AAA Tucson Padres beat Colorado Springs 18-14
The Padres, formerly Beavers, knew going into this season that their offense should improve. 18 runs in the first game was a nice way to show it. Yes they were playing in Colorado Springs so the numbers are inflated, but Colorado's opening day pitcher was former 15 game winner John Maine. The offense was led at the top Evereth Cabrera went 4-7, 3 RS, 2B, RBI, and 3 SB, while Logan Forsythe hit 2 HR, 4 RBI, and 4 BB in his AAA debut. Every spot in the lineup 1-9 had a multi hit game with the exception of Jesus Guzman who was still on base 3 times.
It wasnt a pretty day for Wade LeBlanc (4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 3 HR), but to his defense the ball was flying, and Jesus Guzman blew a potentially inning ending DP that would have kept the lead at 7-4 after 5. Instead Leblanc did not record another out in route to giving up 9 R (8 ER).
Despite the pitching the Padres scored 3 runs in 4 different innings and ended up winning 18-14
AA San Antonio defeated NW Arkansas 3-2
After a tough offensive 2010 season the Missions were looking to rebound in a big way. The Missions found that way in the very first inning. Before fans had even taken their seats the Missions were up 2-0 on a 2 RBI 2B by Kyle Phillips. The offense would score only one more run thanks to timely hitting by Jaff Decker and Dan Robertson. The offense did a great job for 4 innings working the count, stealing bases, playing small ball, and getting timely hitting. Then the relievers came in and the entire game changed. The offense only managed 4 hits, 0 walks, 2 GIDP, and a runner thrown out at the plate over the last 5 innings.
Lucky for the offense Anthony Bass and company were on their A game. Bass went 6 strong innings only allowing 4 H and 2 runs. Brad Brach did what he does better than anyone the past 2 years, save games. Brach struck out the side to secure the Missions 3-2 win.
A+ Lake Elsinore lost to San Jose 0-4
For whatever reason the San Jose Giants have always been one of the most dominant forces in the Cal League, and a real thorn in the side of the Lake Elsinore Storm. Tonight was sadly more of the same. Matt Lollis pitched extremely well (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K), but well wasnt good enough when the offense scores 0 runs.
Outside of Reymond Fuentes (1-2, 2B, BB, bunt)the offense was flat. The Storm could never get anything going on offense and were shut out in their home opener.
A Fort Wayne beat South Bend 2-1
Perfection thy name is Keyvius Sampson. One of the many great things about being a fan of minor league baseball is that opening day the teams broadcasters, especially at the lower levels, are not too familiar with a vast majority of the players. I had the opportunity to listen to the Tin Cap game today and in the span of 90 minutes Sampson went from unknown to fan favorite. By the end of Sampsons 6 innings (0 H, 0 BB, 10 K) the Tin Cap broadcastors were, for the most part, awestruck.
Unfortunately despite Sampson being perfect, the offense could only muster 2 runs, thanks mainly to Tommy Medica (2-3, 2B, RS, RBI). The low scoring affair meant that when the closer, Adam Dominick, came on and proceeded to give up hits to 3 of the first 4 hitters you begin to sweat. Luckily with the tieing run on 3rd and 1 out Dominick managed to strike out the final 2 batters to seal a 2-1 win for the Tin Caps.
Donovan Tate collected his first MWL hit (1-4, SB, 2 K) and Yefri Carvajal got his pitching career off to a good start (1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K).