The Bethesda Big Train's 5-3 loss last night to Swann's Insurance of Salisbury, 5-3, eliminated the team from the National Amateur Baseball Federation College Division World Series at Joe Cannon Stadium in Dorsey, Md.
Swann's Insurance improved to 4-0 in the double-elimination tournament and plays today at noon in the tournament semifinals. Bethesda had defeated the Michigan Rams, 9-7, earlier in the day.
"Sure, we wanted to at least get to tomorrow and see what we could do, but we ran into a tough team," said Bethesda Manager Derek Hacopian. "Their starting pitcher threw the ball for them and they made the plays when they needed to."
Bethesda faltered in the first inning when Swann's Insurance sent eight batters to the plate and scored three runs on four hits and two errors. Michael D'Archangelo (Maryland) doubled and scored on a single by Kevin Cassidy, Scott Crandell (UMBC) and Jason Mohap (Maryland) each reached on an error and Scott Bacon (Towson) hit a two-run single to left.
Bethesda cut the lead to 3-1 in the fifth inning as Casey Hildreth walked, moved to second on a single by Matt Swope (DeMatha/Maryland) and scored on single by Stephen Thomas. The Big Train had a chance to do more damage as Chuck Easter's walk loaded the bases with two outs, but starting pitcher Thomas Bloom (UMBC) struck out pinch hitter Cheyne Griswold (O'Connell) to end the inning.
Swann's Insurance added two runs in the seventh as D'Archangelo doubled to right-center, Dane Schriver walked and Cassidy hit an RBI single to center. Schriver then scored on a groundout by Mohap, giving Swann's Insurance a four-run lead.
Bethesda cut the lead to 5-3 in the eighth. Easter (3 for 3) singled and scored on a triple by Griswold, Chad Oliva walked and Griswold scored on a wild pitch. The Big Train threatened again in the ninth as Jeff Haines led off with a single to left, but Swann's Insurance went to the bullpen and got a game-ending double play by closer Adam Reikowski.
"This isn't how we wanted to end the season," said Hacopian, whose team finished 39-19. "But given what we had to work with, these guys battled all the way through the tournament. I'm very proud of them."