Results


Giants vs. Thunderbolts

Mon. July 23, 2018

 
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Thunderbolts
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Wild Game Ends in Elimination for Giants – Jake Shulman

One of the best seasons in Gaithersburg Giants history came to an end Monday night, as the Silver-Spring Takoma T-Bolts defeated Gaithersburg in the first round of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League League Championship Series, 7-3.

Though the Giants came out on the losing end, the game could be one of the crazier games in CRCBL history. What originally began on Sunday night in Gaithersburg at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park concluded on Monday night at the Washington Nationals Academy in D.C. after severe storms forced the suspension of play Sunday night. 

Rain, however, was not the only thing that delayed Sunday’s game. In the top of the 5th inning, with Silver Spring leading 3-0, the field lights at Kelley Park went out, forcing a 35-minute delay while Giants’ staff hurried to fix the problem. 

As for the actual game, little went the Giants’ way. Jaret Bennett (JR, Charleston Southern University) struggled out of the gates, allowing three runs in just three innings pitched. The T-Bolts chased Bennett from the game after the third, forcing the Giants to dig into their bullpen early. Matthew Nicholas (SO, Texas State University), Aaron Husson (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County), and Kiernan Higgins (SO, Coastal Carolina University) would keep the T-Bolts off the board for the rest of Sunday night’s portion (Higgins came on to relieve Husson in the 6th, just before the rain, but would complete the inning on Monday).

For their part, the Giants could not cash in on scoring opportunities on Sunday night. In the 3rd and 5th innings, Gaithersburg would put two men on base before back-to-back strikeouts ended the scoring threats in both frames.

When the teams resumed play on Monday night in D.C., it appeared the momentum had shifted to the Giants. After Higgins escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top half of the 6th, Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) launched a two-run home run to cut the T-Bolts’ lead to one. 

The T-Bolts would respond, however, scoring two runs in both the 8th and 9th innings to take a 7-2 lead and put the Giants on the brink of elimination. 

Down to their final out, the Giants would rally, hoping for some more magic to extend their season. After Gaithersburg loaded the bases, Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University) delivered an RBI single, cutting the Silver Spring lead to 7-3 and bringing the tying run to the plate. Another brief rain delay stalled play for a half-hour before Brown drew a hit-by-pitch to knock in one more run and bring the winning run to the plate. Unfortunately, the Giants magic ran out, as Austen Weber (JR, Towson University) got Sam Bertelson (SO, University of Texas at Austin) to strike out.

Despite the season ending on a poor note, the Giants have a lot to celebrate. By securing the third seed, the Giants matched their best finish ever in CRCBL play. Five Giants’ players earned All-Star nominations and one (Noah Walker, SO, Texas State University) was chosen as an alternate. Two Giants played for the CRCBL Sunbelt Classic team [Bertelson and Saul Garza (SO, LSU)]. Garza also finished the season on the league leaderboard for Home Runs and RBIs. 

Though it may not have ended as hoped, Giants’ fans and players should remember the 2018 season proudly. Go Giants!




Giants vs. Thunderbolts

Fri. July 20, 2018

 
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Thunderbolts
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Giants Drop Final Regular Season Game to T-Bolts – Jake Shulman

In the final game of the regular season slate, the Gaithersburg Giants fell to the Silver Spring-Takoma T-Bolts, 5-0, on Friday night at Blair Stadium in Silver Spring. Despite ending the season on a five-game losing skid, the Giants will host a playoff game on Sunday.

The T-Bolts put the game away early, scoring all five of their runs in the first two innings of the game off of Giants’ starter Travis Craven (JR, Whitman College). Craven lasted just two innings before yielding to the bullpen. After a stellar six-inning start against the D.C. Grays on July 1, Craven has allowed 13 runs over three starts, with the longest of those starts lasting just five innings.

On the bright side, four different relievers combined to pitch the final six innings for the Giants, allowing no runs and just one hit. Michael Streitmann (SO, University of Texas at Austin), Ryan Johnston (SO, Navarro College), and Matthew Nicholas (SO, Texas State University) each pitched one inning while Nick DeCarlo (JR, Mt. Olive College) logged three. 

Gaithersburg’s recent offensive struggles also continued Friday night, as the Giants were shutout for the second time in three games. Silver Spring pitching limited the Giants to just two hits all night, both singles. Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Brad Sawyer (JR, Hood College) recorded the two hits. 

Though the regular season did not end as the Giants hoped, the team now turns its attention to the playoffs. Gaithersburg will either be the three or the four seed, depending on the result of the FCA Braves-D.C. Grays matchup tomorrow at the Washington Nationals Academy. If the Grays beat the Braves tomorrow, the Giants will have the fourth seed, meaning Gaithersburg would play the Bethesda Big Train in the semifinals should the Giants win on Sunday (Sunday’s opponent has also yet to be determined). If the Giants get the third seed, they would play the Baltimore Redbirds in a potential semifinal matchup.




Giants vs. Big Train

Thu. July 19, 2018

 
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Bullpen Stumbles as Giants Fall to Big Train – Jake Shulman

In the penultimate game of the regular season, the Gaithersburg Giants lost at home to the Bethesda Big Train, 7-1. With the loss, Gaithersburg kept the door open for the FCA Herndon Braves to take the 3rd overall seed (though the Giants still have the upper hand).

In one of the best starts by any Giants’ pitcher this season, Matt Whelan (SO, University of Texas at Austin) made life difficult for Bethesda hitters, striking out seven in just five innings pitched. Whelan faced one batter above the minimum, allowing the only base runner to reach on a hit-by-pitch in the 4th inning. Coach Jeff Rabberman removed Whelan after the 5th despite the starter having not allowed a hit to Bethesda. “It sucked to have to do that,” Coach Rabberman said after the game. “Stuff-wise, that was probably the best stuff any of our pitchers have had all year.” Explaining his decision, Rabberman said that Whelan entered the game on a strict pitch count in order to preserve his status for the playoffs. With the starter approaching the 60-pitch limit he and Rabberman had agreed upon earlier in the week, Rabberman decided he had to take the Longhorn product out. 

At the time, Gaithersburg led 1-0 on the heels of a fantastic base running play by Sam Bertelson (SO, University of Texas at Austin) and Saul Garza (SO, LSU) in the 4th inning. With Garza on third base, Bertelson drew a throw over to first base. Rather than diving back, Bertelson got in a rundown and bought enough time to allow Garza to score.

Unfortunately, that would be the only run the Giants could muster all night. Bethesda pitching limited Gaithersburg to just six hits and eight total base runners. The Giants only managed two base runners in the final five innings of the game.

After Whelan silenced the Big Train in the first five innings, the Bethesda hitters came after the Giants’ bullpen, scoring three runs in the top of the 6th inning. That frame, however, was prolonged by a crucial throwing error and a controversial call at first base that could have prevented any of the runs from scoring. Rabberman pointed to the first base umpire’s decision early in the inning to call Fox Semones (JR, James Madison University) safe on a slow roller to Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) as a turning point in the game. “That was a really, really bad call at a really, really bad time.”

Big Train would add on four more runs in the top of the 9th to put the game out of reach.

Having now lost four straight, the Giants look to end the regular season with a win tomorrow night and establish some positive momentum heading into the playoffs on Sunday.




Giants vs. Redbirds

Wed. July 18, 2018

 
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Redbirds
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Giants Shut Out by Redbirds in Baltimore – Jake Shulman

The Giants just cannot seem to figure out the Baltimore Redbirds. After a two-day break, Gaithersburg fell to the Redbirds, 6-0, at Calvert Hall High School in Baltimore. After winning the first game of the season series against Baltimore, the Giants have now dropped four straight meetings. 

As they did in the previous three matchups, the Redbirds put the game away early. Baltimore scored four runs in the bottom of the 3rd off of Giants’ starter Grant Young (JR, University of San Francisco), dropping the left-hander to 3-3 on the season. Despite the loss, Young still had a decent outing. The lefty went six innings for the third straight start, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out two. The start continued an up-and-down summer for Young, who has struggled to string together consecutive quality starts all season.

Chandler Schultz (SO, Belmont University) relieved Young in the 7th and would pitch the remainder of the game. Schultz’s recent struggles continued, however, as the Nashville native gave up two runs in two innings pitched. Schultz has now allowed 11 runs in his last 7.2 innings pitched.

Aaron McGeorge (SR, University of Kentucky) and Kyle Blendinger (SO, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill) combined to shut down the Giants’ offense. McGeorge pitched five innings of one-hit ball before Blendinger relieved him in the 6th. The two Redbirds combined to strike out 10 Giants, a familiar recipe for the Redbirds’ recent success over the Giants.

Sam Bertelson (SO, University of Texas at Austin) had the best day at the plate for Gaithersburg. Bertelson went 2-4, including a sharp line drive down the left field line in the 8th inning. After going into a midseason slump, Bertelson has found somewhat of a rhythm at the plate, as the Midland, TX native has recorded a hit in eight of his last 10 games.

Also of note offensively, Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University) continued his recent hot streak, smacking another double to extend his hitting streak to seven games. Though Saul Garza (SO, LSU) has gotten most of the playing time behind the plate, Campbell has certainly made the most of his recent opportunities. Over the last three weeks, Campbell has improved his batting average by a whopping 56 points.

With the playoffs looming this weekend, the Giants will aim to reignite the offense in the final two games of the regular season, producing the momentum they need for a deep postseason run.




Giants vs. Express

Sun. July 15, 2018

 
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Giants
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Express
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Giants’ Rally Falls Short in Loss to Express – Jake Shulman

Just like the first four games of their summer series, the Gaithersburg Giants and Rockville Express played another dramatic, close game Sunday night at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park. This time, however, the Express managed to hold off Gaithersburg, winning 9-7 in 10 innings. Though the Giants fought until the end, Rockville seemed to have an answer to every Giants rally. 

After the Express scored first in the top of the 2nd inning, the Giants responded with three runs in the bottom of the 3rd to take a 3-1 lead. Saul Garza (SO, LSU) came up big again, smacking a two-run double into the gap. 

