By: Anna Dunlavey
The DC Grays gave the Bethesda Big Train a run for their money last night, and they could not have done it without the work of Desmond Stegall (Grambling State). Stegall’s hits were responsible for half of the Grays’ runs. However, throwing errors let three runs score and proved to be their undoing. The Big Train won the game 8-6. The Grays are now 9-17 on the season.
Colin Kelly (Catholic) gave up the game’s first run after facing only two Big Train batters, but the Grays were able to fight back. Stegall got the scoring started in the top of the third with a huge home run over the tall centerfield fence. After Austin Sanders (University of Alabama-Huntsville) was walked, Webb Bobo (Southeast Louisiana) tripled to bring Sanders home and give the Grays a 2-1 lead. That lead was quickly demolished in the bottom of the lead with a three-run homer from the Big Train.
The Big Train increased their lead again in the sixth on two consecutive runs on wild pitches. In the top of the eighth, the Grays began to rally. Lucas Martinez (New Mexico State) doubled, and he scored on another double from Brandon Chapman (George Washington). Then Stegall returned to the plate and delivered again. This time, he hit a triple to bring in Chapman and Joe Tietjen (UNC-Asheville). Stegall was almost brought home himself by Eric Urry (Brigham Young), but a stunning catch in right field stopped the scoring for the inning.
In the top of the eighth, the Big Train scored again on an overthrow from a pickoff attempt and a single to put the score at 8-5. The Grays did not give up, and continued to battle in the top of the ninth. Bobo was hit by a pitch to reach base, reached second on a wild pitch, and scored on a single from Martinez. Tietjen and Max Geller (Santa Fe) both walked to load the bases with two outs, and a sharp ground ball from Chapman seemed as though it would get past the shortstop and allow more runs to score. However, the shortstop found a way to grab it and throw out Chapman to end the game.
Kelly pitched five complete innings and gave up six runs on six hits. Andre Wilson (Grambling State) relieved him in the top of the sixth inning with no outs and the bases loaded. He did not allow a run or a hit, but threw the two wild pitches that allowed Big Train to score. Ari Kaufman (Lafayette) pitched the seventh and gave up one hit. Sherman Graves (Savannah State) came out for the eighth and gave up two hits and two runs, one of them the failed pickoff attempt.
Tonight, the Grays travel north to face the Baltimore Redbirds. Sam Delaplane (Eastern Michigan) is the Grays’ expected starting pitcher.