T-Bolts Finish The Season With A Split 

July 28, 2013, Silver Spring, Maryland. The  2013 version of the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts concluded their season with a split in a doubleheader versus the Presstman Cardinals before 230 fans at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. The season concludes with four wins over last season’s total, although 13 victories was probably shy of what T-Bolts head coach Doug Remer had in mind when he said it was unlikely that his team would duplicate last season’s 9-33 record.

The T-Bolts won the nightcap, 4-3, in extra innings to give Tayler Stiles his first win of his CRCBL career. The University of Maryland-bound freshman also scored the game’s winning run in the bottom of the eighth. The first win for Stiles was long overdue. He had pitched well this season; in fact, so well that he was named to the CRCBL all-star team.

The slumping hitters in the T-Bolts lineup combined for five hits in tonight’s twin bill. They had three hits in the first game, including two in one inning to score their only run of the game in a 5-1 loss. In the fourth inning, Luis Paulbini-Campos (Tennessee-Martin) doubled and scored on a hit by Robinson Mateo (Southern) to give the T-Bolts a 1-0 lead. The Cards responded in their next at bat by batting around in a four-run rally. They added one more in the sixth inning.

Robert Lucido (Amherst) had both of the T-Bolts hits in the second game. He led off the bottom of the first with a single, moved to third on a passed ball and sacrifice fly, and stole home. Cody Acker (VCU) followed with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on an error, and tallied on a fly ball by Paulbini-Campos for a 2-0 lead.

The Cardinals scored one in the third and an unearned run in the sixth inning to tie the game, 2-2. The T-Bolts reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth with one run on two errors. Chris Fusco (Bates) pitched well through four innings and Danny O’Donnell (GWU) kept the T-Bolts in the game in relief of Fusco.

Stiles entered the game in the top of the seventh. He struck out the first batter, then walked a batter and gave way to an RBI double. The outlook looked as cloudy as the skies above when the next batter singled to move the go-ahead-run to third base. But Stiles settled down and struck out the next two to end the threat.

In the bottom of the seventh, the T-Bolts loaded the bases, but were unable to score. Stiles followed by sending the Cardinals down in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, Stiles led off with a walk. A sacrifice by Ian Glassman (UMBC) and a passed ball moved him to third base. The game concluded when the Cardinals shortstop committed the sixth Presstman error of the game to send Stiles home with the winning run.

Notes: The Thunderbolts fans proved they are the best in the league by clicking the turnstile over 3,700 times this season. Silver Spring-Takoma and Alexandria are the only two teams in the CRCBL to enjoy an increase in attendance this season. Like Mel Allen would have said, “How about that.”

T-Bolts Lose To Giants In Bottom of 7th Inning, 2-1

July 27, 2013Gaithersburg, Maryland. Jake Taylor was in the game’s climatic moment for the second straight night. Last night with the bases loaded, he took one for the team in the bottom of the eleventh to force in the winning run for a 2-1 Thunderbolts win. This afternoon in Gaithersburg, Taylor was on the mound in a 1-1 game with runners on second and third in the home half of the seventh. With a 3-0 count, he uncorked a wild pitch to allow the runner on third to score the winning run.

The Thunderbolts drew a tough assignment in having to face Giants all-star pitcher Robin Mowatt, who entered the game with a 4-1 record and an ERA under 1.00. The T-Bolts didn’t seem to mind in the first inning when Ian Glassman (UMBC) and Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) launched back-to-back doubles into centerfield to score the game’s first run. After that Mowatt allowed only three hits and zero walks through the remainder of the seven-inning game.

The Gaithersburg Giants, coming off a 1-0 victory at Rockville this morning, scored an unearned run to tie the game in the bottom of the third against starting pitcher Hunter Absher (VCU). Another runner rounded third and attempted to score on a base hit, however, a throw from right fielder Cody Acker to catcher Robert Lucido was in time for the T-Bolts backstop to apply the tag for the out.

Notes: The Thunderbolts close their 2013 season at home with a twin bill against the Presstman Cardinals. If the T-Bolts sweep the doubleheader, they will finish ahead of the Cards. The Giants, currently in fourth place, appear to be heading for the playoffs. Bethesda is in first place followed by the Aces, Red Birds, and Giants. The Grays, Orioles, Express, and Nationals are fighting for the last two playoff spots. Ian Glassman and Jake Taylor were 2 for 3 today. Clayton Keranen (Liberty) got the other T-Bolts hit today.

T-Bolts Win In 11th Inning 1-0 In Walk Off Hit By Pitch

July 26, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. Now we’ve seen everything. Bases loaded, one out, and Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) at the plate in the bottom of the eleventh of a scoreless game. Would Taylor swing at the first pitch by Braves pitcher Cameron Maxey, or would he take the pitch? Since the T-Bolts slugger swings more often than not at the first offering, there was a good chance he would swing and send 170 T-Bolts fans home on a happy note.

But Taylor never got the chance to decide. He was hit by the first pitch to force in the winning run for a 1-0 Thunderbolts win at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. The victory snaps an eight-game losing streak and lengthens the T-Bolts lead to two full games over the last place Herndon Braves.

The Thunderbolts got just three hits tonight against four Herndon pitchers. The Braves pitchers generously walked six and hit four batters, including Taylor in the bottom of the eleventh to drive home the game’s only run.

Head coach Doug Remer’s starting pitching choice was Juan Espinosa (U of Northwestern Ohio), and he was fantastic by scattering just eight hits, striking out six, and keeping the Braves off the board through nine innings. He also snapped out of his slump of walking too many batters.

Espinosa had walked fourteen in his last two outings. He began the evening by issuing two passes to the first two batters of the game to give the Braves a scoring opportunity, however, that was snuffed when the T-Bolts defense turned one of three double plays tonight.
The T-Bolts offense had their chances. They had two men on base with nobody out in the bottom of the second, but could not score. Two innings later, they loaded the bases after one out, and again they were unable to score.

Robert Lucido led off the T-Bolts eleventh with his third walk of the game. Cody Acker (VCU) followed with a single, and Brandon Coluccio (UMBC) sacrificed to move the runners along. Javier Marticorena (Point Park) was intentionally passed to fill the bases, and Taylor was hit by the pitch that gave the T-Bolts the walk off win.

Notes: By drawing three walks tonight, Robert Lucido is now fifth in the league with twenty-two. He also stole two bases to give him thirteen on the season, which ranks fifth in the league. Danny O’Donnell (George Washington) pitched the last two innings tonight to earn his third win of the season. Tonight’s shutout win was the second of 2013 for the T-bolts. Chris Fusco (Bates) shutout the Braves in Herndon back on July 15th. The Thunderbolts travel to Gaithersburg for a 5:00 game against the Giants. They return home on Sunday to close the season with a double header against the Presstman Cardinals.

T-Bolts Manhandled By Aces 15-4

July 25, 2013Alexandria, Virginia. The Silver Spring-Takoma took it on the chin tonight, losing to the Aces 15-4. Before 136 fans at Frank Mann Field in Alexandria, the Aces clobbered the Thunderbolts for the second time in five days. The loss was the eighth in a row for the T-Bolts, and the eighth time this season that their opposition scored double-digits.

How bad was it? The Aces scored 15 runs on 15 hits in a 15-4 win.

The T-Bolts scored in the top of the first when Robert Lucido (Amherst) singled, stole second, and tallied on Cody Ackers first of two hits. The Aces rallied for four runs on two hits in the bottom of the inning against starting and losing pitcher Chris Flores with the big blow being a wind-blown three-run homer over the left-centerfield wall by Christian Choman.

There was the prospect of a T-Bolts comeback when Chris Flores (U of Tennessee-Martin) sent the Aces down in order on five pitches in the bottom of the second and the Thunderbolts scored twice without the benefit of a hit in the next inning. Two T-Bolts reached base on an error and walk. Robinson Mateo (Southern), the runner on second, attempted to advance when the Aces catcher pickoff throw the ball into centerfield on a pickoff attempt. The centerfielder, who picked up the errant throw, had a play on Mateo at third, but threw wildly to allow both runners to count to cut the lead to 4-3.

The Aces put two on the board in the bottom of the third to re-establish their three run lead. They added one more in the next inning. The T-Bolts scored one in the sixth on a tripled by Acker and a single by Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) to make it a 7-4 game. After that, it was all Aces.

The winning team scored the last eight runs of the game, including five in the seventh inning.

Notes: The Thunderbolts host the last place Herndon Braves on Friday night, who currently trail the T-Bolts by only full game. Cody Acker (VCU) snapped a 3-for-18 slump by knocking out two hits. Ian Glassman (UMBC) made his 2013 pitching debut in the eighth inning.

T-Bolts Unable To Shut The Door Against Big Train

July 24, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. One out away from defeating the nations seventh ranked team, the Silver-Spring Takoma Thunderbolts gave way to a two-run rally in a 6-5 setback before 263 disappointed fans at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. It was the seventh time this season when one key putout could have clinched a victory for our T-Bolts.

Jake Taylor switched from third base to relief pitcher in the top of the ninth with the T-Bolts three outs away from a one-run win. He began by retiring the first batter on an infield pop out. He hit the next batter, and then uncorked a wild pitch to allow the runner to advance to second base. Nonetheless, he retired the third batter on a fly ball to centerfield.

Bethesda outfielder Kevin Tatum followed with a single to score the tying run. Then came a walk and another hit to give the visitors a 6-5 lead, and that was all for Taylor. Dan Gayeski (De Sales) was called in to record the third out of the inning.

The T-Bolts had one last chance in the bottom of the ninth. However, they went down in order, and that was all she wrote.

The game began on a strong note for the T-Bolts with four runs in the first three innings. Robert Lucido (Amherst), who has been swinging a hot bat of late, began the T-Bolts first at bat with a hit. Cody Acker (VCU) walked and Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) singled to score Lucido with the game’s first run. In the next frame, Jonathan Tasis (Park Point) smacked one over the fence. Another run was added in the inning when Robinson Mateo (Southern) reached base, stole second and third, and scored on a wild pitch. The lead was extended to 4-0 when Matt Bosse (University of South Carolina-Aiken) led off the bottom of the third with his third round-tripper of the season.
Starting pitcher Tayler Stiles, still in search of his first CRCBL win, did the job through the first three innings. The hard-hitting Big Train could muster just a harmless single against the University of Maryland bound All-Star left-hander. They were finally able to measure Stiles’ pitches in the top of the fourth and broke through for three runs on four hits to make it a 4-3 game. The T-Bolts responded with a run in their half of the fourth inning on another hit by Lucido, who advance to third on an error and a walk, then scored then Paulbini-Campos (U Tennessee-Martin) singled for a 5-3 lead.

Stiles retired the Big Train in the top of the fifth before yielding a base hit to begin the six-inning to prompt head coach Doug Remer to make his first call to the bullpen. Danny O’Donnell (George Washington) came on and did a good job by retiring the Big Train in the next two innings. The guests managed to get one in their eighth at bat to make it a 5-4 game.

Notes: Robert Lucido is hitting .346 Since July 5th. Tayler Stiles has struck out 32 in as many innings pitched and has allowed just 12 walks. Matt Bosse and Jake Taylor are tied for third in the CRCBL with 3 home runs apiece. Robert Lucido got the only hit for the T-Bolts in a 5-0 loss to the Vienna River Dogs in a 7-inning makeup game on Tuesday afternoon at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. The turnstile at Montgomery-Blair Stadium has clicked over 3,300 times in 2013 to surpass the total season attendance from 2010. The T-Bolts play at Alexandria on Thursday night before returning home to take on the Herndon Braves on Friday evening.

T-Bolts One Hit By River Dogs

July 23, 2013Vienna, Virginia. The Vienna River Dogs defeated the T-Bolts 5-0 in a seven inning game at Vienna this afternoon. For details, see  Gary Sarnoff’s game summary notes included above in the game summary of the T-Bolts game against the Big Train.

Slumping Thunderbolts defeated by Grays, 7-2

July 21, 2013Washington, D.C. With the season entering its final week, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts have an opportunity to spoil it for other teams fighting to make the playoffs. The spoiler role didn’t work on Sunday afternoon at Holy Field where the T-Bolts were defeated by the DC Grays, 7-2.

The Grays, who currently have a half game lead over the Youses Orioles for the last playoff spot, scored all their runs in two innings. For what it’s worth, The T-Bolts pitchers blanked them in the other six frames.

The Thunderbolts struck first with a run in the third. Two walks sandwiched Travis Burnette’s single and Cody Acker (VCU) singled in a run for a 1-0 lead. With the bases still loaded, and a chance for a big inning, Jake Taylor hit into an around-the-horn double play to end the threat.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Grays went to work on starting pitcher Travis Burnette. The first three batter reached base and former T-Bolt Chris Bzozowski singled a run home to tie the game, 1-1. A double play – from Burnette to Taylor to Tasis – got the first two outs of the inning, however, before the third out was recorded, two more hits made it a 3-1 ballgame.

A hit batsman and a triple made it 4-1 in the last of the sixth, and opted head coach Doug Remer to replace Burnette with Danny O’Donnell. The new pitcher gave way to two more hits and a sacrifice fly for three more runs to make it 7-1.

The T-Bolts got one more in the top of the eighth when Robert Lucido (Amherst) walked, stole second, and scored on a throwing error by the catcher.

