2016 Pizza Bowl

Straders’s Raiders vs. Vrable’s Vikings

29745559314_de046287b6_zJim Patterson Stadium-Louisville, KY:  I’m still learning some of the traditions of Cardinal baseball, and a new one I’ve discovered is the Pizza Bowl. The Louisville baseball team splits into two squads for a five game series, with the losers serving pizza to the winners. This years series featured Strader’s Raiders against the Vrable’s Vikings.  The Vikings took the first two game of the series, and we were in attendance for game three.

30311183871_ee8495c0c7_z30397340275_17d56c1ea1_zGame three really looked like the Raiders were going to break into the win column, as they carried a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning. They were lead by catcher Zeke Pinkham, who hit a single, walked twice, and scored a run.  Outfielder Ryan Summers and infielder Justin Levy each had one hit and one RBI.  Freshman outfielder Ethan Stringer hit a solo home run, and Brian was able to snag that ball.

29765580493_a9c8dbaede_z30376205575_7f6895e28e_zThe Vikings made their comeback in the eighth inning on three unearned runs.  Outfielder Logan Taylor had an RBI single and scored a run to lead the Vikes offense.  Colin Lyman and Danny Oriente each added and an RBI, also, with Oriente hitting and RBI single in the seventh as well.

30100272180_e77afd2756_z29765591453_6218b86259_zStarting on the hill for the Raiders, Michael McAvene earned a no-decision although he struck out six, walked one, and pitched six no-hit innings.  For the Vikings, Nick Bennett giving up just two runs on two hits while striking out four. FINAL:  Raiders 5, Vikings 4.

Trevor snagged a foul ball, and found a UofL stress ball
Trevor snagged a foul ball, and found a UofL stress ball

This was a fun day for the boys and I. We also had a productive day, as Trevor got a foul ball and a stress ball.  Brian was able to snag Stinger’s home run ball! This was our last ballgame of the fall, as the team split the last two games of the series, with the Raiders winning four games to one. We look forward to the spring and more Cardinal baseball!  Also exciting news I learned from my buddy the Baseball Bloggess, is that Louisville will be hosting the ACC Baseball tourney next season, also, so I’m looking to get some vacation time for that!

30280806732_c0b9a041e3_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball



Fall Ball Ends

29766854314_b7315fb03e_zWalsh Park-La Grange, KY:  It seems as it just started, but Brian’s fall ball league has come to an end. I’m really happy that he chose to keep playing, and I think he had a good time.  Honestly, I really didn’t pay too much attention to his team’s record, although I’m pretty sure they won more than they lost, and there are no playoffs.  He got a chance to play some other positions, also, finding he likes to play some infield.  He still needs to work on his throwing mechanics a little, but he’s fielding pretty good.  Brian had a solid fall season at the dish, also.  He hit well over .500, going 3-3 in two consecutive games.  After that second one, he was given the game ball by his coach as player of the game.  He had some good coaching this fall, as well, as they stayed very positive and stressed fun and learning above all else.  He’s excited to play next year, and spring can’t come soon enough.


Brian with the game ball as 'players of the game'
Brian with the game ball as ‘players of the game’

29887523480_812c9fba38_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball

Busy weekend in the ‘Ville

Black Cardinals vs. Red Cardinals

29150588283_4d9470422c_zJim Patterson Stadium-Louisville, KY:  This past weekend has to be one of the busiest in this town that I have seen since moving down this way, since the Derby weekend, anyway.  Since this is a baseball blog, I’ll be moving backwards and start with Sunday.  Brian and I decided to check out a little Louisville Cardinal fall ball scrimmage, and it was a lot of fun. Simply a beautiful day and there’s not too many places I’d rather be than a ballpark.  Granted, this was just an inter-squad scrimmage, and most may protest that these games don’t mean anything, but I disagree.  To the kids trying to either earn a walk-on position, or a spot in the starting lineup, there games can mean plenty.  I felt bad for the left fielder, who made a couple of errors, and we were within ear-shot to hear his frustrations loud and clear.  Take this for what it is, just something to do, watching something we love, spending time with my little buddy. Final: Black 10, Red 4.

29148286474_1580815908_z29150588043_c418590db9_z29663464912_7451f96c08_zNow, on Saturday, there was some kind of college football going on, and I guess this could be considered the busiest day of the weekend.  That’s probably why we stayed away from town.  I think the whole ESPN College Gameday crew was in town, also.  Although not a big football fan, I did watch some of the Louisville vs. Florida State game on TV, and was happy for a big Louisville win (63-20).  It’s always good for the town and the school, and I’ve never cared much for the Seminoles much in any sport, anyway.

