, the T-Bolts retook the lead with one swing of the bat. Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University) homered with two teammates aboard for a 4-3 lead.

In the top of the sixth, a walk, a double by Hunter Boudreaux (University of New Orleans), and a hit by Carson scored one. A Nats error and Bzozowski’s single scored two more for a 7-3 lead. Two more T-Bolts runs were added in the eighth; highlighted by an RBI hit by Adam Spires (Newberry College).

Note: Chris Bzozowski had his second three-hit game of the season to up his batting average to .419. Jake Huxtable’s home run was the T-Bolts fourth of the season. After scoring 9 runs, the T-Bolts now lead the league in runs (45). Hunter Englehart is now tied for the league lead with 11 strikeouts. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts Surge Falls Short In 10-8 Loss To Aces 

June 10, 2012.  Silver Spring, Maryland.  The T-Bolts lost a heartbreaker to the Alexandria Aces at Blair Stadium Sunday night.  The T-Bolts trailed for 8 ½ innings before rallying to tie the game in the ninth inning, but in the end they were on the short end of a 10-8 loss to the Alexandria Aces.

The largest crowd this season at Blair Stadium saw the Thunderbolts fall behind, 5-0, after Aces slugger Alex Buccilli powered a two-run homer to cap a three run second inning. After that, T-Bolts starting pitcher Taylor Topping (Young Harris College) shutdown the Alexandria attack to allow his teammates to get back into the game.

In the bottom of the second, Silver Spring-Takoma coaxed a run through walk, a hit, a hit-by-pitch, and another walk. Two more were added in the fifth on an Alexandria fielding error and a sacrifice fly by Adam Spires (Newberry College), and in the seventh a RBI single by Zach Ell (Penn State) cut the deficit to one.

The game appeared lost after the Aces got one in the eighth on a T-Bolts error, followed by a double, and then back-to-back-doubles in the Aces ninth made it a 7-4 game. But the Thunderbolts had one last gasp with their final at bat, and they rallied to tie the game.

Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) led off the inning with his first home run of the season. Jake Taylor (Radford University) followed with a double, and after a ground out, Adam Spires singled to score one, and suddenly it was a one-run ballgame.

After Zach Ell got aboard on an infield hit, things got interesting when Matt Marley (Iona College) was hit by a pitch to load the bases with only one out. A hit might have won the game, but Hunter Boudeaux (UniversityofNew Orleans) did the next best thing by lofting fly ball to right field. Chris Thompson (FloridaGulfCoastUniversity), who was pinch-running, tagged and scored to tie the game.

Next up was Ben Carson (University of California PA), but he grounded out to end the inning. For the second time in the game the T-Bolts had left the bases loaded, but at least they had shown character and spirit to fight their way back into this one.

In the top of the tenth, Sam Beatty (Shepard University), who had entered the contest in the seventh, put the first two batters on through a walk and a hit batsman.  T-Bolts Head Coach Josh Eachues brought in Chris Harrison (Coastal Carolina University) who had just arrived the previous day from his home in South Carolina for his first appearance of the young season. Two fielding errors and a hit scored three for the Aces to make it a 10-7 game.

In the T-Bolts half of the 10th inning, Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University) led off with his third hit of the evening. Two groundouts moved him along, and a hit by Tommy Cunningham (St.Joseph’s University) brought Huxtable across the plate. However, a final  groundout ended the game.

Notes:  Sunday was Jake Huxtable’s second three-hit game of the season. Chris Bzozowski Tommy Cunningham also enjoyed a three-hit game on Sunday. Fifteen T-Bolts hits on Sunday ties their high for the season (their previous 15-hit game was their opening day win at Rockville). The T-Bolts currently lead the Cal Ripken Sr. League in runs (36) and hits (56).

The T-Bolts travel today  to Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf, Maryland, to take on the Southern Maryland Nationals.  (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts Post Another Come From Behind Win 

June 9, 2012Silver Spring, Maryland. The T-Bolts gave it the old college try tonight and won. Three times they came from behind to take the lead before scoring the winning run in the bottom of the sixth for a 7-6 win over the Herndon Braves at Blair Stadium. Helping spark their victory were Ben Carson (California University PA) who went 3 for 4 and scored three runs, Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) who had three RBI, and winning pitcher Peirce Marston (Steven Institute of Technology), the Montgomery-Blair alum who was brilliant in his relief role,  holding the Braves scoreless in the game’s last three innings and striking out six in four innings pitched.

