Lisa chimes in from the Carolina League
And this is why they actually PLAY the games.
During the regular season, Wilmington ace and Carolina League Pitcher of the Year Rowdy Hardy was 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA against the Frederick Keys. Last night they Keys patiently waited out the southpaw?s floaters and peppered him for 13 hits, the most he?d given up all season, in a 9-2 laugher, to head back
home to Maryland needing to win just one of two games to return to the league championships for the third straight year.
One guy who I particularly look forward to watching again in the next game or two at will be center fielder Kennard Jones, since if he stays this hot he could wear that crown of true hometown hero.
Jones, who will turn 26 this Saturday (so imagine the turnout he?ll have if Frederick ends up hosting that championship series opener that night!), graduated from High Point High School in Beltsville,
Md., just 45 minutes from Frederick (and 20 from Bowie, his likely ?08 destination if he resigns with the Os as a six-year free agent). Last night he came up a homer short of the cycle (well, no surprise since he only had four all season).
Over in the South, where I am also keeping a close eye so I can find out where I?m heading on Monday morning, Salem shocked Kinston in the opener, 10-3. Kinston, the defending champion, won both
halves of the South race which entitled them to home field advantage for all
Salem, meanwhile, apparently decided ?we don?t need no stinking home field advantage? and routed
Kinston ace and league ERA champion James Deters for five runs on eight hits in four innings.
I am truly journalistically neutral on my eventual championship finals
destination. I love Kinston: love the barbecue there (Buddy?s off Route 11 in
Grifton is my favorite); love the guys in the pressbox, from hilarious beat
writer David Hall to legendary scoreboard operator and more, Delmont Miller; and
always enjoy seeing my old friend Indians manager Mike Sarbaugh (whom I covered
when he played). And I love Salem: its huge, Major League caliber (or at least
Triple-A) pressbox; awesome GM John Katz, also an old friend; outstanding
Avalanche beat writer Katrina Waugh, with whom I covered the league way back
when but somehow I have aged and she still looks like she did then ***** her!);
the lovely environs of that locale
including Rain Mountain which has Weather Channel beat as a precipitation
predictor; and the fact that since I have to head west to the Eastern League
finals afterwards the drive, be it to Akron or Erie, will be three hours
It?s win-win for me but obviously not for the teams involved.