We just arrived at the hotel in Greensboro. Pretty easy trip (about 3 hours).
Huge day at the plate today for Ty Kelly (pictured below). Thanks to Billy Crowe, Greenville Drive Team Photographer, for taking some great shots for me.
Ty set a career high with five RBIs. His day is even more impressive when you consider his numbers from last year. He hit one home run all season (61 games). He also had only 18 RBIs. His previous career high for RBIs in a game was two.
How about this…It took Ty Kelly 19 games last season to record five total RBIs. Talk about improvement from one year to the next.
T.J. Baxter had another huge day at the plate as well. He tied his career high with four hits (4-6). Baxter also had four hits against the Batavia Muckdogs on August 20, 2009. Baxter has reached base in 11 of his last 15 at-bats. Talk about a perfect lead off hitter. In four games, he has five doubles, six runs scored, five walks and a .650 on-base percentage.
Freelance writer Richard Breen came into the radio booth on day two in Greenville and wanted to write a feature on former Gamecocks catcher Justin Dalles. He interviewed him a couple nights ago at Fluor Field. Check out the article…
Last season, the Shorebirds hit only 49 home runs, which ranked dead last in the South Atlantic League. Last night, the ‘Birds smacked two home runs (Tyler Kolodny and Justin Dalles).
The Kolodny home run sailed over left field “Green Monster” while the Dalles home run soared over the dead center field high wall, also a 30 foot high fence.
Apparently, the fence in dead center is 410 feet away and the ball was soaring when it cleared the wall. I was talking with the media guy in Greenville and he said the home run went 460 (that might be a bit much) but it went at least 430 I’d say. As I said on the broadcast, I think it was the longest home run that I’ve seen in my time with the team.
I think this team will hit more than 49 home runs.
Get this…Last season, the Shorebirds didn’t hit their second home run as a team until game number 13. Shorebirds this year have two homers after three games.
Talk to you all at the park. Don’t forget to listen in tonight on www.sportstalk960.com.
Today is Shorebirds hitting coach Mike Devereaux’s birthday. He was born on April 10, 1963.
Did you know that Mike Devereaux hit the first home run by an Orioles player at Camden Yards? It happened on April 9, 1992 against the Cleveland Indians.
He also played in the 1984 College World Series as a player for Arizona State. Barry Bonds and Oddibe McDowell were the other two outfielders on that team. Pretty good outfield, huh.
Got an email this morning from Emily Horlacher, our Director of Community Relations, at 7:27 in the AM about Sherman cleaning the zoo today. Never a weekend off for Emily, Sherman and the entire Shorebirds staff.
The Salisbury Zoo and its volunteers have partnered with local businesses (including the Shorebirds) to clean the zoo for the summer season.
Pictures are coming tomorrow (apparently Sherman and some staff members are going on another appearance).
Sometimes I get lost in all the baseball during the season and forget about all the other things that go on around the team. This year, I’ll try and highlight some other aspects of the team.
Game tonight at 7:00 p.m. Orioles first round pick Matt Hobgood goes for Delmarva. He is the 14th first rounder to ever suit up for Delmarva (please correct me if I’m wrong here). Don’t forget about some of the Expos first rounders.
Here is the list of Orioles/Expos first rounders that have played in Delmarva:
Chris Schwab (Expos)
Michael Barrett (Expos)
Steve Bumbry recorded two triples in game two of the season. He smacked a triple to the right field corner in the fourth inning and rocketed a triple through the right center field gap in the eighth inning.
So how rare is it to record two triples in one game? It only happened once last season for the Shorebirds. On May 7, 2009, Xavier Avery had two triples against the West Virginia Power.
No Shorebirds player had two triples in a game back in 2008.
The answer – pretty rare.
By the way, tonight marked the first win in the managerial career of Ryan Minor.
I’ve got a new laptop (thanks to the boss) and I can take some cool pictures with it. Here are a couple shots of the “Green Monster” out in left field. Not bad quality for a computer. People are already hanging out on those apartment balconys taking in batting practice.
Brian Conley from Gaithersburg, MD had an opening night to remember. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles. Consider this when you digest his performance. Last season, Brian floated up and down the system. He played 29 games in Delmarva, 31 in Aberdeen and four in Bowie. There is something to be said for feeling comfortable and knowing that you have a chance to be an everyday player.
In the 29 games he played in last season for the Shorebirds, he had a grand total of 10 hits (10-64).
So, in one night, he notched nearly half the hits he had in 29 games last season.
Meantime, how about the performance by Ryan Berry. Nothing flashy, just efficient. He retired a total of 15 batters (5 innings). 11 ground outs and four strikes (ZERO fly ball outs). The Drive had a difficult time elevating the baseball against the righty.
Jake Cowan goes tonight for the Shorebirds. Interesting note about Jake is that he was actually drafted by the Red Sox (Greenville) in the 14th round of the 2007 First Year Player Draft but he did not sign.
I’ll have some pictures of Fluor Field a bit later.