After Herndon scored an unearned run in the top of the first against T-Bolts starting pitcher Sam Kmiec (Wake Forest), Silver Spring-Takoma responded with two runs in their first at bat. Carson reached base on a error, Bobby Vitulano (Iona College) singled, and Carson moved up two bases on two outs to score. Tommy Cunningham (St. Joseph’s University) followed with a single to score Vitulano.

The next big frame for the T-Bolts came in the third. With runners on second and third, Bzozowski’s hard smash was misplayed by the second baseman for a two-run error. The batter was credited with one RBI on the play, but the play produced two runs to tie the game at 4-4. In the fifth, with Herndon ahead, 5-4, Bzozowski, once again, came to bat with two runners in scoring position. This time he hit a clean single to center to score both runners and reclaim the lead for the T-Bolts, 6-5.

In the top of the sixth, Martson entered the game and he began by giving up a walk and a single. He struck out the next batter for the first out of the inning, but then loaded the bases with another walk. The next batter lifted a pop up into shallow left field. Vitalano sprinted into the outfield to make the catch for out number two, but with his back to the infield, the runner on third had time to tag and score, giving the lead back to the Braves.

In the T-Bolts half of the sixth inning, Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast University) walked and Zach Ell (Penn State) singled. Hunter Boudreaux (University of New Orleans) came to the plate with no official at bats on the night (he was hit by a pitch and he walked), but this time he took a healthy cut connected for a single to score Thompson with what proved to be the winning run.

Notes: Chalk about another assist for a T-Bolts outfielder and another well-executed play by the defense. In the fourth inning a Herndon batter tried to extend a double into a triple, but a bang-bang play of center fielder Thompson to shortstop Vitalano to third baseman Bzozowski turned his hit into an out. Give credit to Bzozowski for making a clever tag. He decoyed the runner by not lifting his glove until the ball was almost to him. At the last minute he made a quick catch, and he applied to tag for the out.

The T-Bolts are 3-1 and tied for second place with the Alexandria Aces. It just so happens that the Aces visit Blair Stadium Sunday night to play our T-Bolts.  The game starts at 6 pm.  Gates open at 5. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

 T-Bolts Lose A Close One To Grays

June 8, 2012Washington, D.C. The visiting T-Bolts were defeated by the D.C. Grays at Hoy Field tonight by a score of 5-4. After winning their first two games of the season by one run, the T-Bolts were tagged with a one-run defeat. Heading into the bottom of the eighth with a three run lead, the T-Bolts were victimized by the Gray’s four-run rally. There was hope in the top of the ninth when, with two outs, Jake Huxtable (Jacksonville University) reached base on a error and Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) singled for his second hit of the night. Jake Taylor (Radford University), the hero in Silver Springs-Tacoma Park’s Thursday night win, stepped in, but, alas, lighting did not strike twice and Taylor struck out to end the game.

Devon Davis (University of Montevallo), the T-Bolts starting pitcher, struck out five, allowing one run and no walks through five strong innings. He departed the game with the score at 1-1. Unlike the previous two nights, the T-Bolts bats were silent with just five hits through seven innings, but that changed in the top of the eighth. With two outs and two men on base, Bobby Vitulano (Iona College) tripled, scoring Jake Taylor and Adam Spires (Newberry College), and giving the T-Bolts their first lead of the game. Zach Ell (Penn State) followed with a single to score Vitulano for a 4-1 lead, and the T-Bolts appeared to be heading for their third consecutive win. The Grays half of the eighth inning began with two walks, followed by a three-run home run by Joshua Powell (Alcorn State), which tied the game at 4-4. A single, a passed ball, and another single accounted for the Gray’s fourth run of the inning and ultimately proved to be the game winner.

Notes: Chris Bzozowski has connected for two hits in all three games this season and currently is batting .375. Zach Ell leads the team in hitting with a .400 average. Assists by Ben Carson (California University of PA) and Chris Thompson (Florida Gulf Coast University) tonight brought the season total to five outfield assists, with Zach Ell contributed three assists in the first two games. The T-Bolts take on the Herndon Braves at home Saturday night at 7:00. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

 T-Bolts Win Home Opener

June 7, 2012.  Silver Spring, Maryland.  The T-Bolts defeated the Baltimore Redbirds tonight 9-8, capping off a wonderful opening day for the T-Bolts at Blair Stadium.

