Louisville Colonels vs. Rochester Red Wings (International League)
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: What to do when your kids are up in Michigan visiting their mom? Call your best friend down from Ohio to catch a ballgame, that’s what! The Bats, celebrating a throwback weekend, were playing as the Louisville Colonels (who were a founding member of the National League). They also held a ceremony before the game to retire the numbers of Louisville’s own Pee Wee Reese (1) and his Brooklyn teammate, the great Jackie Robinson (42).
We had front row seats, with a good view of the game, even with the sun baking us a bit. Good game for the home team, but Hernan Iribarren and D.J. Peterson leading the way offensively. Both went 2-4 with an RBI.
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: Ok, well I’m so far behind, that I’ll be combining some of the game Louisville Bats games that Brian and I attended throughout June and July. They were all fun, so I’ll just throw out some scores and photos until I’m caught up!
Louisville hosted the Toledo Mud Hens on July 8, winning 6-1. Phillip Ervin went 2/4 with two RBI’s to pace the Bats. On the mound, Keury Mella earned the win in five innings of work, giving up four hits and striking out four.
On July 15, it was Pirate and Princess day at the ballpark. The Bats fell to the Columbus Clippers 8-2, but still a fun day for Bri and I. Gabriel Guerrero went 2-4 while driving in Louisville’s only runs. Jose Lopez took the loss on the bump, pitching five inning and giving up three runs on five hits.
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: Brian was able to participate in the Bats baseball clinic sponsored by the local Chevy dealers, again this year. At least his Little League season hadn’t ended yet, so he was able to take some of the things he learned an apply them to his game situations. Once again, stations were set up all over the ballpark for the kids to better learn the game.
The hitting cages are under the stadium, so I wasn’t able to see Brian rake during this portion of the clinic, but was amble to see everything else, though. He had a great hit during the wiffle ball game, and did well catching some fly balls.
Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball
Louisville Bats vs. Durham Bulls (International League)
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: A glorious day is Memorial Day, as we celebrate the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country. It is because of them that Brian and I are able to enjoy a day at the ballgame together! It was another nice day, and the Chicago Boys were on hand to entertain us, also.
Leading the charge for the Bats was D.J. Peterson, who went 3-4 with an RBI. Both Mason Williams and Dilson Herrera went 2-4 with an RBI, also. Gabrial Guerrerro pitched in with a base hit and two runs scored. On the bump, Jose Lopez earned the win by throwing six solid innings, only giving up four hits and striking out three. Final: Bats 5, Bulls 0.
Video and Photos property of Minoring In Baseball
Louisville Bats vs. Toledo Mud Hens (International League)
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: Back in Kentucky, this is a game Brian suggested we attend when the schedule first came out. With both of us being a huge fan of the Jurassic Park/World franchise, I could hardly ague with him. The Bats were playing the Mud Hens, and with us being Tiger fans, we sat down the first base side. In fact, we were directly in front of the Mud Hens bullpen, and were able to watch starting pitcher Artie Lewicki warm up. When Lewicki’s arm was ready to go, Toledo pitching coach Jeff Pico gave Brian the ball.
This game was definitely a pitchers’ duel. For the Bats, Robert Stephenson threw six innings, only giving up one run and striking out six. As for Lewicki, he pitched 6.1 innings, giving up just the two runs while racking up eight K’s.
Louisville Bats vs. Columbus Clippers (International League)
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: After the long drive back from Michigan, you’d think we’d take it easy for a bit, but no, not while the Bats are in town. We took the weekend to recover and unpack, however, and then took in a Monday night game. Despite the weather actually being pretty nice, there was a pretty sparse crowd at Slugger Field. That would come into play later, as Brian was lucky enough to take home a couple of game balls.
The first ball he got was thrown to him by right fielder Rosell Herrera. After the third out, he tossed the ball to Brian as he was coming off the field. We were really surprised that this was a Major League ball in play here in the minors, but I’ll explain that momentarily.
