College Notebook: Thomas’ Homer Caps Big Summer With Big Train


August 5 - Matt Thomas hit a three-run homer to spark a late rally in last week’s deciding Game 3 of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League championship series as the Bethesda Big Train won its fourth consecutive title. 

Thomas, a member of the 2018 NOVA Nine Team as a senior at Lake Braddock and a rising sophomore at William & Mary, launched a one-strike offering over the left field wall to draw the Big Train to within 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning against the visiting Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts. Bethesda would score three more times to provide the final 6-4 margin. 

The homer came in the final at-bat of a productive summer for Thomas, who hit .370 with 51 hits, nine doubles and 48 RBI in 41 games. During the regular season, he led the CRCBL in RBI (43), was second in hits (45), third in average (.366) and tied for eighth in doubles (7). The Big Train (34-8) are tied for sixth in the Collegiate Summer Baseball Record Top 25 ranking of the top teams from the country’s 32 summer collegiate leagues. 

Also finishing among the CRCBL offensive leaders was Alexandria Aces outfielder Scotty Morgan (Woodbridge), who connected on a league-high nine home runs while hitting .314 with 29 RBI. FCA Braves right-hander Jack Cone (South County) went 3-2 and led all qualifying pitchers with a 2.70 ERA in 36.2 innings. His 44 strikeouts ranked third, just behind Aces righty Jared Lyons (West Springfield), who finished second with 45 strikeouts and a 2.85 ERA in 28.1 innings. 

McDyre Helps Charlottesville Reach VBL Championship Series

Trey McDyre (Loudoun Valley) had eight RBI over six playoff games to help the Charlottesville TomSox reach the best-of-three Valley Baseball League championship series against the Strasburg Express. 

A rising senior infielder at Liberty, McDyre hit .325 with 39 hits, five doubles, three homers and 19 RBI in 32 regular season games. In Charlottesville’s semifinal series with the Staunton Braves, he had three hits in a 9-7 win in Game 2 and drove in two runs in a 10-2 win in the deciding Game 3. 

The championship series opened tonight in Strasburg. Game 2 is tomorrow in Charlottesville, with a Game 3 if necessary back in Strasburg on Thursday. 

Trio of Ludowig, Menendez, Stewart Hope to Get Harwich to Championship Series in Cape Cod

The Harwich Mariners are one win from reaching the Cape Cod League championship series, and three area players have played a role during the postseason run. 

Michael Ludowig (Briar Woods), the 2017 NOVA Nine Player of the Year, drew a walk and had a stolen base in Harwich’s 5-1 win over Yarmouth-Dennis last night in Game 1 of their best-of-three semifinal series. The outfielder is hitting .256 with 23 hits in 28 games. 

Ludowig’s teammate at Wake Forest, sidearmer Antonio Menendez (Herndon), struck out seven over six scoreless innings as the Mariners completed a two-game sweep of Chatham with a 4-2 win on Saturday. Menendez has posted a 3.09 ERA with 32 strikeouts to 10 walks in 35 innings this summer. 

Nick Stewart (Rock Ridge) pitched two innings of relief behind Menendez on Saturday, and the James Madison right-hander has posted a 4.67 ERA with 34 strikeouts to nine walks in 27 innings. 

Sponsor: The magazine’s College Notebook is sponsored by the R&D Baseball Academy in Herndon. For more information on the academy, visit www.rdbaseballacademy.com.

Photos of, clockwise from left, Matt Thomas by Mark Briscoe, Trey McDyre courtesy of Charlottesville TomSox and Antonio Menendez courtesy of Harwich Mariners