Sunday, November 15, 2009

Opening Day in The Bigs (Part I)

This cycle saw half the teams in the league open their seasons. Here's a recap of the action:


In Fargo, reigning Cy Young winner Javier Henriquez got his season off to a slow start, yielding 4 runs in six innings to Philadelphia. C Arnold Hunter started his season with a 2-run homer in the first to get the Phantoms well on their way to a 5-0 victory. 2B Brian Sweeney was the other hitting star, adding a 2nd inning 2-run single to double the lead.

Houston opened their season in New Orleans and, like Fargo, couldn't open their division title defense with a win on Opening Day. 1B Ray Cepicky was the star of the game for the Voodoo, driving in 5 to pace New Orleans to an 8-4 victory over the Riverdogs.

In Salem, the Sacrifices nearly wasted a fantastic effort from starter Benji Stewart, who pitched 8 shutout innings against Cheyenne. Jamey Dwyer came in to close but surrendered back-to-back homers to Wendell Durrington and Yeico Solano. With 2 runs in and a man on first, Salem called on Arthur Gates, who surrendered a single to Lynn Abernathy but got pinch-hitter Manuel Trinidad to line out to preserve a 3-2 victory.

In Washington, the Norfolk Destroyers took advantage of poor efforts by the Blue Coats bullpen to blow out Washington 13-3. Every starting position player except star RF Justin Gordon had at least two hits, and three players (2B Del Hernandez, 1B Al Cruz, and CF Karim Barajas) each drove in 3 runs in a balanced Destroyers attack.


In Louisville, the only AL division winner from last season to open so far won a wild 11-10 decision over Scranton. The Legends, in their home opener, jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first but found themselves trailing 10-7 in the bottom of the ninth before an Amp Palmer solo homer followed closely by an Orlando Franco 2-run shot tied the game. Franco then scored the winning run in the 11th on a 2-out single by Julian Poole.

In Milwaukee, Manic Maulers starter Alex Calvo went the distance and was aided by a 2-run single in the 2nd by John Stevenson and a Nate Cox 2-run blast the next inning to lead Milwaukee to a 5-2 win over Buffalo. Calvo only surrendered one earned run and five hits over the nine innings.

In Boise, Damaso Brogna snapped a 3-3 tie with Anaheim with a one-out double in the bottom of the eighth. The Shadow Wolves tacked on two more in the inning and Boise knocked off the visiting Chiles 6-3. Boise's Alex Cornejo was charged with a blown save, spoiling starter Pedro Limon's short but good outing (5 innings, 9 hits, only one run) but then managed to get the win.

In Charlotte, Oklahoma City was locked in a tough match with the Princesses before blowing the game open with six runs in the ninth. With the score already 4-1, CF Thurman Allen put the finishing touches on the game with a grand slam to make it 8-1, which was the final score. Heath Caufield went six strong innings for the win.

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