Notes: The T-Bolts play the Presstman Cardinals on Monday night at Bachman Park. The Cards currently own a seven game losing streak; the T-Bolts have a five game losing streak. Therefore, someone’s losing streak will end. Chris Bzozowski, a former All-Star for the T-Bolts, went 2 for 2 tonight to finish the season at 4 for 11 against his former team. Travis Burnette (Longwood) was the starting pitcher and designated hitter tonight. There have been four pitchers in MLB history to do both in the same game since the DH rule was adopted by the American League in 1973: Fergie Jenkins, Kenny Holtzman, Ken Brett, and Andy Sonnanstine. Like Burnette, Jenkins and Sommanstine singled in their double duty assignments. T-Bolts catcher Robert Lucido represents another oddity by serving as the T-Bolts leadoff batter. Just fourteen catchers in MLB history have served as their team’s leadoff man. Jason Kendell holds the record for batting first in the lineup during eight different seasons.

Thunderbolts drop fourth in a row

July 20, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. The Alexandria Aces have been on the verge of breaking into the top thirty in the Perfect Game’s scouting service national rankings. They helped their case on Saturday night with a lopsided 11-2 win before 135 fans at Montgomery-Blair Stadium in a five-inning game. Or perhaps it was the Thunderbolts who aided the Aces bid by committing four errors that led to five unearned runs.

Silver Spring-Takoma’s troubles began when the guests put three on the board in their first at bat. A key play in the rally was when the Thunderbolts failed to turn a double play that would have meant two outs with the bases empty. The extra out helped the Aces score two more in the inning to take a 3-0 lead when it could have easy been only 1-0. Nonetheless, the T-Bolts bounced back with two in the second inning to make it a 3-2 game.

Luis Paulbini-Campos socked a single for his third hit in the last two games. He stole second, but then the Aces caught him leaning and had in trapped between second and third. The shortstop threw the ball away on the play to allow Paulbini-Campos to round third and cross home for the first T-Bolts run of the evening.

Two batter later, “Taylor “T-Fenn” Fennewald walked, took third on Marticorena’s double to deep leftfield, and scored on a groundout by Vega.

The Aces scored an unearned run in the top of the third and exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning to finish the scoring. With lightning descending upon Montgomery-Blair stadium before the top of the sixth, the umpires decided to call the game.

Thunderbolts Swept At Vienna

July 19, 2013Vienna, Virginia. “Fielding mistakes, walks, men left on base; it all adds up,” said a member of the Thunderbolts coaching staff following a 6-3 defeat at Vienna. “It’s the story of our season,” replied a T-Bolts player.

Lack of execution combined with two bombs hit by Vienna first baseman Quinn Pippin led to the T-Bolts waterloo in the nightcap. In the first game, Tim Davis of Georgetown University shutout the Thunderbolts on two-hits.

Cody Acker (VCU), Jake Taylor (Montgomery College), and Robert Lucido (Amherst) were the only T-Bolts to reach base in the opening game. Acker hit a first inning double, Taylor singled in the seventh inning, and Lucido was plunked by a pitch and walked. CRCBL All-Star Josh Kissamore (Florence-Darlington), pitching in his last game of the season, took the loss.

The second game began looking like it may be a repeat of the first one when the T-Bolts went down in order in their first at bat. In the bottom of the inning, Quinn Pippen blasted one into orbit for a 2-0 River Dogs lead. It was a tremendous shot that landed on the next playing field – around 450 feet from home plate.

The offense finally showed some life in the top of the second. Luis Paulbini-Campos (U Tennessee-Martin), playing in his first game in two weeks, belted a triple to left-center and scored on a fly out by Jonathan Tasis (Point Park). In the third, Pippen connected again with a man on base to make it a 4-1 game.

The T-Bolts fought back to cut the lead to 4-3. Jake Taylor and Luis Paulbini-Campos began the T-Bolts fourth by hitting back-to-back doubles for one run. Paulbini-Campos moved up a base with a beautifully executed delayed steal. However, the next three batters failed to hit the ball out of the infield. In the top of the fifth, the T-Bolts did execute for one run the old fashion way: Clay Keranen (Liberty) singled, Travis Burnette (Longwood) sacrificed, and Robert Lucido hit an RBI double.

Pippins two home runs to right field were the only two hits by the River Dogs through the first four innings against T-Bolts starting pitcher Juan Espinosa (U of Northwestern Ohio). They made two more against reliever Chris Flores (U Tennessee-Martin) in the bottom of the fifth to complete their hit total for the day of four. The two hits combined with a hit batsman and wild pitch in that inning aided the home team in scoring two more to take a 6-3 lead.

In the top of the sixth, Jonathan Tasis doubled to put runners on second and third with only one out. Augustus Gill (Montgomery College) followed with a fly ball to shallow right field. After the catch, Ian Glassman (UMBC), the runner on third, faked a sprint toward the plate, but it was the T-Bolts base runner on second who took the bait. Thinking Glassman was heading home, the base runner broke for third, and by the time he realized that Glassman was bluffing, he was tagged to complete the double play.

Thunderbolts Lose To Rockville Express

July 16, 2013, Silver Spring, Maryland. Two errors leading to six unearned runs sent the Thunderbolts to an 8-5 defeat on Tuesday evening at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. The Rockville Express, in contention to make the playoffs, led by four before the T-Bolts came to the plate for their first at bat.

Danny McDonnell (George Washington University), the starting pitcher for the T-Bolts, was coming off a great start from last week when he pitched a nine inning, no decision game against the Grays. Tonight he was rocked for seven runs on eight hits before departing after two innings, however, he was the pitcher victimized by an error by the T-Bolts infield in each inning.

Trailing by four after the guests first at bat, the T-Bolts got one when Robert Lucido (Amherst) walked and scampered to third on a double by Cody Acker (VCU). Jonathan Tasis (Point Park) grounded out to score Lucido and send Acker to third. Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) followed with a fly ball to center which was caught and turned into a double play when Acker was thrown out in an attempt to score after the catch.

Brandon Coluccio (UMBC) doubled in the T-Bolts second, moved up a base on an error, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Augustus Gill (Montgomery College). The T-Bolts scored two more in the third when Lucido and Acker singled and Taylor hit his eighth double of the season to score Lucido and Acker. That made the score 7-4 and opted the Rockville manager to turn the game over to his bullpen, which slammed the door on the T-Bolts.

The final T-Bolts run of the evening was scored when Robinson Mateo (Southern), playing in his first game in over a week, singled to score Gill.

Notes: Dan Gayeski (De Salles), called the Comeback Kid in an article before the season by your correspondent, came on in relief of O’Donnell to begin the top of the third and cooled off the Express by retiring the first eight batters he faced. In seven innings of work, he allowed just three hits and struck out 3. Jake Taylor has hit one double in the last three games. Robert Lucido, 3-for-3 in the second game yesterday’s double header, got a hit in his first at bat tonight to give him four consecutive hits. Cody Acker, with two hits tonight, is now hitting .317. Jake Taylor, Brandon Coluccio, and Augustus Gill also made two hits apiece. The Cal Ripken Sr. League All Star Game is tomorrow night in Bethesda. Representing the T-Bolts are Ian Glassman (UMBC), Cody Acker, and Josh Kisamore (Florence Darling). Jake Taylor will be a participant in the league’s home-run derby.

Fusco Shuts Out Braves As Thunderbolts Split At Herdon

July 15, 2013Herdon, Virginia. July 15th can be declared as a special day in the CRCBL to honor Silver-Spring Takoma Thunderbolts pitching staff. Chris Fusco (Bates College) pitched a 3-hit shutout today – July 15th – exactly two years after former T-Bolts Hunter Englehart pitched the last shutout in Thunderbolts history.

In his first starting assignment of the season, Fusco sent the Herndon Braves three-up-and-three-down in five of the seven innings and allowed just three hits to record his first win of the season. He faced just one over the minimum through 6 2/3 innings. With one out away for a complete game shutout win, the Braves threatened with a walk and a single to put runners on the corners. However, Fusco got Rob McCabe of the Braves to ground one to shortstop Clay Keranen (Liberty), who cleanly fielded the ball and fired to first baseman Jonathan Tasis (Point Park) for the final out.

Staying until the final out in 96 degree heat to see if Fusco could complete the shutout was reason enough to stay, although the T-Bolts put the game out of reach with a 6-run sixth-inning to take a 9-0 lead. Robert Lucido’s 3-for-3 game and Ian Glassman’s two hits lead the attack. The two batting stars of the game also knocked in three runs apiece.

The T-Bolts dropped the first game of today’s twin bill, 6-2. They scored first in their first at bat of the afternoon when Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) smacked his sixth double of the season into deep right-centerfield to score Cody Acker (VCU). The Braves took a 3-1 lead with one in the third and two in the fourth. In the top of the fifth, Taylor “T-Fenn” Fennewald (Florence-Darlington) walked, moved to second on a sacrifice by Augustus Gill (Montgomery), and scored on Brandon Vega’s single to cut the lead to 3-2. There was hope for victory when T-Bolts starting pitcher Chris Flores (U Tennessee-Martin) worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth, but the T-Bolts went down in order in the top of the sixth. The Braves scored three in their half of the inning for a 6-2 win.

Inspired by their win, the Braves put runners on first and third with one out in the second-inning. Herndon shortstop Trey Stover followed with a fly ball to T-Bolts right-fielder Brandon Vega (Ocean County). The runner on third tagged, and Vega threw a laser on target to catcher Robert Lucido (Amherst), who made the tag to complete the double play. The twin killing seemed give the T-Bolts a needed shot in the arm.
On the heels of the Vega to Lucido double play, the T-Bolts put two on the board in their next at bat. Keranen walked, stole second, and scored on a double by Lucido. Ian Glassman (UMBC) followed with a hit through the middle to score the T-Bolts catcher.

Lucido was involved in the next offensive by drawing a base on balls, stealing second, and counting on another hit up the middle by Glassman.

In the bottom of the sixth, the T-Bolts sent ten men to the plate in a six-run rally. Taylor began the attack with his second two-bagger of the day and scored the first of six when the next three batters walked. Keranen and Vega hit back-to-back singles to score two more. Then Lucido hit his second double of the day to score two more. Glassman knocked in the next run with a ground out.

Notes: T-Bolts shortstop Clay Keranen had quite a day in the field with eight assists and two putouts. He also threw out two opposing runners trying to advance an extra base. His snap relay to the plate cut down a Braves runner in the third inning of the first game. One inning later, he made another fine relay throw to nullify a runner trying to advance to third. Whew!

Thunderbolts hold off Orioles, Hold On For 3-2 Win

July 14, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. It may have been a painful way to bring home the winning run, but it worked for a Silver Spring-Takoma 3-2 win on Sunday evening at Montgomery-Blair Stadium.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth of a 2-2 tie, Jonathan Tasis took one for the team, advancing to first on a hit-by-pitch to force in the go ahead run. The 3-2 lead held up for the T-Bolts tenth win of the season, nonetheless, it was not easy. The top of the ninth proved to be yet another T-Bolts nail-bitter.

Travis Brunette went from starting right fielder to the pitcher’s mound to face the Orioles in the final inning. A leadoff walk followed by a single spelled trouble. Burnette did get the next batter for the first out, but now had to face the two batters who have worn out the T-Bolts this season – KJ Hockaday and Ryan Ripken – and with men on base.

Hockaday entered the game with 7 hits in 9 at bats against the T-Bolts this season. Although he was hitless in this game, he’s still the league’s number two hitter with a .367 batting average. Burnette induced the O’s slugger to ground one to shortstop Augustus Gill, who tossed to second baseman Javy Marticorena (Point Park) for a force out. Remer decided he was going to have nothing to do with Ryan Ripken by ordering an intentional pass, which proved to be the right move. The next batter grounded out to end the game, and send 289 T-Bolts fans home on a happy note.

The game began as if starting pitchers Juan Espinosa (U of Northwestern Ohio) and Conor LeBlanc were going to make history by combining for a double no-hitter. Neither team could get a single hit through the first four innings. In the top of the fifth, James Bunn finally broke through for the O’s with an infield hit. The T-Bolts matched that in their half of the inning when Clay Keranan (Liberty) singled. The difference was the guests were able to score one in their half of the inning. Texas Williams had walked before Bunn’s hit, advanced to third on a sacrifice, and scored on a wild pitch.

Following a hitless sixth inning, the T-Bolts bunched three hits to take the lead and send LeBlanc to the showers. Cody Acker (VCU) and Jonathan Tasis (Point Park) singled to start the inning. After the two runners advanced on a ground out, Augustus Gill (Montgomery College) came through with a two-run single for a 2-1 T-Bolts advantage.

The Orioles tied the game in the top of the eighth with a run off Josh Kissamore (who came on in the top of the sixth). With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Brandon Vega (Ocean County) singled and Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) doubled. Acker received an intentional pass and Tasis was hit by a pitch to score the winning run.

Notes: Tonight’s crowd of 289 was the second largest of the season at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. T-Bolts starting pitcher Juan Espinosa allowed only 1 hit in 5.1 innings tonight. Winning pitcher Josh Kissamore (Florence Darlington) hurled 2.2 innings in relief. He now leads the pitching staff with three wins. Orioles starting pitcher Conor LeBlanc hit the first batter he faced, then retired 14 in a row before issuing a walk in the fifth inning. Both teams went hitless through the first four innings to make one wonder about the possibility of the double no-hitter. It did happen one time in major league history. On May 2, 1917, Fred Toney (Reds) and Hippo Vaugh (Cubs) threw nine hitless innings. Cincinnati won, 1-0, with a run on two hits in the top of the tenth. Jim Thorpe’s infield hit scored the game’s only run.