Gaithersburg starter Jaret Bennett (JR, Charleston Southern University) cruised through the first six innings, only allowing the single run in the 2nd. In the 7th, however, Rockville finally got to the lefty, tagging him for three doubles to score two runs and tie the game. 

Meanwhile, the Express kept the Giants bats relatively quiet as well for most of the night. With the exception of the three-run 3rd inning, the Giants failed to score until the 9th and struggled again with runners on base. Rockville pitchers recorded 11 strikeouts on the night.

In the 9th, however, the game took a turn for the dramatic. After Rockville scored in the top half of the inning, the Giants responded, tying the game in the bottom half. Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) lined an RBI double to center for his second hit of the night. Next to Garza, Goodwin had the best night at the plate for the Giants, reaching base in four of his five plate appearances (two hits and two walks).

The Giants’ wheels fell off in the 10th, however, as Rockville tagged Chandler Schultz (SO, Belmont University) for five runs in just a third of an inning pitched. The Express notched five hits in the inning and took advantage of a Gaithersburg error to break the game open.

Though the five-run 10th was enough for the Express to win, the Giants did not go lightly. The Giants scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning on the strength of three hits and four walks to cut the Express lead to two. The Giants would even bring the winning run to the plate before ultimately falling.

“We just came up short,” Coach Jeff Rabberman said after the game. “Obviously didn’t play our best game tonight but you got to credit [the Express].”

With a playoff spot and home field for the first round already clinched, the Giants will look to use the last three games of the regular season to work on the small details to prepare for what hopes to be a deep playoff run.




Giants vs. Big Train

Sat. July 14, 2018

 
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Giants Drop Game but Clinch Playoff Spot - Jake Shulman

Playoffs, here we come! With the Rockville Express losing on Saturday night at home, the Gaithersburg Giants clinched a spot in the CRCBL playoffs. Seeding will be determined in the remaining week of the regular season.
 
As for the Giants’ own game at the Bethesda Big Train at Shirley Povich Field, the Big Train bested Gaithersburg again, defeating the Giants 5-3. 
 
Five different pitchers appeared for the Giants, with Chandler Schultz (SO, Belmont University) getting the start. Schultz pitched two scoreless innings before handing the ball over to Matthew Nicholas (SO, Texas State University). Nicholas got the loss, as Big Train rallied to score four runs (two earned) in the lone inning he pitched. The Giants’ defense did not help Nicholas, committing two crucial errors in the inning. 
On the offensive side, Saul Garza (SO, LSU) had yet another huge game at the plate. Garza went 3-4 with a double and two RBIs. Garza’s two RBIs ties him for 7th on the CRCBL season RBI leaderboard with 23. 
Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) also had another big night at the plate, recording two more hits to raise his season batting average to .342. After a brief slump after coming off of an injury, Machado has regained his position as the most consistent Giants hitter. Machado also scored two runs on the night.
 
With a playoff spot clinched, the Giants now look to lock up the third seed in the CRCBL.




Giants vs. Aces

Fri. July 13, 2018

 
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Aces
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Giants vs. Thunderbolts

Thu. July 12, 2018

 
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Giants vs. Thunderbolts

Thu. July 12, 2018

 
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Giants Extend Lead for 2nd in Division with Doubleheader Split – Jake Shulman

After a brief break for the CRCBL All-Star Game, the Giants traveled to Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD to play a doubleheader against the Silver Spring-Takoma T-Bolts. Though they did not sweep the doubleheader, the Giants did win the first game, enough to extend their lead over the Express for 2nd place in the North Division.

The Giants picked up right where they left off on Monday night, cruising to an 8-1 victory in Game 1. Eight of the nine Giants hitters recorded a base hit in the lopsided, seven-inning affair.

Grant Young (JR, University of San Francisco) earned his first win since June 17 after pitching six innings of one-run ball. Grant’s stuff was electric, as he recorded seven of his eighteen outs via the strikeout. In one inning in relief of Grant, Matthew Nicholas (SO, Texas State University) struck out the side to shut the door on the T-Bolts.

Down 1-0 early, the Giants’ bats got going in the 3rd, scoring three runs off of Silver Spring-Takoma starter Kieran Garner (SO, Catonsville Community College) to take the lead. After Giovanny DiGiacomo (FR, LSU) walked to lead off the inning, Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) smacked an RBI single to put the Giants on the board. That brought the scorching hot Saul Garza (SO, LSU) to the plate, who promptly launched another home run to put the Giants ahead for good. Garza now has homers in each of his last two games and hits in nine of his last 10. Garza’s five home runs put him in a three-way tie for 4th in the entire CRCBL (his 21 RBIs fall just short of the CRCBL leaderboard).

The three-run 3rd was just the start, however. In the 6th, the Giants tacked on five more runs, capitalizing on two critical T-Bolts mistakes to blow the game open. Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University) and Machado had the big hits, as each cracked RBI singles to keep the Giants’ rally going. 

With his two RBI singles, Machado improved his batting average to a team-best .333. Through Game 1, Machado had recorded a hit in six straight games.

Also of note offensively, Barrett Smith (JR, University of Maryland College Park) recorded three hits in four plate appearances. After a lengthy period in which Smith struggled to get on base, the first baseman now has seven hits in his last 14 at-bats.

While the Giants’ bats exploded in Game 1, Silver Spring-Takoma’s Game 2 starter Andy Rozylowicz (SR, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) effectively silenced the Giants offense, leading the T-Bolts to a 3-1 win in the nightcap. Rozylowicz pitched a complete game (seven innings), limiting the Giants to just four hits.

The Giants scored their only run in the 3rd, as Adam Spurlin (JR, Elon University) hit a sacrifice fly to score Scout Knotts (SO, Shippensburg University)

Knotts, Ryan Brown (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Mark Molz (SO, St. Mary’s College), and Smith logged the four hits for the Giants. Smith continued his hot streak, extending his hitting streak to five games.

In his third start of the season, Matt Whelan (SO, University of Texas at Austin) pitched all six innings for the Giants (Silver Spring did not bat in the 7th as they were the home team), allowing just three runs on seven hits. Whelan did not allow a run in the first four innings but could not keep the shutout going, giving up runs in the 5th and 6th innings. Nevertheless, the six-inning outing was easily the best of his three starts, a good sign going forward.

With the Rockville Express losing again on Thursday night, the Giants now hold a 4.5 game lead for second in the North Division.




Giants vs. Braves

Mon. July 9, 2018

 
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Giants Throttle Braves in Dominating Style – Jake Shulman

Perfection is elusive. No team can ever truly be perfect. Yet, the Gaithersburg Giants may have come as close to perfection as possible Monday night, demolishing the FCA-Herndon Braves 13-0 at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park.

Eight Giants registered a hit and seven players recorded an RBI in the offensive onslaught. Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco), Saul Garza (SO, LSU), and Barrett Smith (JR, University of Maryland College Park) all notched two hits in the game.

Garza, Yovetich, Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University), and Nick Holesa (FR, Virginia Tech University) all launched home runs. Holesa’s moonshot marked perhaps the biggest homer of the night, as it drove in three runs for Gaithersburg. 

Garza, meanwhile, continued his scorching hot stretch at the plate. His two hits extended his hitting streak to six games. In three of those games, Garza has logged multiple hits. With two RBIs on the night, the LSU sophomore now has six RBIs in his last four games, bumping his season total to 19, tied for the 10th-most in the CRCBL.

With his two hits, Machado extended his own hitting streak to five games. Machado’s batting average now stands at .324, the highest on the team.

Yovetich, meanwhile, has also gotten quietly hot as of late. With two hits on Monday, Yovetich has hits in his last four games and eight of his last ten. With his home run in the 8th inning, Yovetich now has more extra-base hits (10) than singles (9).

While the offense torched Braves’ pitching, Gaithersburg pitchers worked on their own magic night. Five Gaithersburg pitchers combined to shut out the Braves, allowing just three hits all night.

Brad Sawyer (JR, Hood College) got the start and pitched four solid innings before handing the ball over to Ryan Johnston (SO, Navarro College). Johnston pitched a scoreless 5th inning, enough to earn the win. Chandler Schultz (SO, Belmont University), Aaron Husson (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County), and Kiernan Higgins (SO, Coastal Carolina University) combined to pitch the final four innings without allowing a single runner to reach base.

The dominant effort by the Giants shows just how lethal the team can be when all the pieces come together. As Gaithersburg heads into the All-Star break, the team will look to carry this momentum as they head down the home stretch.




Giants vs. River Dogs

Sun. July 8, 2018

 
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Giants Ride Pitching and Garza to Victory in Loudon – Jake Shulman

The Giants’ All-Stars shone bright Sunday night, as Gaithersburg followed their lead to a 3-1 win over the Loudon Riverdogs at Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn, VA. The win improves Gaithersburg’s record to 17-14, firmly in the third seed in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League.

As they have done all year, the Giants’ pitchers led the way, limiting Loudon to just five hits all night. Giants All-Star selections Alex Klitsas (SO, Texas State University) and Jaret Bennett (JR, Charleston Southern University) both pitched, though on limited pitch counts to preserve their availability for the All-Star Game this Wednesday, July 11. Klitsas pitched two innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out two. Klitsas now holds the 4th-best ERA (1.80) in the entire CRCBL. Bennett came in to relieve Klitsas, logging 2.1 scoreless innings of two-hit ball. Since June 26, the pair has combined to throw 25.2 innings and allow just one earned run.

With the limited pitch counts, the Giants’ bullpen had to come up big to keep the Riverdogs’ bats quiet. Matthew Nicholas (SO, Texas State University) stepped up to the challenge, putting in his longest outing of the season (3.2 innings). Nicholas’ appearance was also by far his best, as the righty did not allow a single base runner. Noah Walker (SO, Texas State University) – an alternate for the CRCBL All-Star Game – pitched a scoreless 9th inning to log the save, his fourth of the summer.