As for Herrera, he went 1-3 on the night, driving in the lone Bats run. Louisville didn’t have much in the way of offense this game. Oh, and the reason why the game ball was a Major League one was because the Reds’ Brandon Finnegan was on the bump in a rehab stint, and that’s what the rehabbing pitchers use (thanks to Jeff Perro/@MiLBClubbie for that info off Twitter).
Ok, and speaking of Finnegan, he took the loss for the Bats, throwing five innings while giving up eight hits, four runs, and striking out two. On a lighter note, Brian got another game ball, this time just a normal International League one, from the Clippers relief pitcher Jeff Beliveau, who threw him a foul ball that came his way while warming up. As I said, there wasn’t much of a crowd, and there was a group of kids who got way more than Brian! Final: Bats 1, Clippers 7.
A rough outing for our first Bats game of the season, but we’re still looking forward to more to come. The weather turned a little cool once that sun went down, but I’m sure we’ll have some hot days at the ballpark this summer. Don’t forget to follow me on Snapchat: @MinorBaseball for live game action!
West Michigan Whitecaps vs. South Bend Cubs (Midwest League)
Fifth Third Ballpark-Comstock Park, MI: Opening Day for the Minor League season also meant the West Michigan Whitecaps were entering their 25th year as a ball club. With so many games there throughout the years, it seemed only fitting that this is where we should start our 2018 journey as well. We were lucky there was even a game, as the Michigan weather punished us with harsh snow and wind while visiting for ‘Spring’ Break. We dressed warm, staying in the sun, and enjoyed Opening Day like so many other fans across the country.
We were able to get free replica jerseys upon entering the ballpark, and then Brian decided he wanted some autographs and to meet some of the players. The thrill of the day was meeting former World Champion Detroit Tiger, and the current Whitecaps manager, Lance Parrish. He was more than happy to sign Brian’s ball and get a photo with him. Brian was still able to meet some of Lance’s players and get his ball signed by them as well.
The game was a good one for the home team. Jordan Pearce lead the way offensively, going 1-3 with three RBI. Also pitching is was Alexis Garcia and Joey Morgan, each going 2-4 with Garcia adding an RBI.
On the hill, Dane Myers got the start throwing four innings, giving up one run and striking out five. Burris Warner earned the win, only giving up one hit and one run in his three innings of work. Final: Whitecaps 6, Cubs 2.
This was a fun game, and we were actually pretty comfortable until the sun went down. Then that cold Michigan air came creeping in, but we’re a tough group. This was a great way to kick off the Minor League season, especially since we weren’t able to make it up for a game last season. The next few months should be fun, as we have some more games planned and Brian starts Little League.
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: The Minor League season is almost upon us, and to kick things off here in the ‘Ville, the Bats invited their season ticket holders to a little open house to pick up their tickets and view the ballpark. We picked up our ticket package, then secured some seats to some special games like Jurassic Park Night and the throwback weekend when they’ll play as the Louisville Colonels. The team then treated us to a free meal of a hot dog, popcorn, and drink, some traditional ballpark eats.
Brian was then excited to go check out the Bats’ locker room and clubhouse. He liked to pretend he was getting ready for a game, and who knows, he could be a future Bat! We were also lucky enough to run into Buddy Bat, and then went to check out the dugout.
We ended the day up hanging out in some of the suites and getting some good eats. I play the Powerball every week, and the first thing I will do after finally winning is rent of these for life! All of my friends will be welcome to come enjoy the games with us. Brian really liked the suites, and decided this is the life for him! He also enjoyed seeing the press box and talking with some of the Louisville staff. It’s just fun to see every inch of this ballpark.
This was a fun day for us, and it really got me excited for the Bats’ season to start. We’ll actually be up in Michigan in early April, so here’s hoping the weather is decent and we can catch a game or two up that way. I’ll leave off with a video of Brian leading you onto the field:
Video and Photos property of Minoring In Baseball
Florence Freedom vs. Schaumburg Boomers (Frontier League)
UC Health Stadium-Florence, KY: I sat at my desk at work last Friday night, keeping an eye on the score on the computer, hoping the Florence Freedom would pull it off. Already down two games to none, another loss would mean the series would be over, and the Schaumburg Boomers would be champs of the Frontier League. Worse for me, it would mean no baseball game to attend the next day. Lucky for me, and the Freedom, I guess, Florence prevailed in 12 innings to keep the series going. So Saturday night, Brian and I made the trip up to see what could be a championship for the Boomers, or another game for the Freedom. I was a little shocked to see the game tickets at $20 a piece, even for a championship series. You’d think the home team would really want the local fan base to fill the park (not a huge crowd for such a big game…). At least Brian was able to get a photo op with Y’All Star as soon as we entered the stadium.