Thunderbolts Lose To Big Train, 17-8

July 13, 2013, Bethesda, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts scored 8 runs but lost by 9 on Saturday night before the league’s biggest crowd of the season. The defeat was their twentieth of the season and third in a row.

It looked good for our home team after three innings when the T-Bolts led, 4-1, much to the delight of the Silver Spring-Takoma diehards among the 1,003 in attendance. That’s before the Bethesda Big Train, ranked 6th in the nation by the Perfect Game scouting service, brought out the heavy artillery to tally 16 runs from the fourth through the eighth inning in a 17-8 romp.

T-Bolts shortstop Gus Gill (Montgomery College), making his CRCBL debut, singled with two teammates aboard to score the first run of the game in the bottom of the second. Right fielder Travis Burnettte (Longwood) followed with a double down the right field line to score another run. The T-Bolts added another pair in the next inning when Cody Acker (VCU) singled with two aboard to bring one home, and the next batter, Brandon Coluccio (UMBC), hit into a fielder’s choice to score the other run.

With the T-Bolts still up by a run in the top of the fifth, Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) belted a fast ball over the scoreboard in leftfield for his third homer of the season to make it 5-3 in favor of the T-Bolts. That was as good as it would get.

The first place Big Train went to work against the struggling Thunderbolts pitching staff with two in the fifth-inning to tie the game, 5-5. In the bottom of the sixth, they scored five runs on two hits, two infield hits, and a costly T-Bolts error.

In the top of the seventh, Javy Marticorena (Point Park), who has been swinging a hot bat of late, sent a towering blast into the trees beyond the leftfield wall for his second round-tripper of the season. Robert Lucido (Amherst) and Anthony Gatto (UMBC) began the next inning with back-to-back doubles for another run. Noticing the return throw from the outfield was off-target, Gatto alertly took third on the play. He scored on Taylor’s ground out for the eighth and final T-Bolts run of the game.

Notes: Augustus Gill, the younger brother of tonight’s T-Bolts starting pitcher Mac Gill (UMBC), made his CRCBL debut this evening and did a good job. The recent graduate of Walter Johnson high school went two for four with a double, a run, and an RBI. He handled all four of his fielding chances. Best of all is he plays with energy. Gill was signed yesterday and was cleared to play in tonight’s game. “Was he nervous?” T-Bolts head coach Doug Remer was asked. “Heck yes,” replied the head coach. The T-Bolts collected 13 hits tonight against the second ranked pitching staff in the league: Robert Lucido, Anthony Gatto, Cody Acker, Augustus Gill, and Travis Burnette with two hits apiece. For the second consecutive game, the T-Bolts pitching staff allowed an eighth-inning grand slam.

T-Bolts Drop Two In D.C.

July 11, 2013Washington, D.C. Thursday afternoon with the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts was as gloomy as the skies that hovered over Holy Field. The T-Bolts surrendered 13 runs on 17 hits and made one unearned run on four hits in a 13-1 loss to the D.C. Grays. That followed the team’s give away in the completion of the suspended game from the night before in Silver Spring. All-in-all, it was a tough day for our hometown team.

The day started without signs of trouble. Tayler Stiles (U of Maryland), who had entered the game in the top of the ninth the night before, appeared to be heading for his first win when retiring the Grays on just ten pitches in the top of the eleventh. In the bottom of the inning, pinch-hitter Brandon Coluccio (UMBC) led off with a single. Right-fielder Travis Burnette (Longwood) executed a perfect sacrifice to move pinch-runner Brandon Vega (Ocean County) into scoring position, however, the top of the T-Bolts order was unable to make the winning hit and the game headed into another extra inning. That’s when confusion reigned with the T-Bolts.

A delay followed as T-Bolts catcher Robert Lucido, the team’s designated hitter in the game, put on the catcher’s gear and appeared on the field. He then returned to the dugout, and after another delay, Anthony Gatto dressed into the gear to catch in his first game of the season.
Former T-Bolts Chris Bzozowski belted a double to begin the inning. That’s when the next Grays batter, aware that there was an inexperienced catcher in the game, put down a bunt directly in front of home plate. Gatto pounced on the ball, had a play on Bzozowski at third, but threw wide of his target to allow the go-ahead run to score.

The next game was dominated by the home team. The Grays sent eleven men to the plate in a five-run third-inning and batted around in the next inning to take a 9-0 lead. The final insult to injury was added in the bottom of the eighth when Casey Hicks of Gallaudet University smacked a grand slam.

Notes: Cody Acker (VCU) crossed the plate in the top of the sixth for the only T-Bolts run of the game. Javy Marticorena (Point Park) accounted for one of four T-Bolts hit of the game when he slammed a double off the right field fence. Anthony Gatto, the pitcher, kept the Grays off the board in his one inning in relief. He struck out a batter and induced another to hit a soft fly to center with the bases loaded for the last out of the inning. Jake Taylor (Montgomery College), playing just his second game at short stop, made a fantastic stop and throw to rob Chris Bzozowski of a hit in the seventh inning. Credit on the play must also go to first baseman Taylor “T-Fenn” Fennewald for making a great stretch for the ball. Robert “Don’t call me Junior” Lucido (Amherst) stole two bases today to give him 6 for the season. That’s best among all catchers in the league. The T-Bolts return home on Friday night to take on the Rockville Express.

T-Bolts Game Suspended At Top of 11th

July 10, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. 

T-Bolts Starting pitcher Danny O’ Donnell (George Washington) pitched a solid game against his former team, the D.C. Grays, going nine full innings, allowing seven hits, no walks, and striking out six. Unfortunately, it was not enough to get him the win as the game was suspended after ten innings with the score tied at five a piece, because of Blair Stadium’s 11:00 p.m. curfew rule. The game will resume at 4 pm tomorrow (July 11) before the start of the  T-Bolts’ evening contest against the D.C. Grays at Holy Field the Washington, D.C., the home of the Grays.

Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) started at shortstop for the T-Bolts. Was that what Jake meant when he said he wanted to display his versatility this season? Whether he meant it or not, a rash of injuries left head coach Doug Remer with no choice but to find a player on his current roster to fill the void. That fell to Taylor this evening at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. How did he do? He handled six of seven chances and helped execute one of two T-Bolts twin killings. At the plate, he belted an RBI triple to score the first T-Bolts run of the evening.

The Grays scored three runs in the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead. In the fourth, Taylor hit his RBI triple to get the T-Bolts on the board. The home team added another one in the next inning on a passed ball. They took the lead with three in the bottom of the sixth when Robert Lucido (Amherst), who hit a three-run triple three days ago, knocked an extra base hit to score two runs to give the T-Bolts a one-run lead. A fly ball by Javy Marticorena (Park Point) was deep enough to allow Lucido to tag and score all the way from second base, putting the T-Bolts ahead 5-3.

O’Donnell kept the Grays off the board from the fourth through the sixth innings with the assistance of two double plays turned by the T-Bolts infielders. But in the seventh, with a man on base, former T-Bolt Chris Bzozowski connected for a home run to tie the game, 5-5. After that, O’Donnell proceeded to retire the next eight batters he faced.

The Thunderbolts had a chance to break the tie in their half of the seventh when they loaded the bases with only one out, but a double play snuffed the threat.

Notes: Jerry Chavarria (Southern) had his first multi-hit game of the season. Anthony “Big Cat” Gatto (UMBC) collected three hits tonight. Chris Bzozowski hit .354 in two seasons with the T-Bolts, and represented the T-Bolts in last season’s CRCBL All-Star game. Speaking of All-Stars, Cody Acker (VCU), Ian Glassman (UMBC), and Tayler Stiles (U of Maryland) were selected to represent the Thunderbolts in next week’s CRCBL All-Star Game.

Thunderbolts Split Double Header With Orioles As Marticorena Pounds Five Hits

July 8, 2013Glen Burnie, Maryland. Javy Marticorena (Point Park) was in a 0-for-19 slump with a.154 season batting average. That was before he went 6-for-6 to add seventy-five points to his average. Following a base hit in his last at bat in the T-Bolts win on Sunday night, the T-Bolts second baseman had five hits consecutive hits tonight at Bachman Field in Glen Burnie. He hit one in the first game that crashed against the fence in left field; approximately 350 feet from home plate. He launched another long one over the Orioles left fielder for a hit in the nightcap. “It would have been gone in our ballpark,” hollered a T-Bolt player after the second drive. In fact, both drives would have cleared the barrier in any other CRCBL ball park.

The second wallop by Marticorena resulted in a triple for his fifth hit of the evening, and scored two runs to cap a eight-run avalanche in the first two innings for a 8-0 lead. After that, the Thunderbolts were on their way to a 12-4 win in the second game of the doubleheader.

The Thunderbolts grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first game with two in the top of the second. Ian Glassman (UMBC) and Tayler Stiles (the designated hitter in both games tonight) singled. Javy Marticorena followed with his first hit, a single, to score Glassman and send Stiles to third. After Anthony Gatto (UMBC) walked, Cody Acker (VCU) hit into a fielder’s choice to score Stiles.

Thunderbolts starting pitcher Hunter Absher (VCU) looked good through the first two innings and in the two that followed the third. In the third, the O’s rallied for three runs on three hits to take the lead, 3-2, with KJ Hockaday, the league’s leading hitter, delivered the key blow – a two run single.

The T-Bolts tried to counter, but were unable to delivery in the clutch hit. Marticorena singled in the fourth, was sacrificed into scoring position, but the big hit never followed. In the sixth, Marticorena hit his first of his two long drives. Once again, he was left on base.

In the do-or-die top of the seventh, with the score now 4-2 in favor of the Orioles, Jake Taylor reached base on a hit-by-pitch and took third on Coluccio’s single. Coluccio proceeded to steal second to put the tying run in scoring position with one out. Glassman then drilled one, but right the shortstop for out number two. Mattt Bosse, who said he was seeing the ball “really well” tonight, drilled one down the right field line. “Get down! Get down!” someone yelled, however, the ball hung in the air long enough for the Orioles right fielder to edge over and make the catch to end the game.

The T-Bolts did not mess around in the nightcap. Bob Lucido (Amherst) walked and took second on a sacrifice by Glassman. Acker followed with a deep drive that the centerfielder failed to hang onto. The play was scored a hit, and scored Lucido for the first run of the game. After Jonathan Tasis (Point Park) singled, Marticoena got another hit to score Acker for a 2-0 lead. Travis Burnette (Longwood), getting a start in right field, kept the parade going with a RBI single, and Anthony “Big Cat” Gatto smoked one up the middle that nearly knocked the mitt off the pitcher’s hand before landing in centerfield to score two more to cap a five-run inning.

Ian “Tuna” Glassman singled to get the ball rolling in the second inning. With two outs, Tasis and Stiles singled to load the bases. That’s when Marticorena delivered his second long hit for his fifth hit of the day. The hit cleared the bases to make it an 8-0 lead for the visiting team. For good measure, the T-Bolts added one in the third when Gatto walked, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on sacrifice fly by Lucido.

The Orioles rallied for four in their half of the third with Hockaday and Ripken both delivering. The T-Botls finished the scoring with one in the sixth and two in the seventh. In the sixth, Acker and Tasis made their third hits of the game to produce one run. In the seventh, the most exciting run of the evening occurred when Gatto stole home.

After reaching third on a walk and an error, Gatto broke for the plate on the catcher’s return throw to the pitcher. Hurrying his throw in attempt to head off Gatto, the pitcher threw wildly. Noticing the ball getting by the catcher, head coach Doug Remer, who was coaching third base, waved Robinson Mateo around. Mateo slid into home for another run.

Notes: KJ Hockaday and Ryan Ripken are what Spencer Wolfe of the Nationals was to the T-Bolts in 2012. In 2013, Hockaday is 6 for 9 and Ripken is 5 for 11 against the T-Bolts. Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) struck out two in the last two innings in relief in the nightcap. Tayler Stiles (Maryland) has gone 1 for 3 in all four games he has been the designated hitter this season. All nine T-Bolts starters in the nightcap crossed home at least once. Cody Acker made a nice diving catch to rob Ripken of a sure hit in the fourth inning of the second game. Starting and winning pitcher Chris Flores (Tennessee-Martin) made a sprawling stop on a bunt attempt and completed the play for an out by throwing from his knees. Jonathan Tasis made a great stretch on Flores’ throw to complete the play. Ian Glassman made a nice leaping grab on a high-hopper and made the long throw to first for the out.

Thunderbolts Take One Of Two From Giants

July 7, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. Two young men stepped up to help deliver a win for the Thunderbolts in the second game of a double header against the Gaithersburg Giants on Sunday evening at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. Robert Lucido (Amherst) socked a triple for his first extra base hit of the season which scored three teammates to give the T-Bolts their first lead of the night. Travis Burnette (Longwood) took the mound with the tying run on base in the last inning and retired the Giants for a 4-3 win.

The Giants took the first contest by producing 11 runs on 17 hits in an 11-2 white-washing of our T-Bolts. The guests took a 2-0 lead in the second game with a pair in the top of the third. In the bottom of the fourth, the T-Bolts went to work by loading the bases to set the stage for Lucido.

Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) began the T-Bolts’ fourth with a single, Anthony “Big Cat” Gatto (UMBC) walked, and pitcher Travis Burnette, who had entered the game in the top of the fourth in a rare role as right fielder, reached base on an error to load the bases for Lucido.

Lucido drilled one into deep centerfield. The Gaithersburg centerfielder turned, took one look skyward, and then began to sprint. By the time he reached the ball and made a return throw, all three runners had tallied for a 3-2 lead.