29108810333_926131df20_zKFC Yum! Center-Louisville, KY:  Friday was a fun day for the boys and I, also.  This was both Trevor and Brian’s first WWE (I still call it WWF) show.  Brian was happy to see his two favorites Bayley and Roman Reigns fight.  It was a pretty good show, as the U.S. Championship, Tag-Team Championship, and Universal Championship belts were all defended.  I’d much rather attend a ‘house show’ than a TV event, as all they do is talk and you don’t see as much action.   We all had a great time, and will probably come again when the WWE is in town.  As well as baseball, Louisville is a decent place for a wrestling fan to live, also.  We have the local Ohio Valley Wrestling which is a lot of fun, and some other indy promotions in southern Indiana.

29108772143_96b51c53aa_z29108795333_920247c8fe_z29697842936_5a0f266474_zHere is a video of the introductions for the main event for the Universal Championship, Kevin Owens defending against Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn in a triple-threat match:

Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Last game on Labor Day

Louisville Bats vs. Indianapolis Indians

28865844123_b09e7e9a39_zLouisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Where did the summer go?  It’s definitely a sad sort of day, the last day of the Minor League regular season, which means the end of 2016 baseball for the Bats.  We were blessed with a beautiful day, however, so Trevor and I decided to take a walk down by the river before the game started.  To our surprise, WLKY was doing a live broadcast down that way covering some Labor Day events, and we ‘just happened’ to walk behind the reporter and got on the news!  Here’s the footage courtesy of Channel 32 WLKY’s YouTube (look for us at the 1:21 and 1:22 mark):

When Trevor and I were done being TV stars, we made our way into the ballpark for the last time in 2016.  We had great seats, as we settled in with our $1 hot dogs and drinks on another 90 degree day.

29525179765_db39d960d6_z29490608326_063f5fb01c_zOn the mound was Keury Mella who was making his Triple-A debut with the Bats.  He pitched a solid seven innings, only giving up three hits, one earned run, while giving up one walk, and striking out six to earn the win.  Relief pitcher Kevin Shackelford came in to get the save.

28865894773_5735d49bbd_z28865918013_927baaa987_zLouisville was lead offensively by Seth Mejias-Brean, who got the Bats on the board in the 4th with an RBI base hit.  He also added and RBI on the eighth inning with a triple.  The go-ahead run came in the seventh, off of a Tony Renda base hit. FINAL:  Bats 4, Indians 1.

28866114753_e167c7413c_z28899910304_09c3deec0e_zAgain, it’s sad that this was our last Bats game of the season, but we will still have some baseball in our future.  Brian is still playing Fall Ball, and the Louisville Cardinals will probably play some exhibition games in the coming month or so, also.  We might even make it back up to the Reds, but that’s still up in the air.  This was a fun day with my son, and feel blessed and lucky for it!

28866144303_268cded650_z28863813864_67745a4a6f_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball


Fall Ball

29453795356_43fd62a09c_zWalsh Park-La Grange, KY: Wow, I really love it down here!  It’s amazing that my son can play a fall sport without it being soccer or football!  The North Oldham Little League fall ball program is a good one, and Brian is having fun so far.  Not quite as many kids play though, so instead of team names, they just have colors, but the coaches have dubbed their team the Blue Sharks.  The fall league is more of an instructional league, with the kids being able to experience different positions every inning.  We’re blessed again with good coaching, and they try to go above and beyond to help the kids out with the fundamentals of the game.

Brian and I love the Little League Pledge!
Brian and I love the Little League Pledge!

28865576203_519b980147_zThe team is 1-1 so far this season, and Brian is playing well, hitting .500 and doing well in the field.  He’s been able to play a few different positions in Fall Ball, also, so it’s a little more fun and the kids won’t get bored playing in the same place all of the time.  The season is just getting started, and they play through the first of October.  Hopefully it might cool off just a little bit down here by then.  The first couple of games the temps were still in the 90 range!

29408099781_9824692185_zPhotos property of Minoring In Baseball

Villainy in West Michigan

West Michigan Whitecaps vs. Lansing Lugnuts (Midwest League)

28348988844_ee2ce811af_zFifth Third Ballpark-Comstock Park, MI:  Back in the mitt to visit friends and family before school starts, we were lucky enough to take in a Whitecaps game.  The ‘Caps were hosting another one of our Michigan teams, the Lansing Lugnuts.  It was Super Villain Night at Fifth Third Ballpark, and Brian was able to meet some of these dastardly scoundrels that give our heroes so many fits.  Above, he’s with Harley Quinn, Crossbones, the Winter Soldier (who I really don’t consider a villain, he was brain-washed after all, and Bucky is really a good guy), and Poison Ivy.  Below, he is hanging out with Batman nemesis The Penguin, and Spider-Man foil, The Lizard.