At the plate, the Giants turned to their All-Star Catcher Saul Garza (SO, LSU), who powered the offense with two RBI doubles. Garza now has hits in five straight games and eight of his last ten, including four multi-hit games. 

It seemed Sunday’s game became a battle between the Giants’ Texas State pitchers and their LSU position players for “most valuable group of college teammates,” as Garza drove in Giovanny DiGiacomo (FR, LSU) on both of his doubles. DiGiacomo reached base four times on the night, taking advantage of his speed to create scoring opportunities for Gaithersburg.

Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) – another All-Star selection for the Giants – smacked the go-ahead RBI single in the 6th inning, proving once again why he deserved his All-Star nod.

A season-best three games over .500, the Giants seem to have found something special heading into the final two weeks of the regular season. With nine games to go, the Giants will look to secure a spot in the CRCBL playoffs with a strong final stretch.




Giants vs. Dodgers

Sat. July 7, 2018

 
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Giants vs. Dodgers

Sat. July 7, 2018

 
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Giants
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Dodgers
6
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Giants Up-and-Down in Doubleheader Against the Dodgers – Jake Shulman

The Gaithersburg Giants came out Saturday afternoon hoping to get back on track against the Baltimore Dodgers at Joe Cannon Stadium in Hanover, Maryland. Though they could not pull out a sweep, the Giants did split the doubleheader, winning the first game of the day before dropping the nightcap.

In Game 1, the Giants’ bats came alive to carry Gaithersburg to a nail-biting 9-8 win. Eight of the nine Giants’ starters recorded a hit in the ballgame.

Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) got the Giants’ scoring early, knocking a two-run single in the 2nd inning to give Gaithersburg the lead. Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco) extended the Giants’ lead to 3-0 in the 3rd inning with his own RBI single. Yovetich added a double in the game, finishing an impressive 2-4 with two runs scored, one RBI, and a walk.

Saul Garza (SO, LSU) had the other big shot in the game, crushing another two-run home run in the 5th inning. The homer came at a crucial point in the ballgame, as Baltimore had just scored in back-to-back innings to cut Gaithersburg’s lead to one. Garza now leads the team with 15 RBIs as he has heated up over the past week (nine hits in the last seven games).

No game recap seems to be complete without a Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) update, who extended his hitting streak to 16 games with another hit in the first game of the doubleheader. 

As for the defensive side, Gaithersburg did not show a whole lot of improvement from Friday, as the Giants committed another two errors and the pitching struggled for a second consecutive day. Although the Dodgers recorded eight runs on 12 hits in Game 1, some Gaithersburg pitchers did have impressive outings. Starter Nick DeCarlo (JR, Mount Olive College) had a bounce-back start, allowing just one earned run in 3.2 innings pitched after giving up at least four earned runs in each of his last three starts.

Matthew Charles (SO, Texas State University), who had not pitched since June 30, also had a solid outing. Charles pitched 2.1 innings in relief of DeCarlo without allowing a run. 

 

In Game 2, the pitching struggles continued as the Giants lost 6-2 in the seven-inning nightcap. Though Gaithersburg outhit the Dodgers, the offense could not push the runs across to keep the Giants in the game.

Travis Craven (JR, Whitman College) got the start, coming off of an excellent scoreless, six-inning appearance against the D.C. Grays last Sunday. The Dodgers, however, tagged Craven for five runs on five hits in 4.1 innings. 

Offensively, the Giants scrapped out eight hits but failed to get clutch hits when they needed them. The Giants left runners in scoring position in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th innings. 

After going hitless in his last four games, Scout Knotts (SO, Shippensburg University) shined on Saturday night, one of the biggest bright spots for the Gaithersburg offense. Knotts reached base in all three of his at-bats, going 2-2 with a walk, a run, and two RBIs. His biggest at-bat came in the 3rd inning, when the designated hitter launched his third home run of the year. Knotts’ big night improved his batting average to .311, moving him ahead of Brown for the best on the team (it must be noted, however, that Brown is hitting .310 with almost 40 more at-bats).

For the second consecutive night, the opposing pitcher played a big part in the Giants’ offensive struggles. In five innings pitched, Jared Rowley (JR, Undecided) struck out eight Gaithersburg batters.

The Rockville Express also split their doubleheader, meaning the Giants’ maintained a two-game lead for second place (and an automatic berth to the playoffs) in the North division. With two games to go until the All-Star break, the Giants will look to add to that lead and go into the break with positive momentum.




Giants vs. Redbirds

Fri. July 6, 2018

 
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Giants
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Redbirds
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18
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Defensive Woes Hurt Giants Big-Time in Loss to Redbirds – Jake Shulman

Friday night did not go as hoped for the Gaithersburg Giants. The Baltimore Redbirds came into Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park and pounded Giants pitching, winning 15-4.

Baltimore scored early and often, clubbing plenty of hits but also taking advantage of several key Giants’ mistakes. Though Gaithersburg committed only two official errors, the team misplayed several balls that, played well, could have mitigated some of the damage. Ryan Brown (So, University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Ryan Shinn (SR, University of Kentucky), and Scout Knotts (SO, Shippensburg University) all had trouble in the outfield at various points throughout the game, allowing balls to drop and Redbirds’ runners to score.

Matt Whelan (SO, University of Texas at Austin) got the start for Gaithersburg and got roughed up for the second straight outing. Whelan allowed five runs on nine hits in four innings of work. 

Whelan, however, was just one of many Giants to get roughed up by Baltimore, as the Redbirds exploded for 18 hits. Matthew Nicholas (SO, Texas State University), Ryan Johnston (SO, Navarro College), and Michael Streitmann (University of Texas at Austin) all struggled, allowing multiple runs in their appearances.

There were, however, some bright spots. Brad Sawyer (JR, Hood College) came in and pitched a scoreless, three-up-three-down ninth inning, the only such inning of the night. Sawyer struck out two of the three batters he faced en route to a second consecutive scoreless outing.

Though the Giants’ offense fell silent after the 4th inning, that inning was one of the best offensive innings of the season. Gaithersburg knocked five straight hits, including back-to-back home runs by Sam Bertelson (SO, University of Texas at Austin) and Adam Spurlin (JR, Elon University). Bertelson’s mammoth shot over the right-center wall brought in three runs before Spurlin smacked his own over the left-center fence. 

Brown also knocked a single in the 5th to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.

Despite the loss, Gaithersburg remains 2.5 games ahead of the Rockville Express, who also lost on Friday night.




Giants vs. Express

Thu. July 5, 2018

 
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Giants
7
10
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Express
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7
3

Giants Walk Off on Wild Play at the Plate – Jake Shulman

“I really have no idea what happened,” Coach Jeff Rabberman said after the game. Those sentiments, echoed by many at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park on Thursday night, perfectly explain the ending of the Giants’ thrilling, back-and-forth win over the Rockville Express.

With the game tied at six in the bottom of the 9th, Gaithersburg loaded the bases with no outs, putting the team in prime position to pull out the win. But, after Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco) struck out and Sam Bertelson (SO, University of Texas at Austin) popped out to the second baseman, doubt began to creep in about whether the Giants would push the winning run across. 

Then, it happened. With Nick Holesa (FR, Virginia Tech University) batting, Rockville P Kyle Johnson (SO, Holy Cross College) threw a ball down that skipped off the catcher’s pads enough to allow Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) to race home and score the winning run. As Brown crossed the plate, Johnson and Express Manager Rick Price ran over to the home plate umpire, arguing that the ball deflected off of Holesa’s bat (a foul ball would have meant Brown could not advance). 

“I didn’t hear the umpire say foul so I just took off,” Brown said when asked about the final play. Holesa swore the ball never touched him or his bat in any way. “I’ve seen a walk-off wild pitch but nothing like what that was,” Rabberman said. 

Whether the ball hit off of Holesa’s bat or not, the Giants emerged victorious, a crucial win to extend their lead over the Express for second place in the North division to 2.5 games.

How We Got There

The game started poorly for the Giants, as Rockville jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Gaithersburg starter Grant Young (JR, University of San Francisco). Young, who finished with a stat line of six innings, six runs (five earned), and six hits, did not receive a whole lot of help from his defense, who committed two costly errors early on. “We had a 4th of July hangover in the first couple of innings,” Rabberman lamented after the game.

The Giants, however, clawed their way back. Holesa smacked an RBI double in the 2nd to get the Giants on the board. Saul Garza (SO, LSU) then launched a solo home run to right center and Holesa logged another RBI with a groundout in the 4th to cut the Rockville lead to one. The Giants would tie the game in the 5th on a Yovetich RBI single.

After Dayan Reinoso (SO, Chesapeake College) hit his 2nd home run of the game, the Giants found themselves trailing again heading into the bottom of the sixth. But, as he has done all summer long, Brown delivered, crushing a two-run double over the center fielder’s head to tie the game at six and set up the dramatic ending. 

With the double, Brown extended his team-long hitting streak to 14 games. Having played in 24 of the Giants’ 27 games this season, Brown continues to plead his case for a much-deserved All-Star selection as he has lead the Giants’ offense through thick and thin this season.

Winners in three straight and seven of their last ten, Gaithersburg seems to be riding high heading into a huge matchup with the first-place Baltimore Redbirds on Friday night at Criswell Automotive Field. Though he likes where the team currently stands, Rabberman said they will “have to play a heck of a lot better” against the Redbirds to win. Nevertheless, after a crazy night, who knows what can happen when the Giants come to play?




Giants vs. Thunderbolts

Mon. July 2, 2018

 
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Giants
1
4
0
Thunderbolts
0
2
1




Giants vs. Thunderbolts

Mon. July 2, 2018

 
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Giants
3
4
1
Thunderbolts
1
6
1

Turn the Lights Out! Giants Sweep Doubleheader Behind Pitching Gems – Jake Shulman

A day after splitting a doubleheader with the D.C. Grays, the Gaithersburg Giants played two again, sweeping the Silver Spring-Takoma T-Bolts at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park. The Giants’ pitching carried the team all day long, allowing just one run across the two games. 

