spending some time with Alex Wimmers and the other Rock Cats players the other night, I have a new found respect for what these guys are going through. Tonight, I attended the New Britain Rock Cats opening night against the dreaded Richmond Flying Squirrels, AA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
|Thursdays are $4 Sam Adams drafts|
at New Britain Stadium.
Gotta love MiLB
On the Rock Cats' offensive side, Evan Bigley provided the big hit, and it was in the first inning. After newly acquired Darin Mastroianni led off the inning with an infield single, Bigley smashed a double over the head of the center fielder. He probably hit it 390 feet, and very hard. More of a line drive than a fly ball. Mastroianni, who had by then advanced to second, scored easily. In the third inning, following a James Beresford leadoff single, Chris Herrmann hit a first-pitch RBI single to the hole between first and second to score Beresford. Thereafter, Bigley grounded into a double play, but Mastroianni (who had walked after the Beresford single) scored.
|Darin Mastroianni leading off the season for New Britain|
Both starting pitchers were pretty solid, but both exited the game after 5 innings. After the sun set, it was really cold, and a bit windy. By this point, Rocky the Rock Cat was curled up in the fetal position atop the home dugout, presumably trying to draw heat from the Rock Cats' dugout radiant heating system. OK, that part didn't happen. But I had to imagine that it was a little rough on pitchers tonight.
The Rock Cats held a 3-0 lead until the 9th inning. Daniel Turpen, who had pitched a scoreless 8th for New Britain, was unable to get it done in the final inning. He gave up 2 singles to start the inning, then recorded two outs. The next batter hit an infield single to second base. Actually, Beresford made a great play at second to keep the ball in the infield, but because both runners were going on contact, 2 runs scored. All of the sudden, it was a game. Lester Oliveros came on and struck out the final batter to earn the save for New Britain. Here's the box score.
Losers: No losers because the good guys won. But I will say that Hicks didn't look great at the plate. He was 0-for-4. In one at-bat that I paid particular attention to, he took 4 pitches (I think), and was ahead in the count, before ultimately swinging at pitch that wasn't very good. But he played well in center.
|The "Wall of Fame." Recognize any of these guys??|
|The crowd, though energetic, did not|
appreciate the weather.