'You don't really think you'll win, do you?'
‘You don’t really think you’ll win, do you?’
Bri with Dr. Curt Connors, AKA The Lizard
Bri with Dr. Curt Connors, AKA The Lizard

We were also able to catch up with Crash the River Rascal, and it was good to see him again!  He also gave Bri a t-shirt.

It was good to see Crash again!
It was good to see Crash again!

We seemed to pick another great day to be at the ballpark, and to see some free baseball.  The Whitecaps and Lugnuts would finish a tied game suspended the night before, with the ‘Nut winning this one 5-3 in the 12th inning.  The scheduled game would go into extras, also.  West Michigan tied the game at one in the second inning, when Will Allen scored on a Jose Azocar double, after hitting one of his own.  Azocar would plate another RBI in the fifth inning, scoring Brett Pirtle on a ground out.  Both team would load the bases in the 11th, but came away with nothing.  The ‘Caps would have better luck in the 12th, however, as Arvicent Perez earned the walk-off RBI with a bases-loaded hit.

28905947762_5240e05ea7_z28393932693_852989bd61_z29011003465_85043e3968_zOn the mound, Trent Szkutnik started the game giving up just the two runs.  The bullpen came through also, with Drew Smith, Zac Houston, and Toller Boardman combining for six no-hit innings and 11 strikeouts.  FINAL in 12:  Whitecaps 3, Lugnuts 2.

28348996564_9a02112eda_z28348998354_9eff642497_z28905904792_751690cc9c_zAnother fun game, and it’s always good to be back home.  Especially seeing a game with Brian and his Papa (and even getting photo bombed by the Whitecaps staff…).  With the minor league season rapidly winding down, we will definitely try to catch at least one more game in Kentucky. Here’s a video for y’all.

Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball


The San Diego Chicken

Louisville Bats vs. Columbus Clippers (International League)

28745350901_2755c1ec51_zLouisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  I know nobody is reading this post  because they care about the game, or to look at my game photos, so I’ll mostly just show the greatest mascot of all time, the Famous San Diego Chicken.  That being said, it was another hot and sunny day here in the ‘Ville, so we bought seats up in the shaded portion of the stadium.  As we were in the shade, though, and it being so sunny, I didn’t even get the field to show up in our selfie below (but you can see that Brian did have his Chicken and Buddy plushies ready for action).  I did get a good shot of the field once the game started, though.

28784291546_8dee1e982d_z28198549314_a9146c4004_zOk, more of the Famous Chicken!  He puts on a fantastic show, and if you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing him perform, I highly recommend it.  He’s had many years to perfect his craft, and does some of the greatest skits I’ve seen at the ballpark.  Some of them have the umpires and players involved, also, and it’s so much fun.  I think the fact that Ted Giannoulas has played the one and only Chicken since 1979, adds to the aura of one of the first, and the greatest, mascot in history.  Every time he’s on the field, he has the fans attention at all times.  You just never know what this guy will do next.

28791798736_467ecf5256_z28538867970_7990410cb7_z28746488191_40b010c0a5_z28821990775_66ed90e6e8_zOk, there was a ballgame going on through all this, so I will give a short re-cap.  It was a pitchers duel for sure, but we did see some great defensive plays throughout the game, also.  The Bats took a 1-0 lead in the third, when Jose Peraza base hit scored Juan Perez.  Unfortunately in the eighth inning, Peraza’s throwing error allowed the Clippers to tie the game. On the hill for Louisville, right-hander Tim Adleman pitched seven innings, allowing six hits and striking out a season high eight batters.  Into the 10th inning, Kyle Waldrop made one of those amazing defensive plays when he slammed himself into the wall making an amazing catch with two-outs to save the game.  Also in the 10th, Peraza would find himself up to bat once again, and he atoned for his error with an infield base hit to score Perez for the walk-off win.  J.J. Hoover earned the victory only giving up one hit and striking out two.  FINAL in 10:  Bats 2, Clippers 1.

28718366442_7aeda3a570_z28208686973_f60abe7459_z28746746841_950261ca73_zEven with the Chicken in the house, we still have much love for Buddy Bat!

Brian and Buddy Bat
Brian and Buddy Bat

And the Chicken was awesome, he met with his fans and signed autographs for free! I got Brian a photo to have signed, and the Chicken even signed his plushie. As most mascots seem to be mute, the Chicken was more than happy to chat with his fans.  I told him that I was a big fan, as I used to watch The Baseball Bunch every Saturday morning as a kid.  He was great with Brian, and we got a couple of nice photos with him.  A great day, a great ballgame, and another reason to feel blessed and lucky.

28784300446_6fe06ef8b2_zHere are a couple of videos of the Famous San Diego Chicken and his antics.  Brian filmed the first part of this one, but he did his best:

Another short one:

Videos and photos property of Minoring In Baseball