The prospect of a win became stronger when the T-Bolts added another run in the next inning without the benefit of a hit. Three walks and a hit batsman extended their lead to 4-2. In the top of the sixth, the Giants put runners on second and third with only one out, but relief pitcher Chris Fusco snuffed the threat by striking out the next two batters to maintain the two-run lead. The lead seemed safe and victory appeared certain, but as most T-Bolts fans have learned this season, it’s not a good idea to tease the alligators before crossing the bridge.

The Gaithersburg seventh began with a light tap along the third baseline by Chris Kashangaki which trickled about thirty feet from the plate for an infield hit. Another hit put runners on first and second with nobody out. Then on the next pitch, Kashangaki wondered off the second base bag and appeared to be an easy out. The catcher’s throw to second, however, was low. The ball bounced twice, skipped under the fielder’s glove, and rolled into centerfield to allow both runners to advance one base.

At this time, T-Bolts head coach Doug Remer came out of the dugout and called to his right fielder. Burnette changed hats from outfielder to fireman and trotted in from right field to take the mound. The first batter he faced grounded one to the right side of the infield which was booted for an error. A run scored to make it a one-run ballgame, and the tying run moved to third base. When the runner on first proceeded to steal second, the Giants were a hit away from taking the lead.

Burnette proceeded to strike out the next batter for the first out of the inning, but walked the next man to load the bases. Bases loaded, one out, the Giants manager sent up a pinch hitter, Brandon Grove who was 2 for 3 in the first game of the twin bill. He hit a fly to shallow left field. Anthony Gatto made the catch for the second out and quickly fired to the plate to keep the runner at third base. The last hope for the Giants tapped one back to the mound. Burnette grabbed it, made a facial expression as if he had made it to the end of the bridge and it was okay to tease the alligators, and threw to Jake Taylor at first base to end the game.

Notes: The first game wasn’t as much fun for the T-Bolts. They managed just two hits and matched their hit total with as many errors. Tayler Stiles, in his second game as the designated hitter, got one of the two hits with a RBI double. Brandon Vega made the other hit. Juan Espinosa (Northwestern Ohio) struck out 6 in 5 innings and got the win in the nightcap. Chris Fusco was credited for a hold, and Travis Burnette got the save. Speaking of Burnette, he entered the game in the fourth inning as a replacement in right field for Brandon Vega. In addition to his save, he scored the third run on Lucido’s 3-run triple, and applied the tag in a rundown when coming in from the outfield to partake in the play. Third baseman/outfielder Ian Glassman has yet to make an error this season.

Thunderbolts Downed By Aces, 7-2

July 6, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. It was curiosity that killed the cat, and it was generosity that led to a Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts defeat before a Saturday evening crowd of 165 at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. Generosity meaning the T-Bolts totaled three errors, four passed balls, and four unearned runs in a 7-2 defeat to the Alexandria Aces.

Starting Pitcher Tayler Stiles (Maryland) endured his second straight rough outing. Forty-six of his 108 pitches missed the strike zone. When the book closed on his evening, he had walked six, allowed five hits, and plunked two batters in five innings. The T-Bolts did have their moments this evening. At the plate, Clay Keranen (Liberty University) and Jonathan Tasis (Point Park) both went 2-for-2. Infielder Robinson Mateo (Southern), playing his first game in twenty days, socked a hit, stole two bases, scored a run, and handled all five of his fielding chances, including a great running catch behind first base. Another fine fielding play was made by Brandon Vega (Ocean County) and Brandon Culuccio (UMBC) when the two connected to cutoff a run at the plate. Vega made the throw after fielding an Aces single, and Collucio caught the peg and applied the tag for the out. And the pitching staff did hold Nicholas Collins, one the top hitters in the CRL, to just one hit in five at bats.

Collins gave the Aces a 1-0 led with a RBI single in the first inning. The T-Bolts evened the score in the bottom of the second when Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) doubled down the left field line, took third on a sacrifice by Ian Glassman (UMBC), and scored on Brandon Coluccio’s groundout. The prospect of a win looked good when Stiles retired the Aces in order in the third, but in the fourth the guests capitalized on two walks, a hit batsman, and an error to score three run on just one hit for a 4-1 lead. Two innings later, the Aces added another pair with additional aid from the T-Bolts, and to add insult to injury, they got one more in the ninth inning.

Notes: Robinson Mateo put on a base running exhibition by stealing second and third in the bottom of the sixth. He then traveled home when Ian Glassman singled. Anthony “Big Cat” Gatto (UMBC) made his CRL pitching debut by hurling in the top of the ninth. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts fans surpassed the 2,000 mark tonight in total attendance for the season. The T-Bolts will play back-to-back doubleheaders beginning with a twin bill at home on Sunday versus the Gaithersburg Giants. On Monday, they travel to Bachman Stadium in Glen Burnie to take on K.J. Hockaday, Ryan Ripken, and the Youse’s Orioles in a twin bill.

Thunderbolts swept by Defending Champs

July 5, 2013. Towson, Maryland. Ten days ago, when players from 9 of the 12 teams of the Cal Ripken League were touring the Capitol Building, a player was asked to name his toughest opponent in the CRCBL. His answer was the Baltimore Red Birds, “because of their pitching.” Tonight, before 163 fans at Carlo Crespino Stadium, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts got a taste of the Red Birds strong pitching. They also found out that the Red Birds can hit. Led by an offensive attack that produced 10 runs on 16 hits, including three homers, the defending champs defeated the T-Bolts, 2-0 and 8-3.

As for the Red Birds pitching, they lived up to their reputation by limiting our Thunderbolts to 1 run on 3 hits though 13 innings of the two seven inning contests. In the final inning of the night, the T-Bolts rallied, but by that time the game’s outcome was already known.

For the record, Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) began that inning with his second single of the game, and Matt Bosse (U of South Carolina-Aiken) also singled to put two on with nobody out. After the runners moved up a base on an out, Jonathan Tasis (Point Park) singled to center to score his two teammates. Jerry Chavarria (Southern) followed with his first double of the season to send Tasis to third, however, that would be it for the T-Bolts. The last out of the game was recorded to complete the sweep.

Lamont Wade began the trouble in the nightcap by whacking Danny O’Donnell’s second offering of the game over the right field wall. Alex Pastorius followed with a single, and Ian Rice, another dangerous hitter in the Baltimore lineup, slammed a three-bagger to make it 2-0. Rice scored when the next batter singled.

The Red Birds added two more in the fourth, beginning with a homerun down the leftfield line by Jimmy Redovian. They added another three in the next inning to take a commanding 8-1 lead.
T-Bolts starting pitcher Josh Kissamore (Florence-Darlington) was outstanding in the first game. After a first inning hit, he retired the next 13 in a row before an error snapped his string. He bounced back to retire the next batter to end the Red Birds fifth, and then sent down the first two in the sixth before giving way to two hits, but once again, he ended the threat.

Red Birds starting pitcher Lamont Wade, the CRL leader in home runs and RBI, matched Kissamore inning per inning by keeping the T-Bolts off the board. With the game still scoreless, R.J. Dennard began the Red Birds seventh by reaching for a fastball on the outside corner and belted it to the opposite field. Brandon Vega (Ocean County) drifted back to the leftfield wall until he run out of room and looked up in time to see the ball hit a sign below the scoreboard for a home run.

Two hits and an error manufactured another run before the inning was over. In the bottom of the seventh (the first game was a makeup game from a rained out game at Montgomery-Blair which is why the T-Bolts were the home team in the first game), the Thunderbolts went three-up and three-down to end the game.

Notes: When asked which he likes more – hitting or pitching – Lamont Wade answered hitting. He pitched the first five innings in the first game, allowed only 2 hits but did not get the decision. He departed after the fifth frame with the score nothing-to-nothing. Baltimore pitcher Nick Grant pitched the last two innings to earn the win. During the twenty minute break prior to the second game, Jake Taylor and Jonathan Tasis went to the batting cage located down the left field line. “We’re trying to wake up the bats for the next game,” Taylor said. His bat woke up for two hits to make him 7 for his last 16, and Tasis’ bat also came to life for a two-run single. Tyler Stiles (U of Maryland) is listed as the starting pitcher for Saturday night’s game at Montgomery-Blair Stadium versus the Alexandria Aces. He is fun to watch and worth the price of admission. Game time is set for 7:00.

T-Bolts Take Two From Nationals

July 1, 2013Waldorf, Maryland. What a difference a year makes. Last July, the Thunderbolts came to Regency Furniture Stadium feeling optimistic about taking a double header to keep their playoff hopes alive. The result was a botched lead in the first game when Spencer Wolfe of the Nationals smacked a grand slam to pave the way for a T-Bolts loss (the T-Bolts were also defeated in the nightcap to dash their playoff hopes). Last night, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts took both games from the Nationals to make it three wins in their last four games. They are still 2 ½ games away from the last playoff spot, but the double win keeps their hopes alive, and shows the team’s progress since last season.

Jake Taylor (Montgomery College), Matt Bosse (South Carolina-Aiken), and Mac Gill (UMBC) were the stars in the double win with Travis Burnette (Longwood), Brandon Coluccio (UMBC), and newcomer Matthew Margaritonda getting honorable mentions. It was Jake Taylor who delivered the winning hit in the bottom of the eighth to win the first game. Matt Bosse accounted for 3 of the 4 T-Bolts runs with one swing of the bat and Matt Gill allowed just one run on five hits in eight strong innings in the second win.

The first game was a continuation of the suspended game between the two teams at Montgomery-Blair Stadium from the night before. The T-Bolts led, 4-3, in the top of the sixth when the umpires decided that the lightning strikes seen throughout the game were becoming too close for comfort. When play resumed tonight in Waldorf, the Nationals had two on base with only one out. Travis Burnette, who was on the mound when play was halted the night before, completed his assignment by retiring the next two batters to end the threat. But in the next inning, he got into hot water by allowing the first two batters to reach base. After a sacrifice moved the runners along, head coach Doug Remer ordered an intentional walk to set up the double play chance. Burnette did the job by getting the next hitter to hit one on the ground, but the T-Bolts could only get a force at second while the tying run scored.

Burnette bounced back to retire the next batter to end the inning, then sent the Nats down in order in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, Clay Keranen singled with two outs, Acker walked, and Taylor made his fifth hit in his last eight at bats to win the game, 5-4.

Matt Bosse’s second home run of the season, a three run blast, gave the T-Bolts a 3-0 lead in the second inning of game two. That appeared to be all that Mac Gill would need. The senior from Kensington got off to a great start by retiring the first nine batters. Through six innings, he allowed just two hits and a walk. He appeared to be heading for another three-up, three-down inning in the seventh when an error extended the frame. A walk and single followed for an unearned run, nonetheless, the T-Botls still led by two.

In the top of the eight, again with two outs, the Nats produced another run to cut the lead to 3-2. The T-Bolts answered in their half of the ninth when Coluccio hit his second single of the game. Two walks and a wild pitch scored Coluccio for a 4-2 lead.

Remer turned to Matthew Margaritonda (Marshall) to close out the ninth, and the new T-Bolts pitcher struck out two in the inning to slam the door on the Nationals for a 4-2 T-Bolts win.

Notes: Mac Gill, Danny O’Donnell (George Washington), and Josh Kisamore (Florence-Darlington) have two wins apiece. The T-Bolts 5-4 win in the first game of the evening was their first extra innings win of the season. That game was intended to be a seven innings affair since scheduled double headers in the CRCBL are two seven inning games. Matt Bosse and Jake Taylor are tied for the team lead with two homers. Last season, Spencer Wolfe went 7 for 14 with 3 doubles, 8 RBI, and a grand slam against our T-Bolts. This season versus the T-Bolts, he was 2 for 8 with a double and 2 RBI. Spencer Wolfe and Matt Bosse will be teammates next season at the University of South Carolina-Aiken. When asked about Bosse, Wolfe said he had yet to meet him.

T-Bolts Lose First Game of Double Header – Second Game Suspended

June 30, 2013. Silver Spring, Maryland. Baseball announcer Hawk Harrelson might call Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) the next Big Hurt, because he hits the ball so hard that he hurts it.

After hurting the ball for his second home run of the game to tie the score, 4-4, Taylor hurt the ball with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh by scorching one toward right field. Unfortunately for Taylor and the Thunderbolts, the wicked drive went directly to Nationals second baseman Ryan Meltzer, who made the catch and won the race to the second base bag to double up the base runner for the third out of the inning.

The visiting South Maryland Nationals scored one in their next at bat for a 5-4 win. The T-Bolts did manage to take a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning of the nightcap before the game was suspended due to lightning. The contest will be completed on Monday before the T-Bolts are scheduled to take on the Nationals in Waldorf. Tayler Stiles (University of Maryland) was the T-Bolts starting pitcher in the first game. He was also inserted into the number six spot in the batting order as the designated hitter. In three at bats, the University-bound freshman went 1 for 3 with a single for his first CRCBL career hit.

Stiles the pitcher breezed through the first inning, although he walked a batter to snap his streak of nine consecutive innings without a base on balls. In the second and third innings, the Nationals batters began to swing at Stiles’ first offerings. When that failed they became more patient, and that worked for two runs in the forth and fifth innings for a 4-3 lead.

Jake Taylor hit a screamer in the bottom of the first for his first home run of the season. His wallop hit the air-conditioner next to the fire station beyond the leftfield fence for a 1-0 T-Bolts lead. In the third inning, Bob Lucido Jr (Amherst) singled, Cody Acker walked, and two errors followed for a 3-0 T-Bolts lead.

