Big Mak in Beloit

In addition to it being opening week for the Twins and Major League Baseball, the minor league season also got underway last weekend. Given the beautiful weather here in Illinois (and southern Wisconsin), Mrs. