Well, when I went to the Dodgers-Phillies doubleheader last Sunday, I saw the Phils win their first game of the season after an 0-4 start when Bobby Abreu hit a two-out, three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-3 victory. Of course, the Phils dropped the nightcap of the twinbill, but I was there for the first win…that’s the important part of the story.
So since I was driving into Ocean County, NJ, today to visit my parents for Easter, I took in today’s South Atlantic League battle between the Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles’ Class A team) and the Lakewood BlueClaws (Phillies’ Class A team) at Lakewood’s beautiful FirstEnergy Park.
Another reason I wanted to see the game was because Shorebirds reliever Jim Hoey is a former Rider pitcher who has been in the Orioles’ system for a couple of years but has suffered some arm problems. However, he is pitching pretty well so far this year.
Anyway, the BlueClaws have been terrible out of the gate this season. In fact, that may be an understatement. Going into today, the ‘Claws were 0-9. And with Lakewood trailing 7-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, it looked like 0-10 was imminent.
That’s when a little bit of the magic from last Sunday’s Phillies win rubbed off on their Class A affiliate…the BlueClaws struck for four runs in the ninth (fortunately, the damage didn’t come against Hoey, who didn’t pitch…or else I would have been conflicted) to tie the game at 7-7 and send it into extra innings.
Four extra innings, to be exact.
With two outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the 13th inning, the BlueClaws’ Julian Williams drew a walk. Then, with Williams running, Sean Gamble—son of former major leaguer Oscar Gamble—hit a soft liner up the middle into shallow right- center field. With the speedy Williams nearly at third by the time the Shorebirds’ outfielder retrieved Gamble’s hit, the third base coach waved Williams around to try to score the winning run all the way from first base on a single. The throw home was way off line, allowing Williams to cross the plate and give the BlueClaws a dramatic 8-7 victory—their first of the season.
Here is a pic of the celebration near home plate…as you can see, the BlueClaws didn’t know quite how to react to actually winning a game…
Here is a pic of Shorebirds reliever and Rider product Jim Hoey…
And a couple of pics of FirstEnergy Park…
Now, I’m going to close down all my apps but BitTorrent with the hope of speeding up the download of the BBC season premiere of “Doctor Who.”