The Giants took Game 1 in dramatic fashion, as Giovanny DiGiacomo (FR, LSU) delivered a walk-off sacrifice fly in extras to give the Giants the 1-0 victory.

The walk-off came after seven innings of unbelievable pitching by both starters (the game was originally a seven-inning game). Gaithersburg starter Alex Klitsas (SO, Texas State University) went toe-to-toe with T-Bolts P Spencer Haroldson (SO, University of North Carolina-Charlotte), combining for 21 strikeouts as both pitched seven full innings. The duo’s duel ended up costing both pitchers a decision in the game, as both left the game when the Giants and T-Bolts went to extra innings.

Klitsas entered the game coming off of a magnificent outing last Tuesday (June 26) against the Baltimore Dodgers. In that Giants win, Klitsas also pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits. After his magnificent start against the T-Bolts, Klitsas has now pitched 14 consecutive innings without giving up a run and allowing just six hits. With 11 strikeouts in his start against the T-Bolts, Klitsas set the Giants’ season-high for strikeouts by one pitcher in a game, besting Nick Pantos’ (SO, Old Dominion University) 10-strikeout effort on June 5 against the FCA-Herndon Braves.

Haroldson, meanwhile, struck out 10 Giants while allowing just two hits. Nick Holesa (FR, Virginia Tech University) and Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) logged the only hits off of Haroldson.

After Kiernan Higgins (SO, Coastal Carolina University) pitched a scoreless 8th inning, Gaithersburg came to the plate again, hoping to end the game. Ryan Shinn (SR, University of Kentucky) got the rally going, leading off the inning with a base hit. Brown then lined a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third for DiGiacomo. After going down 0-2 in the count, DiGiacomo delivered, lifting the Giants to victory. 

“I was a little anxious coming into the at-bat,” DiGiacomo said after the game. In discussing the at-bat, DiGiacomo said Coach Rabberman, who called time after his young right-fielder fell down in the count, helped him calm down before delivering the winning knock. “It feels good, definitely exciting,” DiGiacomo said. 

Game 2 played out in much the same way as far as the Gaithersburg pitching was concerned. Jaret Bennett (JR, Charleston Southern University) put in another excellent start, pitching 5.1 innings of shutout ball to earn the win in the Giants’ 3-1 victory. Bennett allowed just five hits to keep Silver Spring off the board.

Bennett, however, needed some help in the 6th after the T-Bolts loaded the bases with one out. Coming in to relieve Bennett, Aaron Husson (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) made potentially the biggest pitch of the game. His only pitch was grounded to Sam Bertelson (SO, University of Texas at Austin), who stepped on third and threw to first to record an inning-ending double play and preserve the Giants’ lead.

Though not an offensive outburst, Gaithersburg did manage to push three runs across the board, all in the 4th inning. Brown, Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County), and Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) strung together three consecutive base hits to get the Giants on the board (Brown scored on Machado’s single). After Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University) pitched in a sacrifice fly, Machado scored on an error by the second baseman to give the Giants a 3-0 lead.

In the play of the game, Brad Sawyer (JR, Hood College) laid out for a diving grab on a sharp line drive down the first base line and raced back to first to double up the Silver Spring runner, ending the game. The runner on first marked the potential tying run for the T-Bolts. 

Speaking after the doubleheader, Coach Jeff Rabberman could not stop praising his pitching staff, especially Klitsas. “Klitsas again… I mean just dominant,” Rabberman said. “If there’s anyone worthy of an All-Star nomination, it’s him.” 

Indeed, as the Giants and the rest of the CRCBL head into their July 4th break, talk has begun to ramp up about who will earn All-Star nods for the CRCBL All-Star Game on July 11 at Shirley Povich Field. Klitsas and Bennett both surely improved their odds with their performances tonight. Offensively, Brown has staked his claim, continuing to shine as the Giants’ everyday leadoff hitter. Brown had three of the Giants’ eight hits on the day, helping to spark the Giants’ offense at crucial times.

With the doubleheader sweep, the Giants enter the break 5.5 games back of the Baltimore Redbirds but with the momentum they need going into the backstretch of the season. 




Giants vs. Grays

Sun. July 1, 2018

 
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Giants
9
10
0
Grays
1
7
5




Giants vs. Grays

Sun. July 1, 2018

 
R
H
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Giants
4
8
4
Grays
9
7
3

Tale of Two Games as Giants, Grays Split Doubleheader – Jake Shulman

On a steamy evening in Gaithersburg, the D.C. Grays and Gaithersburg Giants met at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park to play a twin bill in front of a solid Gaithersburg crowd. The teams split the doubleheader, with the Giants winning the first before dropping the second.

Gaithersburg dominated Game 1, crushing the Grays 9-1 in the nine-inning opener. The win snapped the Giants’ two-game skid and marked one of the more complete games Gaithersburg has played this season.

In a stellar start, Travis Craven (JR, Whitman College) went six shutout innings to earn the win. Craven allowed just four hits and struck out four, including a huge strikeout to end the 6th inning and strand two Grays runners. 

After struggling to push runs across the board early, the Giants finally got on the board in the 5th when Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) scored on an error by the second baseman.

That run in the 5th opened the floodgates, as Gaithersburg would go on to score five runs in the next inning. The Giants rallied for five straight hits in the 6th, as Jordan Landel (SO, University of Texas at Austin) and Saul Garza (SO, Louisiana State Univ) each knocked clutch hits with runners in scoring position. Landel would add another RBI single in the 7th to extend the Giants lead and improve upon his season-best game (2-4 with 2 RBIs and a run scored). Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco) launched a two-run home run to right in the 8th to cap off a stretch in which the Giants scored in four consecutive innings.

Giovanny DiGiacomo (FR, LSU) also shined in the Giants’ Game 1 victory. The speedster went 2-5 and slid under a tag to score on a ground ball to first base in the 6th inning. DiGiacomo also showed off his arm several times, forcing Grays runners to stay put rather than advance the extra base.

Also worthy of mentioning, Kiernan Higgins (SO, Coastal Carolina University) had his best outing of the season in relief of Craven, striking out the side in a scoreless 7th inning.

Game 2 played out much in the opposite way, as D.C. cruised to a 9-4 victory in the seven-inning nightcap. The loss dropped Gaithersburg back to .500 on the season and six games back of the first-place Baltimore Redbirds, who swept their doubleheader against the Alexandria Aces on Sunday.

The game figured to be a pitchers’ duel, as both teams sent their aces to the hill to start the game. In his first start since pitching against the Bethesda Big Train on June 24, Nick Pantos (SO, Old Dominion University) struggled mightily with his command. In just five innings of work, Pantos threw 101 pitches, hitting two batters and walking two more. Pantos did record six strikeouts, but left the game after allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits. 

J.P. Woodward (SO, Lafayette College), meanwhile, had a solid game for the Grays. Woodward pitched six innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits to record the win. The win marks Woodward’s second consecutive solid outing against the Giants (the lefty gave up just one run on one hit in 6.1 innings on July 17 at Criswell Automotive Field).

Matthew Nicholas (SO, Texas State University) came in to relieve Pantos in the 6th, hoping to keep Gaithersburg within striking distance (the Giants trailed 4-1 at the time). Unfortunately, it was not Nicholas’ night either. Nicholas also struggled with his command and got beat around for five runs (four earned) as the Grays blew open the game. 

Though the Giants’ offense struggled for the most part Sunday night, there were some bright spots. Saul Garza reached base in all four of his at-bats, including an RBI single in the 7th. “Even when he struggles, when he swings the bat it looks really really good,” Coach Jeff Rabberman said after the game. If he’s good, we’re going to be really good.” Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland at Baltimore) also had a good night at the plate, going 2-3 with an RBI double to deep left field in the 5th inning.

In the midst of back-to-back doubleheaders, the Giants will need to find a way to keep their heads held high. “We got to muster up the energy with two more tomorrow,” Rabberman said. With the July 4th break looming over the horizon, the Giants hope to have a good day tomorrow and enter the break riding high.




Giants vs. Dodgers

Sat. June 30, 2018

 
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Giants
1
3
0
Dodgers
10
14
0

Dodgers Rock Giants in Baltimore – Jake Shulman

The Giants had another rough night on Saturday, falling 10-1 to the Baltimore Dodgers at Joe Cannon Stadium in Baltimore. The loss drops Gaithersburg back to .500 (11-11) on the season and five games back of the Baltimore Redbirds, who defeated the Bethesda Big Train on Saturday in Baltimore.

The Dodgers jumped all over Gaithersburg starter Grant Young (JR, University of San Francisco), who had one of his poorest outings of the summer. Young lasted just three innings, surrendering six runs on six hits. 

Ryan Johnston (SO, Navarro College), who came in to relieve Young in the 4th inning, did not fare much better. After pitching a scoreless 4th and 5th innings, Johnston got hit hard by the Dodgers, who scored four runs in the 6th inning to take a commanding 10-1 lead. Johnston has now allowed 14 runs in just seven innings pitched as he struggles to find his groove this summer.

Though the game remained decidedly out of reach, the back-end trio of Brad Sawyer (JR, Hood College), Matthew Charles (SO, Texas State University), and Chandler Schultz (SO, Belmont University) impressed again out of the bullpen, finally shutting down the Dodgers in the last three innings. The three pitchers allowed just two hits and no runs in a combined 2.2 innings pitched.

The Giants struggled mightily at the plate as well, mustering just three hits all night. The only Gaithersburg run came on a sacrifice fly by Saul Garza (SO, LSU) in the top of the 6th inning. Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University), Giovanni DiGiacomo (FR, LSU), and Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco) recorded the three hits for the Giants (DiGiacomo and Campbell each singled while Yovetich doubled). 

With the double, Yovetich now has five hits over his last four games. Four of those five hits have gone for extra bases. 

With back-to-back home doubleheaders on deck, the Giants will look to put the last two games behind them and rediscover the energy that helped them win four straight this past week.




