by John Vittas
Herndon Braves' starter Nick Stephens pitched a complete game and struck out 12 Gaithersburg Giants en route to a 4-2 win Thursday night at Herndon High School.
"The GaithersburgGiants are great," Stephens said. "The changeup was the pitch that I worked with. I have to give credit to my catcher [Jordan Taylor]."
He did not walk a single batter Thursday, and only allowed two hits over the final five innings. It's Stephen's second consecutive start with double-digit strikeouts.
"Every time Nick steps on the mound we have a bulldog out there and we know we have a great chance to win," designated hitter Rob McCabe said. "He had a great mix today and kept hitters off balanced."
Stephens threw 124 pitches Thursday, after throwing 133 against the Giants on July 6. In that outing, Stephens gave up three runs in the seventh inning, blowing the Braves' lead and being charged with the loss.
"Last time I was a little more emotional than I should have been," Stephens said. "Today I was just really happy that I was able to work it out and do what I needed to do."
Rob McCabe delivered the offensive blow for the Braves, a two-out, two-run triple in the second inning to make it 4-0.
"With two strikes, I just made sure I could hit anything in the zone and got something on the inner half and turned out and thankfully it stayed fair," said McCabe.
With the loss, the Giants fall from third place into a tie for fifth with the D.C. Grays, just half a game ahead of Youse's Orioles for the final playoff spot.
The Giants will travel to Vienna for a doubleheader with the RiverDogs Friday beginning at 5pm. The Braves will travel to Silver Spring to take on the T-Bolts.
To listen to my interview with Nick Stephens and Rob McCabe, click here
To listen to the full broadcast of tonight's game, click here