1 win, 1 loss, 1 serious sunburn & Memories galore!

A smarter person than myself might have thought thru sitting directly in the 90 degree Texas sun for 6+ hours but what can I say. Atleast the sunburn kept me awake for the 346 mile drive back to Dallas- Ft. Worth.Now, sitting on the airplane in a few hours could be interesting!

It was hard to imagine a situation where so much Luray Wrangler / Valley League baseball could be on display 1800+ miles from home. The opener started at 1:00 p.m.

sharp and the first thing you had to notice was the "artifical dirt" that covered the infield. I am sure they have a creative name for it by now but the only dirt on the diamond was on the mound.

The stadium at Texas Tech (Dan Law Field)was beautiful but with school out for the Red Raiders there wasn't a large crowd at the park. Dallas Baptist (34-17) led the opener 2-0 before posting a four spot on the home team in the top of the seventh inning. Wrangler-to-be Clay Kelly laid down a perfect suicide squezze bunt during the rally to reach base for the third straight time.

Kelly pushed his streak to four straight by drawing a walk during a 2-run rally in the eighth to push the lead to 8-0 behind starting pitcher Jared Stafford. Stafford finally allowed the Big 12 team to score in the bottom of the eighth but former Wrangler Wayne Dowling came in from the pen to hold the lead at 8-4.

Dowling pitched 2/3 of an inning and was credited with a "held" and fellow former Wrangler Drew Pirtle played a big part in both late charges by the Patriots. Pirtle had a pinch-hit single in the seventh and came around to score.Pirtle followed that with a RBI single in the eighth and scored for the second time.

Pirtle finished the opener with an impressive line of 2-2, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI- all in two innings of work.

In between games I had the opportunity to meet the trio of new Wranglers- Kelly, and freshman Josh Wilson as well as Chris Haney. In speaking to Haney for about five minutes it left me wondering if he was too nice to be a competitive baseball player.The host family that this young man stays with is in for a treat!

Game two started at 4:10 p.m. and while the former Wranglers shined in Game 1, two of the future players were outstanding in the night cap.

Kelly pushed his on base streak to five straight when the left fielder laced a 2-run triple in the second and followed it with a second triple to the gap in the fourth inning.Kelly added a double leading off the sixth (7 straight) before the Red Raiders finally retired the junior. I was fortunate enough to meet Clay's Aunt and Uncle during the day and informed them we would keep their nephew out of harms way this summer.

Josh Wilson didn't see action during the games but the 5'9 Haney entered the second game with DBU trailing 8-6 in the fifth inning. Willie Rueda was at the plate when Haney threw to first and appeared to pick-off Chris Hall. Haney showed off his move to first quite a few times during his outing. Rueda was fooled on the next pitch but picked up a bloop double to score Hall but then Hainey simply shut the door.

There was no gun in sight but I had to believe Haney was throwing in the high 80's or low 90's. The final line for his efforts went as follows- 3.2 Innings, 1 hit,1 walk, 1K- 58 pitches/36 strikes! Luray skipper Mike BoCock will be happy to welcome this young man to Page County.
DBU left the tying runner on base in the eighth inning and dropped the game 9-8 despite outhitting the home team 15 to 9.

Notes from the day- I had the pleasure of spending a big part of the day visiting with the soon to be Mrs. Wayne Dowling (Lacey),I would also have to think that Clay goes from first to third as fast as anyone we will see play in the Valley this season and all 3 Patriots will be good fits back in Luray!

Side note- Saw where Randy Johnson picked-up career win #287 tonight for the D-Backs. I sure hope his back can hold up for him to make a run @ 300.

See you back in the Valley!

Comments

CCD said…
I forgot to mention that during the action I received a update phone call from Mr.Bruce Alger of New Market. As he has been from day 1- Bruce works as hard on our promotion as anyone can!

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