Volume 20, Number 48 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 13 - 19, 2011
Giants get opening day win over Braves
Four of last year’s Major League Champion Black Barons make up this year’s Braves roster for returning coaches Scott Noga and Dave Conover. But Clyde Huibregtse was finishing up his swim team season, and Conover was Tiger-watching in Augusta, and their absence was noted by the rest of the team for the opening game.
Against former Baron Ryan Porcaro on the mound, the Giants’ lead-off hitter Ethan Wallis took the count to the max before catching a fastball on his arm, sending him to first base. Porcaro made up for it by scooping up the next batter’s grounder for out one. Michael Bogdanos and Niall Gallagher each took a base on balls, but Porcaro got out of the bases-loaded situation with two consecutive strike-outs.
In the bottom of the first, Porcaro led off with a walk, and stole to third during the next two at bats. Giants pitcher Niall Gallagher struck out batters two and three, but not before Porcaro made his signature move, stealing home for the Braves’ first run. The inning ended when the clean-up batter grounded to first for out three.
Brandon Mirabella sent the ball into foul territory in deep right field to start the second inning, and ended up on first after a base on balls. Porcaro struck out the next two batters, and as the Giants’ tenth batter, Ben Silver, headed to first after ball four, third base coach Greg Wallis sent Mirabella, a runner in the Junior Olympics, home. But Braves catcher Joe Scarpelli was ready for the play, tagging the runner for out three, and the score remained 1-0, Braves.
In the bottom half, it was three up and three down, starting with a strikeout for returning Barons player Josh Fish, who hit the game-winning triple in last year’s championship. The next two batters grounded out and flied out, and the Giants were at bat again. Porcaro made quick work in the third inning, striking out the side. But the Braves had a hard time offensively in the bottom of the third, with Gallagher striking out the first two batters and another ground-out to first base, ending another scoreless inning.
The Giants’ had better luck in the fourth. Heeding coach Matthew Bogdanos’ words to “work the count,” Bogdanos walked after a full count, and stole two bases. Gallagher blasted the ball foul, then took a base on balls after a full count. Ian O’Connor cranked the ball through to centerfield, driving in two runs and advancing to third on a Braves’ throwing error. Aiden Ostermaier followed with a crank single, bringing in O’Connor for the Giants’ third run. Mirabella beat the throw to first after a grounder to third base. Porcaro struck out the next batter, and Tyler Rohan at first base scooped up the next grounder for out two. Then Rohan, another former Black Baron, relieved Porcaro on the mound, with runners on first and second. Silver took another walk to load the bases, and Emma Simel’s subsequent walk drove in the fourth run of the inning for the Giants. Rohan struck out the next batter to temporarily end the carnage at 4-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Gallagher struck out batter one and then walked Porcaro, who stole second. Drew Child’s third strike was actually a foul tip that was snagged by Giants’ catcher Valentino Rosa. Seeing that Porcaro was heading to third, Rosa quickly threw the ball to tag him between the bases for out three.
In the top of the fifth, Rohan led off with a strikeout, but Bogdanos again took a base on balls after a full count, and stole to third. Gallagher drilled the ball down the first base line, bringing in Bogdanos. O’Connor was out at first base, but was credited with a sacrifice RBI, giving him three for the game. The inning ended in a ground-out, but the damage was done. The Giants now led 6-1.
The Braves rose to the challenge. The speedy Rohan led off the inning by beating the throw to first, then stealing second. Elias Griffin ripped one to deep right field, and Mirabella tracked it and gloved it for out one. Gallagher struck out the next batter, but Scarpelli took one for the team on the elbow, and runners were now on first and second. Ben Beaumont took a base on balls, loading up the bases. And it was Julian Kaufman with the hit of the game for the Braves, nailing it into deep center for a base-clearing triple. Gallagher used the last of his 85 pitches to strike out Kevin Wu, and the inning ended with a score of 6-4 for the Giants.
Child relieved Rohan on the mound in the top of the six, and the Braves played better baseball, starting with a ground out and ending with two strikeouts. For their last licks, Jonah Frere-Holmes led off with a walk and two stolen bases against the Giants’ relief pitcher Wallis. Bogdanos caught a fly ball at short for out one, but Child walked, loading the bases. Bogdanos relieved Wallis on the mound to face Rohan, who waited patiently for the pitch that he sent out the park in batting practice prior to the game, but it never came. His walk brought in another run for the Braves, but it wasn’t enough. Bogdanos finished off the next two batters with strikeouts, and the Giants celebrated a season opening win of 6-5 over the Braves.
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