Giants vs. River Dogs

Fri. June 29, 2018

 
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Giants
7
9
1
River Dogs
10
12
3

Giants Give Game Away in Loss to Riverdogs - Jake Shulman

After winning four in a row, the Gaithersburg Giants came back to Earth Friday night. After starting the game hot, the Giants let the Loudon Riverdogs hang around, eventually falling 10-7 at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park.

The Giants offense seemed to pick up right where it left off on Thursday night, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. Scout Knotts (SO, Shippensburg University) knocked an RBI single in the 1st inning before Ryan Shinn (SR, Kentucky University) delivered a laser over the wall in left to put the Giants up 2-0 after two innings of play.

In the third, however, the Giants began to show signs of wearing down. A throwing error to home with the bases loaded and a two-run double by Loudon C Collin Casey (JR, Northeastern University) gave the Riverdogs the lead for the first time on the night. The Riverdogs tacked on two more off of Giants’ starter Nick DeCarlo (JR, Mt. Olive College) in the 4th to extend their lead to 5-2.

Yet, in the bottom of the 4th, the Giants responded with a rally of their own. A double steal by Shinn and Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County), RBI triple by Nick Holesa (FR, Virginia Tech), and two-run double by Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) allowed the Giants to retake the lead, 6-5. A Saul Garza (FR, LSU) moonshot home run to right center in the 5th extended the Giants lead to two, putting Gaithersburg in prime position to extend their season-high four-game winning streak.

The Riverdogs had other plans. In the 6th, Loudon rallied for three runs, aided considerably by several key Giants mistakes. After an RBI double cut the lead to one, Loudon tied the game when Garza failed to tag a runner out trying to score on a ground ball to first baseman Barrett Smith (JR, University of Maryland College Park). Garza stepped on home plate but did not tag the runner, believing there was a force out at home (there was no force out as the Riverdogs only had runners on 2nd and 3rd). A few batters later, Michael Streitmann (SO, University of Texas at Austin) walked in the go-ahead run. 

After giving up the lead for the second time on the night, the Giants could not find the magic that helped them win several games earlier this week. The offense fell flat, mustering just one hit over the final four innings. 

“We just never adjusted,” a frustrated Jeff Rabberman said after the game. “We just got to go and play a heck of a lot better [tomorrow night] than tonight.”




Giants vs. Express

Thu. June 28, 2018

 
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Giants
9
16
2
Express
7
6
1

Giants Never Quit, Comeback Twice to Shock Express – Jake Shulman

For the second straight night, the Gaithersburg Giants produced a huge comeback win. On Thursday night at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park, Gaithersburg twice answered big-inning rallies by the Rockville Express to earn a huge 9-7 victory.

Early on, it seemed the Giants’ demons had returned. After a scoreless first inning, the Express scored five runs off of Giants’ starter Matt Whelan (SO, University of Texas at Austin), spoiling his Gaithersburg debut. Rockville loaded the bases multiple times in the inning, with ample help from the Giants defense. Gaithersburg committed two errors in the inning while Whelan struggled with his control, reminding many of the teams’ early-season woes. “We were terrible defensively in the first two innings,” Coach Jeff Rabberman said after the game. 

Yet, like Wednesday night, the Giants responded quickly. The Giants scored one run in the bottom of the second and two more in the bottom of the third to cut Rockville’s lead to two. 

In the fourth, the Giants’ rally continued. After a Scout Knotts (SO, Shippensburg University) bases-loaded RBI single, Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco) tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field. With two outs and two runners on base, Barrett Smith (JR, University of Maryland College Park) delivered a go-ahead RBI single, giving Gaithersburg the lead for the first time on the night.

The Express would not go quietly, however. In the 5th, Rockville put together a rally of their own to retake a one-run lead. The Express scored two runs off of Kiernan Higgins (SO, Coastal Carolina University), who pitched two innings in relief of Whelan.

Again, Gaithersburg would respond. In the bottom of the 6th, Scout Knotts and Ryan Shinn (SR, Kentucky University) each crushed solo home runs to left, putting the Giants up 8-7. “There was no panic,” Rabberman said when asked about the mood in the dugout after the Giants went down 5-0 early. “We just stayed with our approach and our game plan.”

Knotts’ huge offensive performance should be noted, as the Shippensburg product went 3-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Adam Spurlin (JR, Elon University) also had big nights at the plate. Brown went 4-5, igniting several Gaithersburg rallies and extending his hitting streak to eight games. With a home run in the 8th inning to pad the Giants’ lead, Spurlin added to his already impressive stat line (3-4 with three RBIs and 2 runs scored) to log his best offensive game of the season.

After Whelan and Higgins struggled on the mound, Matthew Nicholas (SO, Texas State University) came in to save the day, pitching three innings of no-hit ball to earn the win.

With the win, the Giants extend their season-long winning streak to four games, keeping pace with the Baltimore Redbirds, who also won Thursday night. “Our kids have confidence right now, in themselves and in each other,” said Rabberman. “That’s what it’s really all about.”




Giants vs. Braves

Wed. June 27, 2018

 
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H
E
Giants
8
9
4
Braves
7
7
2

Comeback Kids! Giants Win Thriller in Herndon – Jake Shulman

Don’t count these boys out! In a dramatic back-and-forth battle with the FCA-Herndon Braves, the Gaithersburg Giants prevailed 8-7 on Wednesday night at Annandale High School in Herndon, VA. With the win, Gaithersburg improves to 10-9 on the season, three games back of the idle Baltimore Redbirds (the Redbirds’ game against the Rockville Express was cancelled).

Both offenses got going early, with the Braves striking the first blow in the bottom of the 1st inning. Herndon would score twice in each of the first two innings to knock Gaithersburg starter Travis Craven (JR, Whitman College) from the game.

The Giants, however, responded quickly, scoring two of their own in the top of the 2nd. After Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco) doubled to lead off the inning, Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) drove him in with a huge two-run home run.

In the following inning, the Giants rallied again. Giovanny DiGiacomo (FR, LSU) and Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) created havoc on the base paths after earning walks, eventually scoring on Herndon throwing errors. Then, with Yovetich on 2nd, Scout Knotts (SO, Shippensburg University) smoked an RBI single, giving Gaithersburg the 5-4 lead.

After Gaithersburg added another run in the top of the 5th, Herndon responded with three runs off of Matthew Charles (SO, Texas State University) and Aaron Husson (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) to retake the lead, 7-6. 

Yet the Giants never surrendered. With two outs and two runners on in the 7th inning, Knotts delivered his second RBI single of the night, tying the game at seven. 

Knotts’ clutch effort paved the way for the moment of the night. With the game still nodded at seven apiece in the top of the 9th, Brown stepped to the plate with a chance to ignite a game-winning rally. Down 1-2 in the count, Brown drilled a home run, extending his hitting streak to seven and, most importantly, giving the Giants the lead for good after a rollercoaster night.

Though Brown’s heroics will appropriately receive all of the attention, Chandler Schultz (SO, Belmont University) deserves just as much credit. After the Braves scored seven runs in the first five innings of the game, Schultz shut them down. In three innings of work, Schultz retired nine of 10 batters faced to earn the win for Gaithersburg.

If the feel in the clubhouse after Tuesday’s win was “really good,” as Coach Jeff Rabberman put it, the boys might be dancing out of their shoes tonight. Gaithersburg showed the fight-hard, never-die attitude that characterizes the most successful sports franchises. Assuming that’s here to stay, the rest of the Cal Ripken League better watch out. The Giants have arrived.




Giants vs. Dodgers

Tue. June 26, 2018

 
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H
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Giants
6
8
0
Dodgers
0
5
2

Giants Nearly Flawless in Shutout Win Over Dodgers – Jake Shulman 

When Alex Klitsas (SO, Texas State University) last took the mound on June 16, things did not go as hoped for the righty out of Spring, TX. Tonight? Tonight, Klitsas dominated the Baltimore Dodgers, throwing seven shutout innings to earn the win as Gaithersburg cruised to a 6-0 victory at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park.

Though Klitsas was the only pitcher to appear for the Giants on the night, he does not get credited with the complete game shutout as the game was the resumption of the June 20 game, which was suspended in the bottom of the second inning due to rain. Jaret Bennett (JR, Charleston Southern University) started and pitched the first two innings on June 20. 

While Klitsas performed masterfully on the mound, Gaithersburg put in one of its first truly complete games of the season, getting contributions from up and down the lineup. In a three-run third inning, Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco) crushed a two-run triple off the wall in right field before scoring on Saul Garza’s (FR, LSU) sacrifice fly. 

In the 5th inning, Gaithersburg scored two more runs as Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) scored on an error by the Baltimore shortstop. After a Machado double to start the 7th, Yovetich crushed another RBI double to extend the Giants’ lead to 6-0.

On the offensive outburst, Head Coach Jeff Rabberman linked it to a change in approach. “We looked relaxed at the plate. We looked like we had a plan, like we were confident in ourselves, and we executed that plan.”

With another dominant pitching performance, the Gaithersburg pitching staff has become the talk of the stands. But Rabberman wants it known that others deserve credit for the pitchers’ success. “One thing we really haven’t talked about is the job our catchers have done in calling games. All three of them [Garza, Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University), and Jordan Landel (SO, University of Texas at Austin)] have been really really good.”

Two more interesting notes: Garza extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the 7th and Barrett Smith, after being hit twice in three at-bats, has now been hit seven times in 14 games this season.

The Giants’ victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday night surely gives a lot of hope that the team has finally found its winning strategy. As the offense finally begins to produce, the clubhouse is alive with energy and excitement. “We’re not that far away,” said Rabberman. “We’re there.”




Giants vs. Aces

Mon. June 25, 2018

 
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Giants
3
8
0
Aces
1
7
1

Pitching Staff Carry Giants to Another Victory in Alexandria - Jake Shulman

Surprise, surprise… the Giants played another close, low-scoring game Monday night. This time, however, Gaithersburg prevailed, topping the Alexandria Aces 3-1 at Frank Mann Field in Alexandria, VA.

