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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Big Train Fall to Redbirds 4-3; Trip Down Memory Lane

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Big Train Come Close, Can't Quite Catch Redbirds
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Three hits from Brendan Hendriks just wasn't enough to keep the Big Train rolling.

Another Hunter Renfroe (Mississippi State) home run just wasn't enough last night as the Big Train fell to the Baltimore Redbirds 4-3 in the CRCBL League Championship Series.

Renfroe's two-out, two-run blast in the top of the first gave the Big Train an early 2-0 lead. The offense would also see substantial contributions by Michael Bass (UNC-Wilmington), Brendan Hendriks(San Francisco) and Cole Norton (St. Mary's (CA)), who had a solo home run, three hits, and two hits respectively.

Ethan Miller (San Diego State) and Will Resnik (High Point) combined for 4.1 shutout innings in relief, giving up just four hits and striking out a combined five batters.

However, the Big Train would be unable to score a much-needed fourth run in the late innings of the game, as the Baltimore Redbirds won 4-3 to clinch the league championship.

The box score and play-by-play can be found here.

A Trip Down Memory Lane
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When fans think of 2012, they'll think of Renfroe's power.

Despite missing out on the league title, there are certainly some outstanding superlatives to be taken from the 2012 season.
Let's take a look at some of the highlights from this season:
  • Hunter Renfroe (Mississippi State) rewrote the record books, breaking CRCBL records in home runs (16), RBIs (52) and runs scored (47).
  • With stellar performance deserves outstanding recognition, and Renfroe received it when he and long-time Big Train pitcher Hugh Adams (Florida Atlantic) received the ultimate honor; becoming the first two Big Train players to have their numbers retired. #11 (Renfroe) and #40 (Adams) will both sit proudly on the right field fence for many seasons to come in remembrance of these two iconic Big Train players.
  • Every great team has more than one superstar, and the 2012 Big Train squad was no different. Though it's easy to think of Renfroe when you think of Big Train offense, third baseman Brendan Hendriks led the league in hits this season with 64. "Canada," as teammates and fans often call him, also led the league in doubles with 17, sitting one shy of the league record.
  • After starting just 3-9 this season, the Big Train finished the year on a 22-7 streak, including a stretch from June 20th to July 20th in which the team won 20 of their 24 games.
  • As the saying goes, "speed kills," and Brennan Middleton (Tulane) and Michael Bass (UNC-Wilmington) were deadly on the base paths this year, stealing 19 and 18 bags respectively which ranked third and fourth in the league.
  • It must be a true testament to dedication is when fans are willing to come out when the outcome doesn't count. If so, the Big Train must (and they do!) have the best fans in the world, as over 800 Big Train fans packed Shirley Povich Field on June 2nd for the exhibition game against the Mid-Atlantic Rookies.
  • Who can ever forget the night that the Big Train marched into enemy territory for the #OccupyRockville fan movement. The turnout was fantastic and the players rewarded the fans by knocking the number- one seeded Express out of the playoffs in a 3-0 shutout victory. In what was perhaps the most memorable game of the season, Hunter Renfroe hit a home run, Bo Logan (Florida Atlantic) threw seven shutout innings and Hugh Adams got the save to knock out the Big Train's arch rival. 
Thank you fans for all the tremendous support you provided this season. Povich Field wouldn't be the same without the energy and support that you give us. We can't wait for next season but in the meanwhile, stay tuned for news on offseason events including the annual Big Train Holiday Baseball Auction!

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