Holy Cow, the T-Bolts are 2-0

Base runners might think twice before trying to take on extra base against T-Bolts outfielder Zach Ell. The T-Bolts right fielder from Penn State University has made a difference in both wins with his rocket throwing arm. Of course, Ell has had the support of his teammates in executing his laser shots into three outs. On Thursday night at Blair Stadium, Ell made two throws in the top of the eight inning that helped preserve a 9-8 lead for the T-Bolts. With the bases loaded, nobody out, and the T-Bolts ahead of the Baltimore Red Birds, 9-6, Kyle Neverman drilled a double to score the two lead runners to make it a one-run game. Perhaps being eager to tie the game, the Red Birds third base coach sent the third runner, but a throw from Ell to the cutoff man, Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College), to catcher Hunter Boudreaux (University of New Orleans) turned the scoring try into the first out of the inning.

After the next Baltimore batter grounded to short for the second out, Patrick Blair singled to right field and,once again, the potential tying run rounded third. Ell quickly fielded the ball and made the long throw to Boudreaux, who tagged the runner to end the inning. [Ell showed similar ability on Wednesday night at Rockville.  With the game tied in the bottom of the tenth, the Express’ lead-off batter ripped a double to right field that had “potential winning-run” written all over it. As the Rockville player rounded second base and dug for third, Ell retrieved the drive and threw the ball to a relay man who uncorked a strike to Tommy Cunningham (St.Joseph’s University) in time for the third baseman to apply the tag for the out.]

Back to Thursday night’s game, the Thunderbolts took a 5-0 lead by sending ten men to the plate in a five-run second inning. Two hit batsmen, a walk, and a error aided the T-Bolts, but they also connected for three hits (Bzozowski, Cunningham, and Adam Spires of Newbury College)). In the bottom of the fourth, Jake Taylor (Radford University) smacked a long double to center field to score two more runs. An inning later, Ben Carson, with a teammate aboard, hit his first home run of the season over the right field fence  to cap the scoring.

Notes: Chris Bzozowski has four hits and three RBI in the first two games….Jake Taylor has a home run, a double, and three RBI…Paul Beers (Towson University) got the win Thursday night and Marston got the save….Connolly, Thursday night’s starting hurler for the Red Birds, totaled 112 pitches in seven innings….The T-Bolts have scored seventeen runs in their first two games of the season….They hit the road on Friday against the DC Grays before returning to Blair Stadium for back-to-back home games on Saturday and Sunday. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)

T-Bolts Win In 11 Innings

June 6, 2012.  Rockville, Maryland. The T-Bolts made history by winning the first CRCBL night game ever played at Montgomery College’s Knights Field on Wednesday night. About 3 and one half hours after Rockville Mayor Phyllis Macuccio tossed out the ceremomial first pitch to start the season, Jake Taylor blasted a tremendous drive that cleared the tall trees beyond the left field fence before disappearing into the night. The home run was the first of the season for the T-Bolts and was the difference in their 8-7, eleven-inning win over the Rockville Express.

T-Bolts’ Bobby Vitulano bats in the 8th inning, about to connect with his clutch, two-out hit.

The T-Bolts scored in their first at bat of the season. Ben Carson and Tommy Cunningham both singled, and after the left fielder bobbled the second hit, Carson scored. The lead did not last very long. The T-Bolts were generous, committing three errors and walking five to allow the home team to score seven in the next four innings. Trailing, 7-3, the T-Bolts went to work in their half of the eighth. Four consecutive hits to start the inning and a clutch two-out hit by Bobby Vitulano highlighted a four-run rally to tie the game at 7-7. Taylor’s moon-shot settled the issue.

Notes: Taylor Topping shutout the Express in the last four innings to earn the win….Second baseman Jake Huxtable went 3 for 6 with 2 runs and an RBI… Ben Carson, Bobby Vitulano, and Hunter Boudreax had two hits apiece. (Game summary by Gary Sarnoff)


Preseason Results

In our final preseason warm up, the T-Bolts defeated the Rockville Express 4-0 on Tuesday June 5, 2012, in a six-inning scrimmage at Blair Stadium.

The T-Bolts lost 6-2 in a preseason scrimmage with the Vienna River Dogs on Monday June 4, 2012, at Vienna.

On Sunday June 3, 2012, the A Team defeated the B Team 6-5 in the T-Bolts inter-squad scrimmage with Northwood and Blair High School seniors and alumni.

The T-Bolts defeated the Gaithersburg Giants 5-2 in an afternoon scrimmage on June 2, 2012, at Kelley Field.


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