As with most of the Giants’ victories this season, the pitching staff carried Gaithersburg to victory on a night when the bats remained mostly quiet. Starter Jaret Bennett (JR, Charleston Southern University) put in another quality start to earn his second consecutive win. Bennett pitched seven innings, allowing just one run on six hits and striking out seven. The magnificent outing lowers Bennett’s ERA to 4.20 and marks his second consecutive game pitching seven innings of one-run, seven-strikeout ball.

Matthew Nicholas (SO, Texas State University) and Noah Walker (SO, Texas State University) pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to close the door on the Aces. Walker registered his second save of the season and has now pitched in five games (6.1 innings) without allowing a run. 

Sam Bertelson (SO, University of Texas at Austin) led the Gaithersburg offense, smacking two hits in his season debut for the Giants. Bertelson doubled in the 3rd and would later score on Saul Garza’s (SO, LSU) RBI double. In the 5th, Bertelson knocked an RBI single to put the Giants up 2-1. Later in the inning, Bertelson helped execute a double steal with Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County), as Bertelson stole second and Brown stole home to extend the Giants’ lead to 3-1. The Longhorn’s electric debut could be the jolt the Giants’ offense desperately needs to finally get hot.

Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University) and Garza also posted two-hit games for the Giants. Campbell now has five hits in his last five games after struggling to get the bat going early in the season. Garza’s solid offensive night extended his hitting streak to five games, providing even more hope that the Giants’ offense may break out soon.

With the win and a loss by the Rockville Express, Gaithersburg moves back into second place in the CRCBL North Division. Though the Giants remain 4.5 games back of the Baltimore Redbirds, the addition of Bertelson and the emergence of Garza’s bats may provide the offensive spark the Giants need to compliment their excellent pitching as the squad seeks to put it all together on a consistent basis.




Giants vs. Big Train

Sun. June 24, 2018

 
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E
Giants
3
8
2
Big Train
6
8
1

Giants Can’t Overcome Prolific Big Train Offense – Jake Shulman

The Giants’ rollercoaster season continues. Despite taking an early lead on the CRCBL-favorite Bethesda Big Train, Gaithersburg could not pull out the win, falling to Bethesda 6-3 on Sunday night at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park in Gaithersburg.

As a sun shower gave way to a double rainbow over left field, the Giants jumped all over Bethesda starter Quinn Flanagan (SO, University of Arizona), tagging him for three runs in just over an inning pitched. Adam Spurlin (JR, Elon University) and Scout Knotts (SO, Shippensburg University) each knocked RBI singles, with Giovanni DiGiacomo (FR, LSU) adding a bases-loaded walk to put Gaithersburg up early.

Big Train would respond quickly, however, scoring two runs in the top of the 3rd inning off of Gaithersburg starter Nick Pantos (SO, Old Dominion University). Pantos, who came into the game leading the league in strikeouts (26), pitched well through the 5th inning but ran into trouble in the 6th. The Bethesda offense, having already seen Pantos twice on the night, began to figure out the Gaithersburg righty. The Big Train tagged him for three runs in the inning, enough to force Head Coach Jeff Rabberman to pull Pantos from the ballgame.

Though the Gaithersburg bullpen would only allow one run the rest of the game, the offense failed to put a run across the board after scoring three in the 2nd. Strikeouts proved to be the Giants’ Achilles heal again. Gaithersburg struck out seven times in the first three innings, with all of those strikeouts coming with runners in scoring position. “You need every one of those runs [to beat the Big Train], and we weren’t able to do it,” Rabberman said after the game. “You’re not going to beat them when you play like that.”

On the bright side, Knotts had an excellent day as the Designated Hitter for the Giants, going 3-4 with two singles, a double, and a walk. With the three hits, Knotts pushed his average to .313 on the season. Rabberman complimented Knotts: “really good at bats, consistently. He really produced out of [the two hole].”

After winning three in a row last week, the Giants have now dropped three straight to fall 4.5 games back of the Baltimore Redbirds in the CRCBL North division. When asked about the team’s performance thus far this season, Rabberman kept it simple: “Spotty. Starting pitching has definitely been the strong point. Offensively, it’s definitely a work in progress.”




Giants vs. Redbirds

Sat. June 23, 2018

 
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E
Giants
4
7
0
Redbirds
9
11
0




Giants vs. Redbirds

Sat. June 23, 2018

 
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Giants
1
4
2
Redbirds
8
12
0

Giants Swept by Redbirds in Doubleheader – Jake Shulman

The Giants could not get much going Saturday afternoon at Calvert Hall High School in Baltimore. The Baltimore Redbirds took both games of the doubleheader, winning the first 9-4 and the second 8-1. The sweep drops Gaithersburg to 7-8 on the season, 3.5 games back of the Redbirds in the North division.

Game One started rather well for the Giants, as the offense jumped on Baltimore early. Saul Garza (SO, LSU) doubled in the top of the 1st inning to drive in two runs. Barrett Smith (JR, University of Maryland College Park) followed with a single to score Garza and put the Giants up 3-0.

The good vibes did not last long, however, as Baltimore dominated most of the rest of the day. The Redbirds responded with four runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning off of starting pitcher Nick DeCarlo (JR, Mount Olive College) to take the lead. DeCarlo would only last into the third inning, allowing five runs on six hits. 

In his pitching debut for the Giants, Brad Sawyer (JR, Hood College) threw 2.1 innings in relief of DeCarlo. Sawyer allowed two runs on two hits while striking out two Redbirds.

Justin Vought (SO, University of Maryland College Park) provided the greatest trouble for Gaithersburg pitching. Vought drove in four runs with a two-run double in the 2nd inning and a two-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning.

The seven-inning second game of the doubleheader belonged to Baltimore. Gaithersburg starter Grant Young (JR, University of San Francisco), coming off a magnificent 8.1-inning performance against the D.C. Grays, pitched well but only lasted four innings. Young surrendered two runs on six hits and now owns a solid 2.50 earned run average (ERA) for the season.

Down just one run in the 5th, Gaithersburg turned to Kiernan Higgins (SO, Coastal Carolina University) to keep the game close. Higgins struggled, however, as the Redbirds jumped all over him. Baltimore tagged Higgins for six runs (five earned) on six hits, effectively putting the game out of reach. 

Joe Zirolli (SR, West Chester University) demonized Gaithersburg in the second game, driving in five runs on two hits, including a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning.

After riding a three-game winning strike, Gaithersburg now falls back below .500 on the season with the crushing losses to Baltimore. The Giants do, however, remain in second place in the North division, well within striking distance of the Redbirds with the majority of the season still to come.




Giants vs. River Dogs

Thu. June 21, 2018

 
R
H
E
Giants
5
8
0
River Dogs
2
10
2

Giants Stay Hot, Win Third Straight – Jake Shulman

Look out, Cal Ripken League, the Gaithersburg Giants may have found something special. The Giants defeated the Loudon Riverdogs 5-2 on Thursday night at Rock Ridge High School (Ashburn, VA) to notch their third straight victory and stay within a game and a half of the Baltimore Redbirds in the North division. 

Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) anchored the Gaithersburg offense, accounting for five of the Giants’ eight hits on the night. The UMBC duo got it going early, as Brown lead off the game with a single before scoring on Machado’s own base knock. Brown recorded three hits overall on the night and reached base a fourth time on a Riverdogs error.

Saul Garza (SO, LSU) also provided an offensive spark, recording a double and two RBIs on the night.

Yet, the Giants’ pitching staff again deserves much of the credit for the team’s victory. Starter Travis Craven (JR, Whitman College) gave up just one run over five innings pitched to earn the win. Despite giving up seven hits, Craven stranded six Riverdogs base runners to limit the damage.

Three Giants relievers combined to finish the game, highlighted by Aaron Husson’s (SO, University of Maryland, Baltimore County) impressive two-inning debut. Husson did not allow a hit and struck out three Riverdogs. Michael Streitmann (SO, University of Texas at Austin) and Noah Walker (SO, Texas State University) each logged one inning of work, with Walker notching the save for Gaithersburg.

After a relatively slow start, the Giants seem to have found some momentum as they head into the middle part of the season. With a heavy schedule looming over the next week, Gaithersburg will continue to rely on their impressive starting pitching to carry it forward. Over the last three games, Gaithersburg starters have allowed just two earned runs over 20.1 innings pitched. If that continues, Gaithersburg will certainly challenge the Redbirds for first place in the CRCBL North division. 




Giants vs. Express

Mon. June 18, 2018

 
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H
E
Giants
3
10
1
Express
1
5
3

Machado’s Clutch Hit Elevates Giants Over Express – Jake Shulman

Ladies and Gentlemen, Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland Baltimore County) has arrived. Doubtless the Giants best hitter so far this season, Machado came up huge again Monday night in Rockville, smacking the game-winning hit in the top of the 9th inning to help the Giants beat the Express 3-1.

With the score nodded at one and the bases loaded, Machado lined a two-run double to score Nick Holesa (FR, Virginia Tech) and Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University) and put Gaithersburg in the lead heading into the bottom of the 9th. Holesa reached earlier in the inning on a single, his second hit of the night.

For the second consecutive night, the Gaithersburg pitching staff dominated to lead the team to victory. Starter Nick Pantos (SO, Old Dominion University) shined again, pitching seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball. Pantos struck out nine Express batters, bringing his season total to a whopping 26 strikeouts through three games (17 innings pitched). Though Pantos has yet to record a win on his personal record, his performances have no doubt earned him “ace” status on the Giants’ pitching staff.

Chandler Schultz (SO, Belmont University) relieved Pantos in the 8th inning and finished the game, tossing two innings to earn the win for Gaithersburg.

With the win, the Giants brought their record back to .500, keeping pace with the 1st-place Baltimore Redbirds, who defeated the Baltimore Dodgers on Monday to move to 8-5 on the season (two games ahead of the Giants).