After Danny O’Donnell (George Washington) replaced Stiles in the top of the sixth, and sent the Nationals down in order, Jake Taylor, who loves to swing at the first pitch, took an inside fastball for strike one. The next pitch by Nats pitcher Austin Poretz was a hanging curve in Taylor’s wheelhouse. He swung and connected, and there was no doubt to where this ball was heading.

One-hundred and ninety-six fans went wild, and so did the T-Bolts player, who exited the dugout to greet and congratulate the home-run star after he crossed the plate to tie the score, 4-4.

In the bottom of the seventh, the T-Bolts made their bid to win the game by loading the bases with nobody out. After Kenanen grounded into a force out at the plate, Taylor hit the line drive that resulted in an inning-ending double play.

Timely hitting and an outstanding defensive plays led to the T-Bolts 4-3 lead in the nightcap. With the bases loaded and two outs in a scoreless game in the last of the third, Ian Glassman (UMBC) came through with a solid hit up the middle to score two. In the next inning, Taylor “T-Fenn” Fennewald (Fornece-Darlington) decided to celebrate his birthday a day late by presenting a two-run single, again with two outs, for a 4-1 lead.

South Maryland put runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the fifth when Austin Guy singled to centerfield. Brycen Gladbath of the Nats rounded third and attempting to score when centerfielder Cody Acker (VCU) made a great throw to T-Bolts catcher Jerry Chavvaria (Southern) at the plate. Chavveria caught the throw and dove to runner to apply the tag in time for the out.
The Nationals scored two to cut the lead to 4-3 in the sixth inning. After the third out to end the inning, the umpires conferred and decided to suspend the game

Notes: Jake Taylor is 4 for his last 6 with two home runs, a double, and three RBI. Cody Acker hit singled in his first three official at bats today and his now 11 for his last 18. Acker is now second in the league with a .370 batting average. Ian Glassman is doing a good job at the hot corner. In the second inning of the second game, he fielded a grounder along the third base line and made a lightning throw to first base for the out. Jake Taylor is a dirty player. No, not dirty like Ty Cobb, but dirtiest in terms of always being covered from head to toe with infield dust. In the first game, Taylor made a diving stop to his right, and then threw to first base from his knees for the out. After the play, Taylor was uniform was dusty enough to keep his reputation for being a dirty player. The first South Maryland run of the day was the first scored on snapped Tayler Stiles this season and snapped his string of 17.1 scoreless innings. After retiring the Nats in order in the sixth inning in the first game, Danny O’Donnell has now allowed just two earned runs in his last 15 innings. Jake Taylor’s second home run was hit so high into the sky that it may have started a rain delay. A forty-five minute rain delay followed the inning after the big guy had tied the game with this second round-tripper.

T-Bolts Win! T-Bolts Win! THAAA T-Bolts Win!

June 29, 2013. Hanover, Maryland. 

Happy Birthday, Head Coach Doug Remer. Your gift is a 6-4 Thunderbolts win over the Baltimore Presstman Cardinals in Hanover, Maryland to snap a 6-game losing streak. And this time your T-Bolts held the lead through the ninth inning.

Heading into the Cardinals’ half of the ninth, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts owned a two-run lead, although the odds felt as if they were against the team that was ahead. The T-Bolts were coming off a string of late inning losses, including one to these Cardinals. It didn’t ease matters to know that the home team had rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth the night before. And the final warning sign was a double to right-centerfield by the first batter of the inning.

The fear of another ninth inning collapse began to hover over Joe Cannon Stadium like a black cloud, but the head coach kept his cool and remained confident of victory. “I told them to ignore the runner on second base and focus of getting three outs,” Remer told his team after he came out of the dugout and called the infielder’s to the pitcher’ mound for a brief conference.

Jon Karns (Millersvile), who entered the game in the bottom of the ninth, understood the coach’s message to relax and stay focused, and he retired the next two batters on a strikeout and an infield popup. However, he issued a pass to the next batter to put the tying run on base.

Remer came out of the dugout again, this time to make a pitching change, and Travis Burnette (Longwood) answered the call by inducing the only batter he faced to groundout to end the game.

The birthday party began with a two-run top of the first by the T-Bolts against highly-rated Cardinals pitcher, Michael Austin. Brandon Vega (Ocean County) began the game with a foul ball that rolled its way into fair territory. Surprised by the course of the ball, Austin hurriedly fielded and threw, but his toss hit Vega in the back. As the ball bounced away, Vega headed to second. After a groundout moved Vega to third, the hot-hitting Cody Acker (VCU) walked and stole second. Jonathan Tasis (Point Park) followed with a base hit to score the two runners.

Joshua Kisamore (Florence-Darlington), the T-Bolts starting pitcher, breezed through the bottom of the first, but encountered trouble in the second when three hits and two stolen bases produced two runs for the Cardinals to tie the game. After that, Kissamore allowed just one base runner, on a walk, through the next three innings.

The T-Bolts regained the lead with a three-run fifth inning, thanks to an extra base hit by Luis Paublini-Campos (UT-Martin). With Anthony “The Big Cat” Gatto (UMBC), who had singled and stole two bases, on third base, and Acker on first, the catcher leaned into a smoking fastball and sent the ball for a long ride to deep centerfield. The hit traveled over the outfield and bounced four times before banking off the wall at the 410 foot marker. When the baseball was retrieved and finally returned to reality, Paublini-Campos was standing on third with a triple. Two batters later, he trotted home on a wild pitch for a 5-2 lead.

Kisamore retired the first batter in the Cardinals sixth to make it 11 in 12 batters, but then gave up a single, and then threw a “pearl” to Zach Markel, who deposited that pearl over the right field wall to cut the lead to 5-4.

After making it through the sixth inning, Kisamore recovered to handle the Cards in the seventh. “I let these kids work things out for themselves,” Remer said when asked if he had said something to inspire his starting pitcher before the bottom of the seventh.

In the top of the eighth, the T-Bolts added an insurance run when Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) broke his hitting slump by powering one to centerfield that out-distanced Paublini-Campos’s drive. Ian Glassman (UMBC) scored from first on the blast for a 6-4 T-Bolts lead.

Notes: A few minutes after Jake Taylor fielded a grounder and tapped first base to end the game, the victorious T-Bolts sang happy birthday to their head coach, and to Taylor Fennewald (Florence-Darlington), who also celebrated his birthday today. The Cardinals scored twice in their half of the second, but what a display of defense in that inning by T-Bolts shortstop Clay Kernanen (Liberty University). He dove to his right and speared a grounder, then got up to make the throw in time to retire the batter. Later in the inning, he fielded a grounder to start a twin killing to retire the side. Michael Austin, the starting pitcher for the Cardinals, has a reputation as a fine pitcher, but the T-Bolts batted him around. They had seven hits in five-plus innings and scored five against Austin. Joshua Kisamore got the win, Fusco and Jon Karns get the hold, and Burnette was credited with the save tonight. Chris Fusco (UT-Martin) breezed through the bottom of the eighth like it was just another day at the office. Remer and Fennewald share a birthday with hall of famers Harman Killebrew and Wilbert Robinson. “Uncle” Wilbert Robinson played for the great Baltimore Orioles of the 1890’s and later managed the Brooklyn Dodgers to two pennants, but will always be remembered for putting on the catcher’s gear before attempting to catch a baseball dropped from an airplane. Little did he know, a Dodgers outfielder named Casey Stengel arranged for a grapefruit to be dropped from the sky. When Robinson made the catch, the force of the ball knocked him flat on his back. Covered with grapefruit juice, Robinson, believing he was bleeding too death, cried for his life. The botched stunt resulted in Stengel’s immediate departure from Brooklyn.

T-Bolts Defeated By Giants 3-2

June 27, 2013. Gaithersburg, Maryland. 

The first ever official game between the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts and the Gaithersburg Giants resulted in a 3-2 win for the Giants in Gaithersburg. The loss was the fourth by a single run for our T-Bolts in 2013, and their sixth in a row.

Danny O’Donnell (George Washington), the starting pitcher who took the loss, had another impressive outing by allowing seven hits and one walk in seven strong innings. The nine hits can be called misleading since two of those hits stayed in the infield. The one walk by O’Donnell snapped his string of 13 straight innings without passing a batter; it also led to the Giants’ winning run.

The Thunderbolts scored first for the third consecutive game. In the top of the third, Brandon Vega (Ocean County) singled, stole second and tallied on Cody Acker’s hit for a 1-0 lead. After the Giants took the lead on two unearned runs in their half of the third, Acker followed two walks with his eighth hit in his last eleven at bats to score the tying run. After that, the T-Bolts’ batters were limited to two singles for the remainder of the game.

In the bottom of the seventh, O’Donnell walked the lead off batter. The Giants then played small-ball by executing a sacrifice and hit to score the runner for a 3-2 lead.

Notes: With two more hits today, Cody Acker (VCU) is now tied for third in the CRL with a .367 average. Ian Glassman (UMBC) made his season debut as the starting third baseman and passed the test by handling both of his fielding chances.

T-Bolts Stage Late Rally But Lose By One

June 26, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. The shoe was almost on the other foot last night at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. Victimized by two ninth inning rallies in their last two defeats as home, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts scored three in the bottom of the ninth, but their bid for victory fell one run short in a 6-5 loss to the Baltimore Red Birds. Nonetheless, the T-Bolts showed character, heart, and team spirit during a time when the breaks are going against.

With one out and trailing by four in the ninth, Clay Kernanen (Florence-Darlington) singled to keep the T-Bolts hopes alive. After Cody Acker struck out for the second out of the inning, Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) walked. Following a wild pitch to move up the runners, Jonathan Tasis (Point Park) cleared the bases with a double to cut the deficit in half. Second baseman Jave Marticorena (Point Park) then came through with a brilliant at bat by fouling off five pitches before whacking a double to score Tasis to make it a one-run ballgame. At that point, Red Birds manager Michael Carter decided that the T-Bolts were making life too stressful, and called on his relief specialist, Brandon Hinkle. The new pitcher struck out Luis Paublini-Campos to end the game.

The Thunderbolts grabbed the lead in the bottom of the second when Matt Bosse (U South Carolina-Aiken) hit his first home run of the season. Brandon Coluccio (UMBC), who had singled, also scored on the drive to give the T-Bolts a 2-0 lead.

T-Bolts starting pitcher Mac Gill (UMBC) kept the guests off the scoreboard through the first four innings, and retired eight in a row before walking the first batter in the fifth. The Red Birds capitalized with a sacrifice and a hit to score their first run of the evening. In the sixth, Gill encountered more trouble when the first three batters reached base. With the bases loaded, the T-Bolts pitcher settled down and struck out the next two, but then yielded his third walk of the frame to force in the tying run. That was it for Gill. Head coach Doug Remer called on relief pitcher Doug Fusco (Bates College), who was greeted with a two-run double to make it a 2-4 deficit for the T-Bolts.

The Thunderbolts offense had no reply to the Baltimore onslaught until the bottom of the seventh when Brandon Vega (Ocean County) singled and Cody Acker (VCU) doubled to put runners in scoring position with only one out, but the next two batters were retired to end the threat and the inning.

La Monte Wade Jr., the starting and winning pitcher, who also was the designated hitter for the Red Birds tonight, hit his second home run of the season to begin the ninth inning. After the next two batters were retired, the defending champs made three more hits to produce another run for a 6-2 lead.

Notes: The T-Bolts and six other CRCBL teams received the congressional tour at the Capitol Building on Tuesday afternoon. After the tour, the players from all seven teams attended the Nationals 3-2 win over Arizona at Nationals Park. Cody Acker, now sixth in the CRL in hitting, went 3 for 4 for the second game in a row to lift his season batting average to .356. Wade JR. of the Red Birds must think he is the next Babe Ruth. He pitched five innings tonight to record the win, and went 2 for 5 with a home run and a double. Second baseman Javy Marticorena handled all of four his fielding chances and punched out two hits this evening. Matt Bosse also made two hits, including the second T-Bolts’ homer of the season.

T-Bolts Unable To Hold On In Ninth Inning – Again

June 24, 2013. Silver Spring, Maryland. For the second straight home game, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts took a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning, and once again, the visiting team rallied to win.

Tonight’s loss, the fourth in a row for the struggling T-Bolts, was a huge heartbreak. Starting pitcher Tayler Stiles, fresh off a record setting, 16-strike out game in the recent Perfect Game tour, was magnificent in his first CRCBL starting assignment. The University of Maryland bond freshman allowed only three hits and no walks in seven innings while striking out nine. He was heading for his first CRCBL win when the T-Bolts let the lead slip away for a 6-2 loss in eleven innings.

The visiting Herndon Braves scored an unearned run in the fatal ninth inning to cut the lead to 2-1. They had the tying run on second base with two outs when Braves left fielder Austin Bream hit a slow roller toward T-Bolts third baseman Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) with all the looks of a game-ending out. Then came the shocking turn of events when the third baseman failed to get his glove down, and the ball scouted through his legs for the second error of the inning. The runner on second traveled home to tie the game and deny Tayler Stiles of the win. Nonetheless, there was still hope of a walk off win in the bottom of the ninth, but the best the T-Bolts could do was draw one walk before the inning had expired.

After relief pitcher Travis Burnette (Longwood), the fourth T-Bolts pitcher of the game, took care of the Braves in the top of the tenth, the T-Bolts received a gift in their half of the inning when the Braves committed their first error of the game. Cody Acker (VCU) followed with a walk, but Jonathan Tasis popped out to end the threat.
In the top of the eleventh, the T-Bolts, once again, endured one of those tough innings they’ve been having lately. There were two more errors, two walks, two wild pitches, and four more runs for the Braves.