We sat down the third base side by the Schaumburg dugout, and the Boomers soon became one of Brian’s favorite teams, as I still rooted for the Freedom. The Boomers took the lead in the second inning, however, on a solo home run. Taylor Oldham tied the game for Florence with an RBI double in the third. In the fourth inning, Rock Shoulders hit a monster home run to put the Boomers up 2-1, quickly followed by another Schaumburg dinger. An RBI double put the Boomers up 4-1. Rock Shoulders is an awesome name. Like this guy wasn’t destined to be a professional athlete…
About this time we needed a treat, so Brian landed on the Funnel Cake Deluxe. This was served in a helmet, and consisted of a funnel cake, a crap load of ice cream, whipped cream, sprinkles and Oreo pieces. It was amazing, and both of us together couldn’t even finish it!
The sixth inning added more runs for Schaumburg. They hit another home run, and a sacrifice fly scored another to take a commanding 6-1 lead in the game. Florence came back with a two-out run in the bottom of the inning, to cut the lead to 6-2. Andrew Godbold paced the offence for the Freedom, going 2-3 with a run scored.
Between innings, Brian was supposed to participate in an on-field race, but back out once he learned he would be wearing over-sized underwear… Oh well, at least he did run across the field during the seventh inning stretch.
On the mound for Florence, Cody Gray got the start and took the loss. He tossed four innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, while striking out six. He would be replaced by Tony Vocca, who gave up two runs on two hits in 1.1 innings of work. Kit Fowler started for the Boomers, pitching three innings and giving up a run. Michael Wood would earn the win, tossing 4.2 inning, giving up one run and striking out four. FINAL: Freedom 2, Boomers 6.
After the final out, it was time for celebration for the Boomers. I don’t care what age you are or what level of ball you play, when you win a championship it is a big deal. Congratulations to Schaumburg, they definitely deserve it. And congratulations to the Florence Freedom on a great season also. We’ll be back at UC Health Stadium next season.
Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball
Louisville Bats vs. Rochester Red Wings (International League)
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: This was such a bitter-sweet game, as it was the last Bats game for us this season. It’s hard to believe the season, and summer, has gone by so quickly, but here we are, ready to say goodbye to Louisville Slugger Field for a while. A good way to send us off, though, is the Bats held their autograph day for their last weekend home series. Brian was excited to meet the players and get his baseball signed. Most of the players were good with the kids, coach Jody Davis was great with the fans, while new-comer Scott Van Slyke skipped over some kids to sign a folder full of cards (look them up on eBay!!!).
It was another warm day, so we made sure to get seats out of the sun. While the weather was warm, the Bats’ bats were hot. Alex Blandino and Brandon Dixon hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, while Scott Van Slyke hit a RBI single to put Louisville up 3-0. Dixon had a career game for the Bats, going 4-5 with three home runs, a double, and seven RBI’s in the game. He was a big part of the Bats’ seven run fourth inning, chasing top Twins prospect Stephen Gonsalves.
On the mound for Louisville, Rookie Davis earned the win, throwing six innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while striking out four. Evan Mitchell came in to take care of the last three innings, giving up one run and striking out one. FINAL: Bats 13, Red Wings 6.
Again, a fun day, but sad that it’s our last Bats game of the season. Hopefully this isn’t the end of baseball season as a whole for us, though. Brian starts fall ball this week, the Florence Freedom are in the playoffs, and we hope to catch another Reds game this fall. The Bats are also hosting a movie night next month which should be fun. I’ll leave off with a photo of Brian up on the #BatsBoard after the autograph signing. Remember to add me on SnapChat @minorbaseball to follow the live game action.