Giants vs. Grays

Sun. June 17, 2018

 
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H
E
Giants
2
3
0
Grays
1
6
2

Young Dominates on the Mound, Leads Giants to Victory – Jake Shulman 

A Sunday matinee between the Gaithersburg Giants and the D.C. Grays at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park in Gaithersburg quickly turned into the Grant Young Show. Young (JR, University of San Francisco) dominated the Grays, coming within two outs of a complete game as the Giants defeated the Grays 2-1.

In 8.1 innings pitched, Young allowed just one run on six hits. The lone run for the Grays came in the ninth inning, after Kiernan Higgins (SO, Coastal Carolina University) came in to relieve Young with two runners on base. In a stretch lasting from the 2nd through the 6th innings, Young recorded 15 straight outs. 

“When you talk about pitching performances, he was a pitcher today,” Coach Jeff Rabberman said after the game. “That’s about as good of a performance as you’ll see in this league.”

For a while, however, it seemed Young’s counterpart, J.P. Woodward (SO, Lafayette College), would end up stealing the headlines. Woodward took a no-hitter into the 7th inning before Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland Baltimore County) lined a single into centerfield. The hit not only chased Woodward from the game, it awoke the Giants offense. The Giants got two huge two-out RBI singles from Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland Baltimore County) and Jackson Campbell (SO, Belmont University) to break the scoreless tie and put Gaithersburg up 2-0 heading into the 8th inning.

Rabberman pointed to the noticeable jolt of energy his players stepped up to the plate with in the bottom of the seventh as the primary reason for the breakout. “When you play with some energy, really really good things happen.” Giovanny DiGiacomo (FR, LSU) perhaps provided the initial spark when he threw a dart to the plate in the top half of the inning to nail a D.C. runner trying to score on a base hit, ending the inning for the Grays. Indeed, Rabberman called DiGiacomo’s extraordinary throw “the play of the game.”

With the thrilling win on Sunday, the Giants seem to be in prime position to reel off a string of victories. Rabberman, for one, believes the time is now. “I was hoping today would start [a] run,” he said. “Our pitching I think has been excellent for the most part. At this point it’s just an attitude thing.”




Giants vs. Aces

Sat. June 16, 2018

 
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H
E
Giants
8
9
0
Aces
7
12
1




Giants vs. Aces

Sat. June 16, 2018

 
R
H
E
Giants
3
3
3
Aces
9
16
0

Giants and Aces Trade Shots, Split Doubleheader – Jake Shulman

Coach Jeff Rabberman described Saturday’s doubleheader against the Alexandria Aces best: “that was a weird day of baseball.” After taking the first game 8-7 in dramatic fashion, Gaithersburg dropped an ugly second game to the Aces at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park in Gaithersburg.

Game One started poorly for Gaithersburg. After Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland Baltimore County) put the Giants up 1-0 with an RBI single in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Alexandria responded with three runs in the 4th, one in the 5th, and three more in the 6th to take a 7-1 lead. 

Things appeared to being getting worse for the Giants when Rabberman got ejected for arguing with home plate umpire Dan Davies. The ejection, however, may have ignited Gaithersburg’s offense, as the Giants exploded for seven runs in the inning to take an 8-7 lead. A bases-loaded RBI walk from Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland Baltimore County) and a two-run single from Giovanny DiGiacomo (FR, LSU) cut the Aces lead to 8-4. Then, with the bases loaded again, Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco) uncorked a bomb to center field, clearing the bases with a grand slam to put the Giants ahead. 

That one run lead was all that Noah Walker (SO, Texas State University) needed. Walker earned the win after pitching 2.1 innings out of the bullpen and holding the Aces hitless.

“Great win in the first one,” Rabberman said. “Obviously a huge grand slam by Yove. He really does everything well. For only being 18 years old, he’s one heck of a player.”

Game Two, however, did not play out in the Giants’ favor. Alexandria smacked 16 hits to cruise to a 9-3 victory over Gaithersburg. 

Starting pitcher Travis Craven (JR, Whitman College) struggled on the mound, giving up five runs (four earned) on eight hits in just three innings of work. Isaiah Thomas (FR, Vanderbilt University) spearheaded the Alexandria offense, going 5-5  with two runs and 2 RBIs out of the leadoff spot.

The Giants’ offense, meanwhile, stuttered. Gaithersburg mustered just three hits over the seven-inning game. Brown, Adam Spurlin (JR, Elon University), and Trace Bucey (SO, Howard College) registered the hits, all of which were singles. The Giants also failed to score with the bases loaded in each of the first two innings, a huge missed opportunity that Rabberman pointed to after the game. 

Despite the offensive and defensive (Gaithersburg committed three errors) woes in the second game, Rabberman likes where the team stands at this point in the season. “I like how we’re coming together as a team. Some guys have really separated themselves and are starting to swing the bats well. I like where we are.”




Giants vs. Braves

Fri. June 15, 2018

 
R
H
E
Giants
3
7
0
Braves
4
7
2

Giants Drop Another Close One to Braves – Jake Shulman

The Giants could not muster some late-inning magic as they fell to the FCA Herndon Braves, 4-3, Friday night at Annandale High School. The loss dropped Gaithersburg to 3-5 on the season after a thrilling win over the Baltimore Redbirds on Wednesday night. 

Despite officially getting the loss, starting pitcher Nick DeCarlo (JR, Mount Olive College) turned in a strong outing for the Giants. DeCarlo pitched seven innings, allowing four runs while striking out six. DeCarlo limited Herndon to just seven hits, but the Braves made those count, as four of those hits went for extra bases (including a home run). A balk in the bottom of the third inning also hurt DeCarlo, allowing a Braves runner to score. 

Offensively, the Giants scattered seven hits off Braves’ pitching, none bigger than Scout Knotts’ (SO, Shippensburg University) solo home run in the top of the 5th inning. The Giants scored all three runs in the 5th, with Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland Baltimore County) and Ryan Shinn (SR, University of Kentucky) recording the RBIs (Goodwin on a sacrifice fly to center and Shinn on a base hit).

With his two hits on the day, Knotts pushed his batting average to .333, the second highest on the team behind Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland Baltimore County), who improved his own average to .429 after going 1-2 with two walks on the night.

Strikeouts hurt the Giants most Friday night, as Braves pitching combined to retire 14 Giants via the strikeout. As they enter a huge weekend slate, the Giants will look to limit these strikeouts at the plate in favor of more productive at-bats.




Giants vs. Redbirds

Wed. June 13, 2018

 
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H
E
Giants
2
4
2
Redbirds
1
6
1

Bennett, Giants Outduel Redbirds to Earn Huge Win - Jake Shulman

After a rough couple of games, the Giants are back in the win column! In a pitcher's duel against the Baltimore Redbirds, the Giants came back to win it, 2-1, on Wednesday night at Criswell Automotive Field in Gaithersburg.

Jaret Bennett (JR, Charleston Southern University) led the Giants, putting in perhaps the best start of the season by any Gaithersburg pitcher. Bennett threw seven innings, striking out seven Redbirds while allowing just one earned run. “It felt good, lot better control than the last outing,” Bennett said after the game. Indeed, Bennett’s seven-inning outing could not have been more different from his last outing, a forgettable one-inning start at the Bethesda Big Train.

“I had no doubts that [Bennett] would bounce back and give us a good outing,” Coach Jeff Rabberman said when asked about his starting pitcher after the game. “It says a lot about who he is, mentally as a pitcher.”

For the first six innings of the game, the Giants appeared to be headed for another silent night offensively. But in the 7th, Gaithersburg struck twice, as Scout Knotts (SO, Shippensburg University) and Andres Machado (SO, University of Maryland Baltimore County) each recorded RBI singles to give the Giants the lead. 

That lead was all the bullpen needed, as Noah Walker (SO, Texas State University) and Kiernan Higgins (SO, Coastal Carolina University) combined to shut the door, aided by some huge defensive plays from first baseman Barrett Smith (JR, University of Maryland College Park). Smith first made a diving stop in the 7th inning to rob Baltimore of extra bases. “That diving play he made, that’s a big-time play,” said Rabberman. Then, after committing an error to put the leadoff hitter on first base in the top of the 9th, Barrett launched a strike from shallow right field to nail the runner at third (an errant pickoff thrown from Higgins set the runner loose from first). On the potentially game-saving play, Rabberman applauded Smith: “For Barrett to go down there and compose himself and throw a strike… was obviously a huge play for us.”

After struggling on all sides of the ball Tuesday night, the Giants came back with a stellar performance on Wednesday. Bennett acknowledged the magnitude of the win: “I think its big, could be a good turning point for us.” 

Speaking to his team after the game, Rabberman applauded the guys for their play but challenged his players to bring the same focus and hustle to every game the rest of the season. The Coach beamed, “That looked a little bit like baseball.”




Giants vs. Dodgers

Tue. June 12, 2018

 
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H
E
Giants
3
9
1
Dodgers
7
8
2

Dodgers Best Giants as Gaithersburg Can’t Get Clutch Hits - Jake Shulman

The Giants’ offense struggled again in a 7-3 loss to the Baltimore Dodgers on Tuesday night at Criswell Automotive Field at Kelley Park in Gaithersburg. 

Shutout through six innings, the Giants had the hits (nine) but lacked the timing. After putting runners on base in each of the first three innings, Giants hitters grounded into double plays to end the scoring threats. 

Strikeouts also hurt the Giants offense. In six innings pitched for the Dodgers, Jason Reynolds (JR, Lehigh University) struck out eight Giants hitters. Two of those strikeouts stranded runners on base to end the inning.

The Giants finally got some offense going in the 7th inning when Saul Garza (SO, LSU) came into the game as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded and walked, putting the Giants on the board. Gaithersburg added two more runs in the 8th, highlighted by Joey Goodwin’s (SO, University of Maryland-Baltimore County) RBI single.

Defensively, the Giants showed significant improvement from previous games. Gaithersburg committed just one error, the fewest so far this season.

In his second start of the season, Nick Pantos (SO, Old Dominion University) struck out seven Dodgers in just over four innings of work. Pantos overcame some early command struggles to leave with a respectable line, giving up just two earned runs. Unfortunately, Baltimore chased Pantos from the game early after driving up his pitch count.