Tayler Stiles began where he had left off on his recent trip. He struck out the side in the top of the first and recorded six whiffs through the first three innings. He began the fourth by retiring the first two batters to make it eleven retired in a row before allowing a base runner. He also yielded one hit in the fifth and sixth innings before sending the Braves down in order in the top of the seventh. By that time Stiles had thrown 67 strikes on 97 pitches, and team coach Doug Remer decided that the kid had enough.

In the last of the fourth, the T-Bolts scored a pair to give Stiles a 2-0 lead. Cody Acker singled and Jonathan Tasis (Point Park) was hit by a pitch. With two strikes on the next batter, Remer wisely put his runners in motion to stay out of the double play. The strategy worked, as Jake Taylor hit one on the ground that would have been a twin killing. With the only fielding play, at first base, the two runners moved into scoring position. Ian Glassman (UMBC) followed with a hit that barely got under the shortstop’s glove and rolled into centerfield for a 2-0 T-Bolts lead.
Two walks and an infield hit put two on base for the Braves in the top of the eighth. Remer made his second call to the bullpen, and on came Mac Gill (UMBC). Gill got the out to end the inning to preserve the two-run lead.

In the top of the ninth, an error and a hit-batsman put two Braves on the base paths with nobody out. Gill struck out the next batter, and then the next batter hit a high-hopper down the third baseline that barely stayed fair. Taylor got a glove on the hit to slow it down enough for him to retrieve the ball in shallow leftfield. A run scored while the other runner rounded second and headed for third. Shortstop Errol Robinson (Ole Miss) made an alert play by covering third base, and he took Taylor’s throw in time to apply the tag for the second out of the inning.
The next batter reached base on the error described above.

Notes: Errol Robertson played his last game of the season tonight. He is heading to the University of Mississippi for summer school to get a head start on his college education and the T-Bolts wish him well. Robinson finishes the season with a .340 batting average. After his terrific performance tonight, Stiles’ stats for the season are 5 hits in 14 total innings pitched with 21 strikeouts. Wow! Cody Acker was 3 for 4 tonight to lift his season average to .317. The Braves were rewarded four outs in the fifth and eleventh innings this evening. That’s because a pass ball and wild pitch on strike three allowed the batters to take first base on the dropped third strike rule. In the eleventh, three of the four outs recorded by Travis Burnette were strikeouts. Had he struck out all four, he would have joined the ranks of Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale, and sixty-eight other major league pitchers who had accomplished this feat. T-Bolts relief pitcher Juan Espinosa (U of Northwestern Ohio) made his season debut when he replaced Styles in the top of the eighth.

T-Bolts Drop Third in A Row

June 23, 2013. Vienna, Virginia. There were a few bright spots for the Thunderbolts on Sunday night at the James Madison baseball field, where the T-Bolts lost 14-3 to the Vienna Riverdogs for their third consecutive defeat: Luis Paulblini-Campos (UT-Martin) had his first multi-hit game of the season, Errol Robinson (University of Mississippi) had another two-hit game, and Dan Gayeski (DeSales University) threw four solid innings in his best outing of the season. Outside of that, it was a tough night for the T-Bolts.

The T-Bolts batters had just six hits and struck out 13 times tonight. Their four pitchers allowed 10 earned runs on 15 hits, and allowed the opponent to bat around during one inning. In the field, the T-Bolts made three errors while failing to turn a singe double play for the first time this season.

It was the home half of the second when the opposition batted around for five runs against T-Bolts starter Chris Flores (UT-Martin) for a 5-0 lead. The T-Bolts responded by scoring three runs in the next inning. With the bases loaded, and just one out, Paublini-Campos walked to force in the first T-Bolts run of the game. Errol Robinson followed with a two-base single to score another pair and put runners on first and second. With Taylor T-Fenn Fennewald (Florence-Darlington) at the plate, head coach Doug Remer thought he could catch the River Dogs off guard by sending the lead runner, but Paublini-Campos was thrown out for the second out of the inning. Fennewald completed his at bat with a single to, once again, place runners on first and second. The inning came to an end, however, when the next hitter grounded out, and that was all the scoring for the T-Bolts on this night.

Vienna followed with three more runs in their half of the third, and one in the fourth on a home run by Quinn Pippen against T-Bolts relief pitcher Hunter Absher (VCU). Gayeski entered after the round-tripper, and did a fine job by holding the home team to a run in his four innings of relief. Jon Karns (Millersville) came on for the T-Bolts in the bottom of the eighth, and retired the first two batters before the third Silver Spring-Takoma error of the game opened the door for four unearned runs.

Notes: With two more hits this evening, Errol Robinson is now sixth in the league with a .381 batting average. The T-Bolts return home on Monday night to play the last place Herndon Braves. Tayler Stiles is listed as the probable starter for the T-Bolts on Monday evening. Stiles makes his return after taking a week off to pitch for a regional all-star team of the best recent high school graduates.

T-Bolts Unable To Put Cardinals Away

June 22, 2013. Silver Spring, Maryland. The Silver Spring Thunderbolts were a single strike away from victory before 196 fans at Montgomery-Blair Stadium on a pleasant Saturday evening. Then, like a flash of light, or like the glow of the Space Station streaking across the sky above Montgomery-Blair Stadium, the Presstman Cardinals rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth for a 4-2 win. It was a heartbreaking culmination to a game that looked so promising for the hometown team, and for T-Bolts starting pitcher Josh Kisamore (Florence-Darlington), who pitched so brilliantly and deserved better than a no decision. The 6’2 220 pound sophomore hurler from Sumter, South Carolina allowed two hits and five scratch singles in seven innings pitched while striking out five.

The T-Bolts faced a good pitcher in Cardinals starter Justin Dreschsel, nonetheless, they broke through for a run in the second and fifth innings to take a 2-run lead that held for more than eight innings. The first run scored JonathanTasis (Point Park), on second base after doubling down the leftfield line, tallied on a single by Brandon Coluccio (UMBC). In the fifth, Clay Kernanen (Florence-Darlington) singled, moved to second on Brandon Vega’s sacrifice, and scored on a hit by Errol Robinson (Ole Miss).

All looked good, even after Kisamore had departed in the top of the eighth. But things got tense when the Cardinals mounted a threat against the T-Bolts reliever Travis Burnette (Longwood University). An error and single, followed by a sacrifice, moved the runners in scoring position. After a strike out, Doug Remer elected to intentionally pass Joba Ferrell, who was two for three tonight, and take his chances with De’ John Suber. T-Bolts Shortstop Clay Keranen took care of business by fielding Suber’s groundball and firing to first to end the threat and maintain the 2-0 lead.
The game appeared to be in hand after Burnette retired the first two batters in the top of the ninth, but that was followed by a hit batsman and a hit to put runners in scoring position for the second inning in a row, however, Burnette recovered to throw two strikes by the next batter. That’s when the roof caved in. Burnettee couldn’t get strike three by the next batter, who coaxed a walk to load the bases. The next batter also walked, and that forced in a run to make it a 2-1 nail-biter. Doug Remer then came out of the dugout and told first baseman Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) that he was going to pitch.
With Taylor on the mound, Remer was forced to re-align his infield. Tasis went from third to first, Keranen moved over from shortstop to third, Robinson from second to short, and Javey Marticorena (Point Park) entered the game at second base.

Taylor started off by getting two strikes by the batter, and once again, the T-Bolts were one strike away from the win. Then, after a ball and another foul, the batter grounded one toward short. Robinson, momentarily screened by the base runner heading to third, regained sight of the ball and was ready to make a play, but the ball then took a sudden bad bounce and skipped by the shortstop. The hit rolled into the outfield to allow two runs to count for a 3-2 Cardinals lead. The next batter also singled to score another one for the Cards.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Clay Keranen singled for his third hit of the day at the exact moment that the Space Station moved across the sky. The hopes of a rally ended when the next batter hit into a fielder’s choice, and like the Space Station, the T-Bolts victory hopes vanished into the night.

T-Bolts Split A Pair At Rockville

June 21, 2013. Rockville, Maryland. In the words of Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This pretty much sums up the outcome of the Silver Springs-Takoma Thunderbolts’ Friday evening twin bill at Knight’s Field in Rockville. Behind the best T-Bolts starting pitching effort of the season, Danny O’Donnell (George Washington) hurled a two-hit complete game (seven inning) shutout, and Taylor “T-Fenn” Fennewald (Florence-Darlington) led the offensive by knocking out three hits and driving home four runs in an 8-1 Thunderbolts victory in the first game. In the nightcap, the T-Bolts committed three errors, walked seven, and had just five hits in a 12-2 loss. The doubleheader split gives our hometown team a 4-6 record for the season.

O’Donnell was magnificent in his third starting assignment of the season. In addition to allowing just two hits, he struck out four, walked nobody, and allowed one unearned run to earn his second victory of the season. To give you an idea how dominate he was, he faced just two batters of the minimum through seven innings and threw fifty-four strikes on seventy-seven total pitches.

The Thunderbolts played great defense behind O’Donnell by making good on all total chances and turning two brilliant double plays. On the first twin killing, second baseman Clay Keranen (Florence-Darlington) fielded a grounder while moving to his right and made a quick toss to shortstop Errol Robinson, who made a bare handed grab for the force out, and then made a 360 spin before firing to first base to complete the play. The other double play concluded the game in the bottom of the seventh when third baseman Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) was once again the front man in another around-the-horn twin killing.

The visiting team wasted little time in getting on the board. Two walks and a wild pitch put runners on second and third, and then Fennewald delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single to give the T-Bolts the lead, 2-0. In the top of the third, Errol Robinson (Ole Miss) reached base on an error (although this unofficial scorer believes that it was a hit all the way), Ian Glassman drew his second pass of the game, and Fennewald, once again, delivered with a two-out hit to score both runners for a 4-0 lead. Another run counted in the inning when Keranen singled Fennewald to third and the Rockville pitcher pleaded no contest to committing a balk.

In the T-bolts fourth, Brandon Vega (Ocean County) singled, stole second, and scored on Glassman’s hit. In the sixth, 225 pound Matt Bosse (University of South Carolina-Aiken) showed his display of speed by stealing second and third after reaching base on a single, and scored on an error. Bosse also figured in a T-Bolts run in the seventh when he singled to score Feenwald, who had doubled.
As the T-Bolts waited out the break before the start of the second game, they appeared excited, enthused, and ready for action which gave the idea that they were going to win again. The second game started off well when Robinson walked, moved to second on Vega’s third hit of the night, and scored on a groundout by Jonathan Tasis (Point Park). Silver-Spring-Takoma scored again in the second when Anthony “Big Cat” Gatto (UMBC) singled, moved to second on Brandon Coluccio’s (UMBC) sacrifice, and scored on a single by Robinson. At that point, however, the T-Bolts were playing catch-up.
The Rockville Express scored three in the first and two in the second when a T-Bolts outfielder lost two fly balls in the lights in both innings.

The Rockville fifth began on a questionable call when a Rockville player took one for the team by leaning into a pitch to take one on the elbow. When the home plate umpire told the young man to take his base, T-Bolts catcher Robert Lucido Jr. (Amherst) immediately protested. But since you see a nullified hit-by-pitch call less often than a triple play, the call stood, and the T-Bolts then fueled the onslaught by issuing three base on balls followed by two Express hits that score five to make the score, 12-2.

Notes: Jake Taylor made his first pitching appearance of the season. Taylor entered the second game in the last of the sixth, and displayed a strong fastball, a sharp curve, and struck out one batter. It was quite a difference tonight for Danny O’Donnell from his last outing. O’Donnell threw 77 total pitches tonight; that’s 30 less than his total at Baltimore last Saturday night. There wasn’t a radar gun in the Rockville inventory tonight, although there was one in Baltimore last week which told us that O’Donnell’s fastball topped out at 87 miles per hour and his breaking ball was at 73 mph. Taylor Fennewald socked a double in the nightcap to give him four hits on the evening. JP Hoover made his 2013 CRL debut by starting the second game for the T-Bolts. Hoover had a dazzling breaking ball that often had the Express batters swinging at air. The Presstman Cardinals will be at Montgomery-Blair Stadium on Saturday night. On Friday night, the Cards were shutout by Bobby Ruse of the Orioles; the same pitcher who beat our T-Bolts last week at Montgomery-Blair.

T-Bolts Drop Game Against Nationals 8-6 Errol Robinson – spectacular, but T-Bolts Bow to Nationals

June 20, 2013. Waldorf, Maryland. The T-Bolts lost to the Southern Maryland Nationals 8-6 in a game they should have won. Check back later for Gary Sarnoff’s posting.

They said during the baseball off season of 2011-12, Errol Robinson began to excel on the diamond to the point where he had separated himself from his peers. One and half years later, the T-Bolts’ University of Mississippi bound rookie infielder is slowly breaking away from the pack in the CRCBL. On Thursday evening at Regency Field in Waldorf, Robison went 4 for 5 with 4 RBI to raise his season average to .407. He also produced a three-base hit with the bases loaded, stole two bases, and made a spectacular stop of a grounder while sliding on his belly, then quickly scrambled to his feet and made the throw to first to complete the play.

Unfortunately, the T-Bolts squandered a 5-1 lead and lost, 8-6. It was one of those games where a frustrated Thunderbolts fan might look to the baseball heavens and ask what he or she must do to get a break. Two key hits by the Southern Maryland Nationals were the kind that hall-of-fame baseball announcer Harry Carey use to say, “Had eyes.” And there was an umpire’s ruling on a key play at second base that went against the T-Bolts. But as they say, that’s baseball, and right now the breaks have simply not been in the T-Bolts’ favor.

