Another season is upon us, and 32 teams have title aspirations (some have a better chance than others...). Half the league opened up today; the other 16 teams will wait for the night session to get started. Here's what happened in the day games:
- In Fargo, Dirtbags ace Javier Henriquez came unravelled in the 5th inning, as his own throwing error led to 5 unearned runs- he yielded 8 in the inning. That was enough for visiting Philadelphia to earn a 9-4 win over the defending NL North champs.
- In New Orleans, Huntington starter Kenneth Graves did his best Lonny Gates impersonation, allowing only 1 run over 7 strong innings. But Cristian Price gave up a 2-1 lead in the 8th by surrendering 4 runs, allowing the hometown Voodoo to pull out a 5-2 victory. Jerome Oliver gave up only an unearned run in 7 innings, and rookie Miguel Estalella earned the win in relief.
- In Washington, the Blue Coats used the longball and a former Cy Young winner to fend off the visiting Norfolk Destroyers. Peter Guerrero had two solo homers and Willis Biddle added a 2-run shot to provide all the offense Carter Leonard would need, as he pitched 7 innings in a 4-2 victory.
- In Salem, the Sacrifices welcomed the Helena Straw Hat Pirates to the league. The SHPs opened their existence in smashing fashion, as Steve Sweeney led off the game with a solo home run, but that was where the highlights ended for them. Salem starter Sammy Garrido settled down after that and gave up only 3 runs in 8 innings, earning the win. C Luis Sanchez went 3 for 3 and drove in 4 to key a 7-3 victory.
- In Louisville, the defending AL champion Legends couldn't solve the six Scranton pitchers that combined for a 3-2 victory. Fred Ripken earned the win, pitching 1 2/3 of scoreless ball and Stan Peterson added a home run for the Janitors.
- In Charlotte, the Montgomery Alibamu reaped immediate dividends from their huge preseason trade. Newly acquired Stone Curtis threw 8 shutout innings and they still had enough offense (with Vladimir Rodriguez hitting two homers) to easily beat the Lions 8-0.
-In Boise, the Shadow Wolves slugged 4 homers (2 each by Damaso Brogna and the recently acquired David Rushford), but the biggest homer of the game came off the bat of Anaheim Chiles' star Dweezil Milligan- his 3 run shot in the sixth inning broke a 4-4 tie and cued the Chiles to a 7-6 win.
- In Milwaukee, Brandon Rhodes led off the season with a homer and Alex Calvo pitched seven good innings, yielding only one run, to lead the hometown Manic Maulers over the Buffalo Blue Cheese by a score of 3-2.