Half the teams get to play on the first day of the new season. There is excitement in all 32 cities for the dawn of the new season. Here's what happened around the league on Opening Day.
We'll start in Atlanta, where one of the favorites to come out of the NL opened with a win. The Bandits were hosting their division rivals, the Norfolk Destroyers. Norfolk 2B Justin Gordon hit a leadoff triple in the 2nd and later scored, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. Norfolk didn't trail until the 8th, when Bandits 1B Stan Starr turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead with one swing of the bat, a long home run to left field. Norfolk loaded the bases in the 9th, but couldn't push a run across. Atlanta squeaked by with a 3-2 win.
Out west, the Cheyenne Nation opened up in Salt Lake City again the Shakers in a wild one. Shakers 1B Ruben Hernandez wasted no time, hitting a 3-run home run in the first inning. But Cheyenne scored the next 6 runs, as Bud Klein hit a solo shot in the 2nd and followed up with a grand slam in the 3rd. He later added a RBI single in the 7th, and the game looked out of reach. But a Carlos Batista 2-RBI double brought the Shakers to within one run, and then he tied it up with 2 outs in the 9th with a single to right. Pablo Martinez, the next hitter, doubled Batista home, and the Shakers won an exciting 7-6 decision.
Cheyenne wasn't the only team to blow a save opportunity in the 9th with two outs. San Juan had a 8-7 lead with 2 outs and no one on in the ninth in New Orleans against the Voodoo. But Dead Bunnies closer Toby Sisler walked former MVP Matty Matos, and 2B Ray Cepicky made him pay for it by hitting a walk-off 2 run shot to right field. New Orleans won 9-8.
North of the border, Toronto had no such issues with their bullpen, as it was not really needed. Toros starter Harry Lee shut down the Philadelphia Phantoms lineup, going 8 shutout innings to fuel a 5-0 Toronto win.
In Charlotte, the Princesses outhit the Monterrey Sultans, but ran themselves out of a few innings and couldn't get big hits to fall to the Sultans 4-2. Del Lopez had 3 hits for the Sultans.
At The Stadium, Scranton used a 6-run 2nd inning to beat the New York New York 9-5. J.R. Guerrero went 6 strong innings for the Janitors, and Paxton Coleridge hit a homer to start that 2nd inning. New York starter Damon Thompson gave up 5 runs and recorded only 4 outs.
In St. Louis, the Silly Nannies proved that 2 is indeed better than 1. Buffalo managed only a 1st inning solo shot by star 1B Julio Diaz, while St. Louis DH Chris Newson hit two homers- a solo shot in the 4th, and a 2-run bomb in the 6th- to provide all the scoring. The Silly Nannies took a 3-1 decision, with Russell Newson going 7 innings for the win.
In Seattle, the Killer Whales eked out a win over the visiting Anaheim Chiles. Anaheim had a 3-2 lead in the 9th, but closer Vince Perez couldn't get a single out, as Jacque Puffer and Foostie Post both had RBI hits to provide a 4-3 win. Jack Hunt homered for the Killer Whales.