On the other hand, the T-Bolts pitchers had another rough night. They received support from Robinson, the offense, and a defense which did not commit a single error. In addition to losing the four-run lead, the pitching staff issued nine bases on balls, and hit three batters for the second consecutive game. Things started off as it was going to be a great night for the visiting team. Starting pitcher Hunter Absher (VCU) allowed one infield hit, no walks, and struck out five through the first three innings. But he began to show signs of fatigue in his fourth inning of work and didn’t make it through his fifth. When he departed, the Nationals were on the verge of tying the game.

A walk sandwiched by two hits loaded the bases for Robinson in the top of the third. With a 0-1 count, the right-handed hitting infielder skillfully hit a fastball on the outside corner to the opposite field, which dropped into fair territory within inches of the right field foul line. After the Nationals right fielder misplayed the caromed off the off the box seats barrier, Robinson rounded second and headed to third with a three-run triple. Jonathan Tasis (Park Point) followed by hitting one deep into leftfield that resulted in a long out. But it was deep enough for Robinson to tag and score for a 4-0 T-Bolts lead.
The Nats broke through for a run in the top of the fourth, however, the T-Bolts got one back to maintain the four-run lead when Robinson drilled a RBI single. All seemed okay at that point, but in the bottom of the fifth, the Nationals engineered a four-run rally to tie the game.

Absher had retired the first batter in the Nationals fifth before getting into hot water. A hit and three walks led to the first run in the inning. With the bases loaded, Doug Remer called on a lefty pitcher (Dan Gayeski of De Sales University) to face the left handed Darby McCormick, who was 2 for 2 in the game. The Nats head coach countered by sending up a right handed pinch hitter. The Nats won the chess game when the pinch batter crushed one over Cody Acker in centerfield that landed on the warning track and hit the wall on a bounce. The hit cleared the bases to tie the game.  In the sixth, the Natonals batted around again and scored three more runs on those two hits that had eyes. The first of the two was a groundball that somehow eluded the gloves first baseman Tasis and second baseman Errol Robinson. The other hit was a blooper that barely cleared the mitt of shortstop Clay Keranen (Florence-Darlington) in shallow left-centerfield.

With one out in the top of the eighth, Jack Taylor (Montgomery College), Javier Marticorena (Point Park), and Anthony Gatto (UMBC) combined for three singles in a row to score a run. After another out, Robert Lucido Jr. (Amherst) drew a walk to load the bases. Clay Kernanem followed by hitting a hot grounder that handcuffed the second baseman, who recovered in time to make a quick toss to the shortstop for a very close play at second base. The umpire’s verdict was the runner was out to retire the T-Bolts in their half of the eighth inning. With one out in the top of the ninth, Robinson singled for his fourth ht off the night, but the T-Bolts were shutdown to end the game.

Notes: Regency Furniture Stadium may be a nice place to visit, but it sure has not been kind to the T-Bolts in recent visits. It may be recalled on July 2nd of last season when a grand slam by South Maryland slugger Spencer Wolf erased a 4-0 Thunderbolts lead and sparked the Nats to a 7-4 win. In the top of the fifth, Cody Acker (VCU) got on base for the second time in the game when he tapped one to the third base side of the pitcher’s mound, and the pitcher, who did a great job in getting to the ball, slipped and fell. The official scorer ruled an error, but your correspondent was certain that it was a base hit. The T-Bolts infield did it again: they executed another around-the-horn twin killing in tonight’s game.

T-Bolts Crushed By Big Train

June 19, 2013. Bethesda, Maryland. Following a day off and a rain out, the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts journeyed to Shirley Povich Field on a gorgeous Wednesday evening to take on the first place Bethesda Big Trains. Before a crowd of 531 – the largest to see a T-Bolts game this season – the Thunderbolts lost, 13-1, to fall to 3-4 on the season.

The Big Trains pitchers were tough on our batters. They limited the T-Bolts to just five hits, allowed only one base on balls, struck out 14, and held the T-Bolts two hottest hitters – Errol Robinson (Mississippi) and Javier Marticorena (Point Park) – to a combined 0 for 8. Their batters were equally harsh on our hurlers by collecting fourteen hits. Centerfielder David Del Grande led the assault for the Big Train by going 4 for 4 with 2 RBI. Ryan Willard had the biggest blow of the night by belting a grand slam in an eight-run Big Train eighth inning. The T-Bolts did themselves no favors by committing an uncharacteristic four errors which lead to nine unearned runs.

The T-Bolts scored first to take a short-lived 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Brandon Vega (Ocean County) drew the only T-Bolts walk of the game, moved to second on a balk, and scored on a single by catcher Brandon Coluccio (UMBC). Three consecutive singles after two were out in the fourth scored one for Bethesda to tie the game, 1-1. Three more hits in the Big Trains sixth produce another run to give Bethesda the lead for good, and send T-Bolts starter Mac Gill (UMBC) to the showers. Chris Fusco (Bates College) took Gill’s place, and he was greeted with a double that scored another run. In the bottom of the seventh, a hit batsman, a walk, and a T-Bolts error extended the home team’s lead to 5-1.

Notes: In the fifth inning the T-Bolts executed their fourth around-the-horn double play of the season. Cody Acker (VCU) went 2 for 4 for the second time this season and now has hit safely in all six games he has started this season. The T-Bolts travel to Waldorf, Maryland on Thursday to take on the South Maryland Nationals at Regency Furniture Stadium.

Strong All-around Team Effort Leads To T-Bolts Third Win Season

June 16, 2013. Silver Spring, Maryland. The chatter among the Thunderbolts about the combining a strong pitching and hitting effort in the same game finally happened. Before 171 fans at Montgomery Blair Stadium on Sunday evening, the T-Bolts received a strong performance from three members of their pitching staff and scored ten runs on twelve hits in a lopsided win over the visiting DC Grays. Ten to 3 was your final score, and it was good for the third win of the season for Silver Spring-Takoma to even their record at 3-3.

Starting pitcher Josh Kisamore (Florence-Darlington) threw just sixty-nine pitches in seven strong innings to earn his first win of the season. Chris Flores (Tennessee-Martin) and Hunter Absher (VCU) followed the T-Bolts starting pitcher by hurling one inning apiece to close out the win for Kisamore (now 1-1 on the season).

The night began on a sour note for Kisamore when the first two batters of the game reached base. Following a groundout to move up the runners, a base hit made it 2-0 in favor of the Grays. After that Kisamore was in complete command, retiring the next thirteen batters. A single with two outs in the fifth inning broke his streak, however, and he bounced back to retire the next batter to end the inning. In the next inning, the Grays touched the T-Bolts starter for two singles, but the threat ended when Kisamore got a ground ball that the T-Bolts infield turned into an around-the-horn double plays to retire the side.

The T-Bolts offense wasted little time on going to work against opposing pitcher Mitchell Leeds. Cody Acker (VCU) led off the bottom of the first by reaching base on an error, and then stole second. After an out, Javier Marticorena (Point Park), Jonathan Tasis (Point Park), and Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) doubled in succession to give the home team a 3-2 lead. That score held until the T-Bolts fifth when Errol Robinson (Mississippi) singled and Marticorena launched the first Thunderbolts home run of the 2013 season for a 5-3 lead. Javy’s shot bounced on the roof of the fire house in left field and landed less than 10 feet from University Blvd. Another run was added in the frame when Taylor had his second hit of the game and moved to third when the Grays centerfielder mishandled Brandon Vega’s base hit. With Taylor on third and Vega (Ocean County) on first, head coach Doug Remer produced another run through his running game by sending Vega. The T-Bolts outfielder made it safely to second base for his second stolen base on the season. On the play the Grays second baseman dropped the catcher’s throw to allow Taylor to travel from third to home.

In the bottom of the sixth, Cody Acker reached base on an error and scampered to third on Robinson’s second hit of the evening. With runners on second and third, Javier Marticorena scored both runners with his third hit of the game. Four straight walks and a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth led to two more runs to finish out the scoring for the T-Bolts.

Notes: Josh Kisamore allowed no walks while striking out five tonight; a big change from his first outing of the season when he passed three in five innings pitched. Chris Flores and Hunter Absher combined for three strikeouts in their combined two innings in relief. Batters two through six in the T-Bolts batting order had a multi-hit game in this evening’s victory. Robinson, Tasis, Taylor, and Vega all had two hits apiece tonight. Head coach Doug Remer must have known something when writing the name Javier Marticorena into the number three spot on the lineup card. All Marticorena did was single, double, homer, and knock in 5 runs. Errol Robinson has five hits in the T-Bolts last three games and his sixth in the CRCBL in hitting with a .389 batting average. Javier Marticorena is 11th in the CRCBL with a .364 average. Tayler Stiles is second in the league with 12 strikeouts and has yet to allow an earned run this season. The first place Gaithersburg Giants lead the league in pitching with a team ERA of 2.14, and nine of their 15 hurlers have yet to allow an earned run. Those Giants will be at Montgomery Blair Stadium to play our Thunderbolts on Tuesday June 18. The T-Bolts have a rare day off on Monday.

T-Bolts Rally Again, But Lose To Redbirds 7-6

June 15, 2013. Towson, Maryland. The T-Bolts lost to last season’s league champions  Baltimore Redbirds 7-6. Untimely hitting, two errors, some questionable calls, and fourteen men left on base led to the T-Bolts waterloo at Carlo Crespino Stadium on Saturday night. But in spite of all the difficulties, our boys still had a chance to win in their last at bat. After the Red Birds added two in their half of the eighth for a 7-4 lead, the T-Bolts loaded the bases in the do-or-die top of the ninth. Cody Acker (VCU) delivered a clutch single to right field that scored two to pull the T-Bolts within a run. Javier Marticorena (Point Park) followed with a strong at bat by fouling off a pair to extend his at bat and eventually walked to re-load the bases. That brought up Clay Keranen (Florence-Darlington), who had three consecutive hits the previous evening and two walks in this game. This time he hit one on the ground that the Redbirds converted into a game-ending double play.

Things looked good when the T-Bolts broke through for a pair in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead. Matt Bosse (South Carolina-Aiken) led off the frame with a double, and then a pass ball and error allowed him to score. Ian Glassman (UMBC) and Cody Acker walked, Jerry Chevarria (Southern) executed a nifty sacrifice bunt, Keranem walked, and Errol Robinson (Mississippi) singled to center to score Glassman. Keranem rounded second, and was heading to third when Acker slid across the plate for what appeared to be another run. A few seconds later the throw arrived to third in time for Keranen to be tagged out to end the inning, nonetheless, the T-Bolts were content with two runs scoring on the play. That was until home plate umpire announced that the out was made before the Acker’s run had scored. Doug Remer responded by charging from the third base coach’s box to home plate to express his disapproval, but to no avail, and the T-Bolts came away with one run on the play.

In the bottom of the third, T-Bolts starter Danny O’Donnell (George Washington) threw a two-strike fastball by the first batter of the inning. After the ball popped out of the catcher’s mitt on the play, a voice from the Red Birds dugout asking Worthington if that was a strike. “Yes,” answered the umpire. Hearing that, the batter, aware the catcher had dropped strike three, took off for first base. T-Bolts catcher Luis Paublini-Campos (Tennessee-Martin) took a step to retrieve the ball when the umpire wrongfully reached into his pocket and handed him a new baseball, thus putting two balls in play. Amid the confusion, Paulbini-Campos hesitated for a minute, and by the time he realized what had happened, the batter had already reached first base. A fielder’s choice and pop out followed for what would have been three outs, however, the Redbirds capitalized on the umpire’s error when the next batter tagged an RBI hit.

The Thunderbolts scored in the fourth after they loaded the bases on a Glassman hit, a walk, and an error. Glassman was permitted to score on a balk to tie the game at 3-3. With a chance for a big inning, and to gain the lead, the T-Bolts failed to score another run in the frame.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Redbirds scored one to regain the lead, thanks to another blown call. With two outs and a runner on second, a Redbirds batter tapped one between the plate and pitcher’s mound. O’Donnell fielded the ball, and made a hurried throw to first that barely beat the runner for what appeared to be the last out of the inning, but the first base umpire ruled that the hitter was safe, and on the play, the base runner on second, running with two outs, rounded third and easily scored for a 4-3 Redbirds lead. Many thought the runner was out, including Remer who came out of the dugout to protest, but his plea fell on deaf ears.

The Redbirds also scored in the fifth for a 5-3 lead. Four walks led to a run for the T-Bolts in the top of the sixth, but one run was all the T-Bolts could muster.

Notes: Two balls in play at the same time? Flashback: June 30th, 1959. Hall-of-Famer Stan Musial was at bat against the Cubs pitcher Bob Anderson at Wrigley Field. Anderson’s 3-1 pitch traveled to the screen for ball four. Sammy Taylor, the Cubs catcher, protested to home plate umpire Vic Delmore that Musial had tipped the ball. So engaged in his argument with Taylor, Delmore mistakenly handed the catcher a new baseball. Meanwhile, Cubs third baseman Alvin Dark retired the ball that the pitcher had thrown for ball four. Musial took off for second base, and when he slid into the bag, two baseballs simultaneously arrived to Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks at second base. Banks elected to take Dark’s throw, and then he tagged the runner for the out. Both teams protested as to which ball was the one in play. The ruling was that it was one that Dark had retrieved, and Musial was out.

