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Big Train Dominates Cal Ripken

BigtrainThe Bethesda Big Train baseball team (21-5) has secured the No. 1 spot in the Cal Ripken league with the playoffs less than three weeks away.

The Bethesda Community Base Ball Club (BCBBC), founded in April 1998 and incorporated under Maryland law as a charitable organization, later merged with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase team in early 2012.

The BCBBC raised over $1 million that went toward building Shirley Povich Field, which was built in order for the Big Train to host games.

Over the years, the Big Train has been home to nine players who went on to play major league baseball, among them pitchers John Main, Steve Schmoll, Bobby Livingston, Dirk Hayhurst and Cody Allen; outfielder Charlton Jimerson; catcher Michael McKenry; second baseman Brian Dozier; and first baseman Mike Costanzo.

The Big Train’s five losses of the season so far were against the Gaithersburg Giants, Baltimore Redbirds, Rockville Express, FCA Herndon Braves and Alexandria Aces. With the exception of their 2-5 loss against the Aces, all were one point losses.

The Big Train started the season strong with a 15-1 win over the Giants. Despite the Giants 1-2 win over the Big Train the next time they played, the Big Train owns the series on the Giants 3-1.

“Our manager, Sal Colangelo, deserves all of the credit for the team’s success on the field,” Big Train President Adam Dantus said. “Sal has been with us from the start and has developed our program into one of the top places in the country to play summer college baseball. All of this also would not be possible without our strong host family program. All of our host families are phenomenal and we have the luxury of filling our rosters with elite players from the top college programs nationwide.”

The Big Train includes college players ranging from freshmen to seniors. The players come from all different kinds of colleges, including the University of Maryland, Mississippi State, Cornell University and Eastern Michigan University. The team is performing well with a .277 team batting average on the season and 17 homeruns on the year.

The team also has a solid 2.10 ERA on the season. Second to the Big Train are the Redbirds (14-8), who they will face again on July 10.

Dantus said the Big Train is looking to continue their success as the season goes on.

“We are always striving to improve and grow as an organization not only on the field, but off the field as well,” Dantus said. “We plan on continuing to have a strong presence in our community year round in order to increase our fan base and awareness. Our summer camps are getting the reputation as being one of the top youth baseball camps in our area, which is resulting in the introduction of Big Train baseball to an entire new generation of fans.”

Dantus said he’s also happy about the crowd turnout at Big Train games.

“While I can’t take much credit for the team’s success on the field, nothing makes me more happy than seeing a sold out crowd experience a Big Train game,” Dantus said. “We’re in the business of creating memories and to see families and kids have the time of their lives right in their backyard without breaking the bank, it certainly leaves you with a big smile.”

The playoffs start July 28 and end Aug. 3. Buy single game tickets for their games online at http://www.eventbrite.com/o/bethesda-big-train-3430139065 and buy season tickets at http://www.bigtrain.org/tickets/season/

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