It was a beautiful day for a baseball game in Daytona. We made the trip in about 3 hours and only sat for about 15 minutes in traffic and we arrived in time for the 10:30 a.m. start. We were amazed that we weren’t caught in more rush hour traffic.
The game started off on a high note, Pete Lavin got a single and two batters later Brandon Tripp smacked a triple to drive Lavin home.
While Austin Wright’s pitching was good in the bottom of the first, Daytona managed to tie it on a strange play. John Andreoli would have had only a double, but a throwing error by Anthony Hewitt allowed him to score. Game was tied 1-1 after Wright got the last Cubbie to fly out.
Wright was sharp until the bottom of the 4th. Greg Rohan managed a double, then got to third when Nelson Perez was thrown out at first. Wright then threw a wild pitch that allowed Rohan to score. It was just such a freak thing.
After that, the Threshers seemed to really buckle down. Earlier in the season, this would have been the moment where they would have sagged a little, lost their drive, but not today. They seemed to pull together and were ready to go back at it to even up the score.
D’Arby Myers was the first up and he smacked a homer to tie the game. It was as if he was saying, “Oh no you don’t!”
The next inning, two Cubs grounded out and one struck out. The Threshers were back in form. The Threshers weren’t done. Jim Murphy was first up in the sixth and he too, started the inning with a homer.
In the seventh, Edgar Duran made it to first on a throwing error. Then Lavin got another single. Albert Cartwright laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Duran to third and Lavin to second. Murphy is up again and he hit a single to drive in Duran and Lavin.
In the eighth, the Threshers bats were silent and at the bottom of the inning Juan Sosa come in in relief of Austin Wright. Daytona managed to get one run but at the end of the 7th, the score was 5-3 Threshers.
The eighth was quiet, but in the ninth, the Threshers wanted to put the cherry on the sundae, Albert Cartwright scored on a double by Brandon Tripp.
Bottom of the ninth, Hector Neris came in and while Daytona managed another run, it wasn’t enough, Threshers win, 6-4.
As I said earlier, I think that the Threshers are starting to gel as a team. When the going gets tough, the suck it up and power through it. In the beginning of the season, it was almost painful to watch. They’d be behind and you just knew that it was over, they wouldn’t be able to power through…now they can. They just seem to find that extra effort when it’s needed. It’s a good thing to see.
If you go to Daytona, I recommend a quick run over to the beach. It’s only about a mile from the stadium. Once you leave the parking lot, you go to the corner and hang a right….a few blocks later you’re at the “World’s Most Famous Beach”, Daytona Beach.
Last night was the fan fest at Brighthouse Field for the Clearwater Threshers. It was also a night where the Tiki Bar was open. Good times to be had for all.
Players and season ticket holders were treated to free food and entertainment by the amazing Greg West.
After a while, it was time to introduce the team.
This is where I get to my “Circle of Life” comment. Jesse Biddle, the young pitcher on the right of the second picture in the blue in white checked shirt, I saw him pitch his very first professional game in Williamsport.
Back in 2010, my husband Ross had read about Biddle being one of the up and coming prospects in the Phillies’ farm system. We watched the papers every day and the day he was due to pitch his first game, we made the over 2 hour trip to Williamsport to Historic Bowman Field to see him. We even braved driving through Little League World Series traffic to do it, (If I remember correctly.)
In digging through the 40,000 pictures I have on file, I found my pictures from that day. For some reason that escapes me now, they were wearing green uniforms (it may have been “Green Night” celebrating recycling and I think we were given CFL lightbulbs as the give-away). I happened to talk to Jesse after the team was announced tonight and he seemed genuinely surprised that someone would driven that far just to see him pitch. He was a really nice guy and I’m really looking forward to seeing him progress this summer.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, watching a player work his way up is the best part of baseball. Seeing players play in their first game or season then the next level and the next, year after year. We also saw Joe Savery pitch his first game in Williamsport and now he’s on the Phillies 25 man roster. Its like a circle of life and it moves us all…