T-Bolts Rally, But Lose To Orioles 9-7

June 14, 2013. Silver Spring, Maryland. The overdue bats of the Thunderbolts finally came to life tonight. Trailing, 7-1 after the visiting Youses Orioles scored three in the top of the sixth, the home team batted around in their half of the sixth to rally their way back into the game. One inning later, eight went to the plate in a two-run inning that tied the score, 7-7. The Orioles, however, recovered and scored two in the top of the eighth in a 9-7 win before 223 at Montgomery-Blair Stadium.

Silver Spring-Takoma had a tall challenge tonight. Tall as in 6’6 Orioles starting pitcher Michael Taylor, who entered tonight’s contest with a string of three victories in his last four decisions of his collegiate season at Marshall University. Taylor was tough on the T-Bolts by allowing no runs on three hits and no walks through the first four innings. The T-Bolts did find a flaw in his game by running, in fact stole three bases against him, but were unable to break through for a run. In the fifth inning, Taylor showed signs on fatigue by finally walking a batter and uncorking a wild pitch. A passed ball moved the runner to third base and a sacrifice fly followed to score the T-Bolts first run of the evening.

The Orioles scored one in the top of the second when Ryan Ripken (South Carolina) drove a 3-2 pitch from Thunderbolts starter Paul Beers (Towson) into the hidden pound beyond the right field fence for the first run of the game. Youse’s added to their lead with three runs on four hits in the next inning. After the T-Bolts scored their run against Taylor, the O’s produced another three for a 7-1 lead. And that’s when the Thunderbolts went to work.

With one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the sixth, coach Remer made one of his several moves tonight by sending Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) to hit for Jonathan Tasis (Point Park). After the big guy took a ferocious swing and missed, and then watched two balls for go, he drove the next pitch into the dark, deep distance in centerfield. The ball hit the fence by the 403 marker after taking one bounce. Taylor checked into second base with a RBI double, and then expressed his joy by clinching a fist and making a pumping motion with his arm.

Matt Bosse (South Carolina-Aiken) followed with his first hit of the season; a hot smash down the left field line for a double. Taylor rounded third and crossed home for the third T-Bolts run of the game.

Remer played his next hand by sending Louis Paublini-Campos (Tennessee-Martin) to bat for Ian Glassman (Maryland), and the coach’s gamble paid dividends when the pinch-hitter singled to center to move Bosse to third base. Third baseman Clay Keranen (Florence-Darlington) followed with a hit to right that scored Bosse and sent Paublini-Campos to third. That was followed by the strangest play of the evening, which resulted in another run for the T-Bolts.

A new Orioles hurler entered and after the new pitcher got a strike passed the next batter Brandon Vaga (Ocean County) , he made a surprise pickoff toss to third that caught his third baseman flatfooted. As the ball rolled into no-mans-land in foul territory, Paublini-Campos easily scored for the forth run of the inning to cut the lead to 7-5.

After T-Bolts hurler Chris Flores (Tennessee-Martin) retired the O’s in order in the top of the seventh, Cody Acker (VCU), Errol Robinson (Mississippi), and Jake Taylor walked in succession to begin the T-Bolts seventh. With the bases loaded, Bosse grounded into a double play, however, Acker scored on the play to make it a one-run game. Remer brainstormed again, and sent up Taylor “T-Fenn” Fennewald (Florence-Darlington) to pinch-hit, who singled to right to score Robinson to tie the game at 7-7.

The two hits, a walk, and the second T-Bolts error of the night resulted in two runs for a 9-7 Orioles lead in the top of the eighth.
In the bottom of the ninth, Javier Marticorena (Park Point) and Clay Keranen singled with two outs, but the game ended with the two runners left on base.

Notes: Clay Keranen drove in 2 runs and went 3 for 4 this evening with hit three consecutive singles, Cody Acker had two hits, Errol Robinson scored two runs, and head coach Doug Remer used 15 players and 6 pitchers in tonight’s game. The Thunderbolts dugout was extremely enthusiastic during their rallies tonight with a repeated cheer of three quick claps followed by a shout of “Hey!” Taylor Stiles (Maryland) struck out two more this evening. He has now whiffed 12 of the 25 batters he has faced in the 2013 CRCBL season. “Nice comeback tonight,” someone said to Chris Fusco (Bates College) after the game. “Yeah,” replied the T-Bolts pitcher with a laugh, “now we have to work on getting the hitting and pitching in the same game.” Fusco recorded the T-Bolts first save of the season on Wednesday night’s 2-1 win over Rockville.

To view Susie Shaffer’s wonderful photos from the T-Bolts/Orioles contest CLICK HERE

T-Bolts/Braves Postponed Due To Rain

June 13, 2013Herndon, Virginia. The game between the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts and Herndon Braves at Alan McCullock Field at Herndon High School was postponed due to rain.

T-Bolts Nip press 2-1 

June 12, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. A two-run fourth inning was all the offense needed by Silver Spring -Takoma Thunderbolts to back another fine pitching and fielding performance before 113 happy hometown fans at Montgomery-Blair Stadium.

Robinson Mateo (Southern) began the two-run rally by drawing a walk, and that was a cause for concern for the visiting Rockville Express. Knowing that Mateo is a base stealing threat, opposing pitcher Nic Nowottnic threw three times to first base to keep the T-Bolts roadrunner at bay while working T-Bolts’ next batter, “T-Fenn” Fennewald (Florence Darlington), who worked the count to 2 balls and 2 strikes. That’s when Mateo took off and slid into second base for his second stolen base of the season. Fennewald singled on the next pitch to score Mateo with the game’s first run. After an Express error placed runners on first and third, Javier Marticorena (Point Park) hit one far enough into right field to allow Fennewald to tag and tally for a 2-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Mac Gill (UMBC), the starting and winning pitcher for the T-Bolts, sent the Express down in order through the first five innings. In the top of the sixth, with his teammates following the baseball tradition of hushing over the fact that their pitcher had yet to allow a hit, Gill walked the first batter of the inning. After the next hitter flew out to left field, the T-Bolts infield turned an around-the-horn double play (5-4-3) to end the frame and keep the no-hit bid intact.

In the top of the seventh, R. Norman Donkin whacked a double for Rockville’s first hit. Kevin LaChance, a teammate of Gill’s at UMBC, followed with a single to score Donkin and cut the lead to 2-1. After a groundout, the third Express hit of the frame put runners on first and second with only one out. At this point, Head Coach Doug Remer decided to turn to his bullpen, and the first call went to Tayler Stiles (Maryland), the incoming freshman who had struck out 9 of 13 batters he faced in his CRCBL debut last Saturday.

After a lineout for the second out of the inning, Stiles issued a walk to load the bases, but quickly ended the inning with a strikeout.
Two walks in the Rockville eighth gave the visiting team another opportunity. With two outs and two on the base paths, Remer called on Hunter Absher (VCU) to extinguish the fire, and he came through with a strikeout.

Travis Burnette (Longwood), Remer’s fourth pitcher of the evening, got off to a promising start by retiring the first batter in the top of the eight. An infield hit and a wild pitcher put a runner in scoring position, however, Burnette struck out the following batter for the T-Bolts pitching staff’s sixth strikeout of the game.

With the T-Bolts one out away from their second win of the summer, Remer called for another relief pitcher, Chris Fusco (Bates College), who missed on four of his first five pitches to put runners on first and second. David Belt of the Express swung at Fusco’s first offering and hit a ground ball, which Mateo fielded and fired to Fennewald to end the game.

Notes: The UMBC baseball squad was well-represented on Wednesday evening with 6 of its 13 CRCBL members starting in the game, including Gill. The Thunderbolts winning pitcher won the battle against three of his colligate chums who were in the Express starting lineup by holding them to a combined 1 for 5 at the plate. Andy Coluccio and Anthony Gatto were the other UMBC baseball fraternity members in the Silver Spring-Takoma starting lineup. The around-the-horn twin killing in the top of the sixth was the fourth double play turned in by the Thunderbolts infield this season. Robinson Mateo went 2 for 3 at the plate on Wednesday to record his second multi-hit game of the young season.

Be sure to check out the Gazette’s article covering the game at WJ Grad Propels Thunderbolts to Victory

T-Bolts/Orioles Postponed Due To Rain

June 10, 2013Glen Burnie, Maryland. The game between the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts and Youse’s Orioles at Bachman Park was postponed due to rain.

T-Bolts Downed In Home Opener

June 9, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts produced a three-run inning for the second night in a row, however, it was not enough. The T-Bolts dropped a 5-4 decision to the Bethesda Big Train before a strong turnout of 431 fans at Montgomery-Blair Stadium. The defeat was the first of the season for the T-Bolts and in the CRCBL career of new head coach, Doug Remer.

Trailing 5-1 in the middle of the sixth inning, the T-Bolts went to work on Big Train’s relief pitcher, Michael Judge. Centerfielder Brandon Vega (Ocean County College) and shortstop Errol Robinson (Ole Miss) began the home half of the sixth by coaxing a base on balls. After an error on the third baseman filled the bases, Brandon Coluccio (UMBC) connected for a two-run single. A third run tallied on the play when the opponent’s third baseman committed another error to cut the lead to 5-4. However, with three innings remaining, the T-Bolts were unable to produce the tying run. There was hope in the bottom of the ninth when Jonathan Tasis (Point Park University) singled and moved into scoring position when Ian Glassman (UMBC) successfully sacrificed. But the threat was erased when pinch-runner Robinson Mateo was caught stealing and a strike out ended the game.

The Big Train took the early lead when their first batter of the game was hit by a pitch, and the second batter, Kevin Tatum, smacked one over the fence for a 2-0 lead. The T-Bolts got one in their half of the first when Robinson singled, stole second, and scored when Jake Taylor (Montgomery College) singled for his first RBI of the season.

After a rocky start, T-Bolts starting pitcher Josh Kisamore settled down and retired the next eleven batters. After he went through the Big Trains batting order for second time, head coach Doug Remer turned to his bullpen in the top of the fifth. In that inning, a hit, a few walks, and the first Thunderbolts error of the season, aided the Big Trains for three more runs, and a 5-1 lead.

Notes: Jake Taylor’s RBI hit in the bottom of the first was his first RBI of the season. In 2012, Taylor’s 35 RBI was ninth best in the CRL. Jake also made an ESPN Top Ten-Worthy play in the top of the ninth, catching a foul ball over the dugout fence aka Derek Jeter and throwing the ball to second to catch the runner tagging up on the play for an unbelievable double play. It was so impressive even the Big Train players were clapping for Taylor.

The Thunderbolt fans are off to a good start. Sunday evening’s crowd of 431 was second best among opening day crowds in the league and is three times the average attendance from last season.

T-Bolts Defeat Aces 3-2 – Thunderbolts’ New Head Cach Debuts With A Win

June 8, 2013Alexandria, Virginia. Finally a break in the weather allowed the new-look Silver Spring-Tacoma Thunderbolts to get the 2013 season underway, and the good news is our hometown team made Doug Remer’s CRCBL debut a success with a 3-2 win over the Alexandria Aces.

Pitching, defense, and a three-run fourth inning paved the way for a 3-2 Thunderbolts at Mann Field in Alexandria. Note that it was the pitching and defense – two sore spots for the T-Bolts last season – that helped make a difference. Danny O’Donnell (George Washington U) received the starting assignment for the T-Bolts, and the sophomore from Olney, Maryland, hurled five solid innings. He did encounter a few tough spots along the way, yielding six hits and walking two, however, the T-Bolts infield aided him by turning two twin-killings. In another inning, with two on the base paths, O’Donnell threw strike three past the batter to end the threat, and in another frame he induced the batter to hit one on the ground that resulted in a ground out for out number three.

With no score in the top of the fourth, the T-Bolts scored three when the opposing pitcher became generous by issuing four walks. Cody Acker (VCU) and Anthony Gatto (UMBC) both singled to make the score 3-0 in favor of the T-Bolts.

The Aces cut the lead to one by scoring one in their half of the fourth and fifth innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Remer sent big left hander Tayler Stiles (University of Maryland) to the mound and the incoming freshman took care of business by striking out 9 of the 13 batters he faced during the game’s last four innings

Notes: Robinson Mateo (Southern) batted ninth for the T-Bolts and led the team with two hits against the Aces. T-Bolts fans are going to enjoy watching Tayler Stiles this summer. The word on the Bishop-McNamara High School grad and First Team All-Met selection is “Tayler pounds the zone with a mid-80’s fastball that he drives inside on right handed hitters. Combining that with a plus breaking ball and a bulldog mentality, Tayler has the ability to quickly become go to guy for the Terps early in his career.”

T-Bolts Season Opener Cancelled Due To Rain

June 7, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. The T-Bolts game against the Vienna River Dogs is cancelled due to rain. A make up will be scheduled for a later date.

June 6, 2013Silver Spring, Maryland. The T-Bolts game against the Gaithersburg Giants was cancelled due to rain. A make up will be scheduled for Tuesday June 18th.

T-Bolts Scrimmage Rockville Express

June 4, 2013. Silver Spring, Maryland. The T-Bolts took on the Rockville Express  at Blair Stadium in a game that allowed the team’s respective managers a first chance to evaluate their squads. Although Rockville topped the Thunderbolts 12-6, there were many positive take aways from the contest, strong pitching by the T-Bolts hurlers and patient, timely hitting by the team. The T-Bolts 2013 season begins on June 6, 2013 when the Thunderbolts take on the Gaithersburg Giants at 7 pm at Blair Stadium.

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