Results tagged ‘ MiLB ’

Chevy Bats Clinic 2018

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.

Some of the Bats coaches and players were helping out, including head coach Dick Schofield, hitting coach Leon Durham, shortstop Blake Trahan, as well as some others.

This was a fun experience for him, and I hope he can participate in it again next year.

Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball

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Memorial Day 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.

After the game, we enjoyed more fun from the Chicago Boys as well as some Memorial Day fireworks!

Video and Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Jurassic (Ball)Park

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.

Throughout the night, the Bats were having fun with the Jurassic Night concept, having a dinosaur roam the ballpark, as well as graphics up on the big screen.

Back to the game, Louisville received all of their offense from Mason Williams and Brandon Dixon, both of whom went 2-4 on the night with an RBI.

This was a fun night at the ballpark, with all of the dinosaur things going on and some great baseball.  Brian and I ended the night by sitting way up in the right field cheap seats.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

 

Back to the Bats

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!

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

25th Opening Day in West Michigan

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.

We can’t forget our favorite mascots, Crash and Frankie!  Brian got both to sign his ball, as well as Roxy, but we couldn’t get a photo with her.

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.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Bats Open House 2018

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 looks game ready! Go Bats!

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

2017 Frontier League Championship

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.

And of course they got to pass around the Frontier Cup and hold the Frontier League Championship banner:

As Brian likes to celebrate with winners, I found him out on the field celebrating with the Boomers! A few of the players were nice enough to take a photo with him.

I’ll leave off with a very short video of Brian getting a game ball from his new favorite player Kyle Ruchim of Schaumburg.  This is what makes the sport we love so great…

Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Meeting the Bats

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.

35893487403_81963cb181_zOn 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.

36679070836_341d3f5479_zAgain, 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.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

Church of Baseball

Louisville Bats vs. Rochester Red Wings (International League)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Last week Trevor and I took in a rare Friday night game, as I usually work nights.  Originally, we had planned on attending the game with other members of our Covenant United Methodist Church, but due to lack of interest, they cancelled the trip.  It’s a shame they cancelled it, as I was looking forward to getting to know some of the congregation better because we haven’t been members ourselves for too long, joining a few months after the move.  This was a good opportunity for Trevor and I to have a good time together, though, so that’s just what we did!  Trevor and I don’t really like to sit still too much at a game, and enjoy checking it out from different vantage points throughout the ballpark. We started out this game in left field, where we sort of had most of the section to ourselves.

Starting to get hungry, we went to hunt down some food.  Landing on a ballpark favorite hot dog, we got some really good ones.  Trevor being a teen-aged boy, had no problem devouring the massive Grand Slam Dog, while I had the more modest, but still filling, Louisville Slugger Dog.

Speaking of dogs, Jake the Diamond Dog was in the house again for the game, hanging out on the concourse before hitting the field for his duties.

We took our regular seats to enjoy our food and more of the game, but the Red Wings really did a number on our home town boys.  The Bats did all of their scoring in the second inning, scoring two of their four runs off of a Darnell Sweeney (2-5) home run.  Chad Wallach went 4-4 on the night, and he and Sweeney had six of the Bats nine hits.

On the mound for Louisville, Luke Farrell only lasted three innings of the game.  He allowed six runs on three hits and four walks, while striking out three.  The biggest blow was giving up a grand slam in the third.  The Bats gave three more runs in each the eighth and ninth inning, to basically get routed.  FINAL:  Bats 4, Red Wings 10.

Trevor and I ended the game way up in the cheap seats in right field, and it was a decent vantage point to see the field and the city.  Despite the loss, it was a fun time and good to see a game with Trevor as the Minor League season is quickly coming to an end.  As for my church brothers and sisters, we’ll be back there on Sunday and hope to attend other events.

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

 

Lone Wolf

Louisville Bats vs. Buffalo Bisons (International League)

Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY:  Last weekend was another first, as this was the inaugural game that I attended alone.  Brian was tied up with a friend, Trevor wasn’t feeling well, and Lily was, well, out being Lily.  Since there was no one there to entertain me other than the ballplayers, we can get right to the action, or in-action, in the Bats case.

Starting on the mound for Louisville was Cody Reed.  He took the loss, going six innings while giving up four runs and striking out five.  Leading the way offensively for the Bats was Jesse Winker.  He went 2/5 with and RBI.  Also helping out were Eric Jagielo and Brandon Dixon, who went 2/4 and 2/3 respectively in the loss.  FINAL:  Bats 2, Bisons 5.

This was a short entry, but, again, the game wasn’t as much fun without any of my little buddies there.  It’s still always great to be at the ballpark, but better when enjoying it with someone!

Photos property of Minoring In Baseball

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