Command struggles defined Giants’ pitching tonight, as Giants’ relievers also failed to consistently find the zone. The issues led to several walks and hit-batsmen that gave the Dodgers runners on base to start innings.

“You can’t fall down 7-0… in this league against these kind of players,” Coach Jeff Rabberman said after the game. “Offensively, [we] really need to do a better job.” Despite the frustration, Rabberman did express satisfaction with how the Giants played defensively, noting the improvement over past games. Rabberman and the Gaithersburg staff will look to “shake it up” in hopes of providing a jolt to what has so far been a struggling roster.




Giants vs. Grays

Sat. June 9, 2018

 
R
H
E
Giants
0
2
3
Grays
10
9
2

Giants Offense Silenced in Loss to Grays – Jake Shulman

Saturday night featured a lot of the D.C. Grays and very little of the Gaithersburg Giants. In a lopsided 10-0 loss to D.C. at Washington Nationals Academy, Gaithersburg mustered just two hits all night.

Starting pitcher Alexander Klitsas (SO, Texas State University) put in a solid five innings of work, allowing just one run to keep the game close. On the strength of Klitsas’ six-strikeout outing, Gaithersburg trailed by just one run heading into the 6th. 

The 6th inning, however, proved to be the nail in the coffin for the Giants. With Ryan Johnston (SO, Navarro College) on the mound, Gaithersburg committed three errors, prolonging an already productive inning for the Grays. In all, the Grays would score seven runs in the frame to take a commanding 8-0 lead. 

Anthony Amoroso (JR, SUNY New Paltz) and Kyle Dean (JR, Williams College) combined to throw eight shutout innings for the Grays, striking out eight Giants in the process. Only Joey Goodwin (SO, University of Maryland-Baltimore County) and Scout Knotts (SO, Shippensburg University) managed to get hits off of the Grays’ pitchers (each had a single in their four respective plate appearances).

As the Giants continue their seven-games-in-seven-days marathon, they will look to improve both defensively and offensively as they seek to establish some momentum heading into the meat of the season.




Giants vs. River Dogs

Fri. June 8, 2018

 
R
H
E
Giants
11
12
4
River Dogs
6
12
4

Giants Overcome Defensive Miscues, Outslug Loudon to Earn 2nd Win 6/8/18 - Jake Shulman

After two very quiet nights offensively, the Giants have broken through. Gaithersburg scored early and often in an 11-6 victory over the Loudon Riverdogs on Friday night at home at Criswell Automotive Field. 

The Giants got going early, plating four runs in the bottom of the second inning, ignited by five straight Gaithersburg batters reaching base. The heavy blow came when Mark Molz (SO, Saint Mary’s College) grounded to the third baseman, who threw the ball over the second baseman’s head and deep into right field, allowing three Giants to score and extending Gaithersburg’s lead to 4-0. 

Grant Young (JR, University of San Francisco) got the start for the Giants on the mound. In 4.2 innings, Young allowed three runs (none earned) on five hits. The start signified Young’s longest appearance of the year – for Gaithersburg or USF – and was enough to earn the win. 

After the game, Coach Jeff Rabberman spoke highly of Young, saying he “threw really really well.” With regards to the length of the start, Rabberman explained that he talked to the USF coaches, who “felt like we [the Giants] could stretch [Young] out a bit” in pitching appearances this summer. 

Though Young showed some promise on the mound, the defense left much to be desired. Gaithersburg committed four errors on the night, allowing Loudon to score three unearned runs. The errors kept Loudon in the game, allowing them to pull within one run in the top of the 7th.

But the Giants would not surrender. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th inning, Adam Spurlin (JR, Elon University) mashed a pinch-hit grand slam to put the Giants up 10-5, effectively ending the Riverdogs’ comeback attempt. “It’s tough, I’m not going to lie,” Spurlin said when asked about coming off the bench in a huge late-game situation. “I just wanted to make the most of my opportunity.” When asked about the decision to pinch-hit Spurlin, Rabberman laughed, “made me look like a good coach there.”

After dropping the first two games of the season, the Giants have won back-to-back games to improve to 2-2. You “can’t really look at stats right now,” said Rabberman. “It’s just guys getting comfortable. Comfort level has a lot to do with everything.”




Giants vs. Express

Thu. June 7, 2018

 
R
H
E
Giants
3
3
2
Express
1
4
3

Giants Ink their First Win! 6/7/18 - Jake Shulman

Mark down a W! The Giants defeated the Rockville Express 3-1 on Thursday night at Montgomery College to earn their first victory of the season.

After a rough night on Wednesday, the Giants’ pitching staff – led by starter Nick DeCarlo (JR, Mount Olive College) – led the way for Gaithersburg, giving up just one run on 4 hits to the Express. DeCarlo shined in his first start of the season, pitching six innings of 2-hit ball and striking out 2 Express batters before handing it over to the bullpen.

Kiernan Higgins (SO, Coastal Carolina University), Noah Walker (SO, Texas State University), and Chandler Schultz (SO, Belmont University) followed DeCarlo, each putting in an inning of work to lock down the Giants’ first win.

Offensively, the Giants got two huge hits from Ryan Brown (SO, University of Maryland Baltimore County) and Nick Yovetich (SO, University of San Francisco) to help push a few runs across the board. Yovetich smacked a double in the 3rd inning to knock in the Giants’ second run of the game after Mark Molz (SO, Saint Mary’s College) scored on an error by the Express catcher the previous pitch. Brown tripled to lead off the top of the 4th inning and would score on Trace Bucey’s (SO, Howard College) subsequent RBI groundout.

Though the rest of the Giants’ offense struggled Thursday night, Gaithersburg successfully pulled out the win and will look to carry this momentum into the rest of the week.




Giants vs. Big Train

Wed. June 6, 2018

 
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H
E
Giants
1
3
4
Big Train
20
18
1

Giants at Big Train 6/6/18 - Jake Shulman

Game 2 of the 2018 CRCBL season did not play out the way the Giants had hoped. Playing in its home opener, the Bethesda Big Train jumped all over the Giants early, cruising to a 20-1 rout on Wednesday night.

Jaret Bennett (JR, Charleston Southern University) got the start for the Giants on the mound. The Big Train, however, quickly chased Bennett from the game, tagging him for 8 runs (5 earned) in just over an inning of work. Ryan Johnston (SO, Navarro College) relieved Bennett but fared little better, allowing 7 runs (5 earned) on 6 hits over 2 innings. After three, the Big Train had essentially put the game out of reach, opening up a 15-0 lead over the Giants.

Though the pitching staff had its fair share of challenges, the Gaithersburg defense did little to help the situation. The Giants had more errors (4) than they did hits (3), allowing Bethesda to extend innings and push more runs across the board.

Barrett Smith (JR, University of Maryland) provided perhaps the lone bright spot for the Giants on an otherwise forgettable night. Smith went 2-4 with a double and scored the Giants only run in the top of the 7th inning.

For its part, the Big Train were lead offensively by their number 2, 3, and 4 hitters, who combined to go 9-15 with 5 RBIs and 8 runs scored. Jacob Westerman (JR, University of San Francisco) also had a big day with 3 hits, 2 RBIs, and 3 runs scored. Justin Wylie (SR, University of Arizona) added a 3-run home run to further pad the Big Train’s offensive statistics.

As the season continues, the Giants will look to tighten up defensively and on the mound as they hope to challenge the Big Train when they face off again later in the month.




Giants vs. Braves

Tue. June 5, 2018

 
R
H
E
Giants
7
9
0
Braves
8
8
4

Pantos Shines Early, Giants Fall Late in Dramatic 2018 Opener 6/5/18 - Jake Shulman

If Tuesday night was any indication of what the Giants’ future holds for the 2018 Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League season, prepare for a wild ride ahead. What began with a pitcher’s duel turned into a back-and-forth extra-innings tilt culminating in the Giants dropping the first game of the season, 8-7, to the FCA Herndon Braves in 11 innings.

Prior to the game, Coach Jeff Rabberman said he looked forward to “letting the guys play,” explaining that he was “just excited to see what they all got.” Rabberman added that he felt particularly excited to coach some of his former Gaithersburg High School players, including the starting pitcher for the Giants, Nick Pantos (SO, Old Dominion), who had an incredible season this spring for Frederick Community College.

Pantos surely did not disappoint, as the righty took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before surrendering one run on three hits to the Braves. Pantos exited the game after the sixth with 10 strikeouts, wowing the crowd – and his teammates – with his swing-and-miss stuff. In perhaps his most impressive inning of work, Pantos struck out the side on 10 pitches in the 2nd, leaving him one ball away from an historic immaculate inning (9 pitches, 9 strikes, 3 strikeouts).

Despite Pantos’ electric debut, the Giants found themselves down coming into the bottom of the sixth, having been silenced by the Braves’ own starting pitcher, Owen Lamon (SO, Georgetown). Though the Giants squeaked out a few hits off Lamon, a base running blunder and several strikeouts helped Lamon get out of some early jams.

The Giants finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs to take the lead. With the starting pitchers out, however, the wheels began to come off for both pitching staffs. The Braves would score again in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings to take a 5-3 lead, forcing the Giants to come up with a rally in the bottom of the 9th to either win or extend the game.

Yet, the Giants did not waver. With their backs against the wall, the Giants loaded the bases with no outs. Coming in as a pinch hitter, infielder Barrett Smith (JR, UMD) knocked an RBI single to the shortstop. Ryan Brown (SO, UM Baltimore) then tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right. The Giants would strand the two remaining runners, forcing the game into extra innings.

After a scoreless 10th inning, the Braves broke through in the top of the 11th, scoring three runs on two hits, a hit batsman, and two huge errors by the Giants. The Giants would rally again in the bottom of the frame but come up short, scoring just two runs to end the game in defeat.

Despite the loss, the Giants showed resilience in the face of adversity, something that should reap benefits later in the season.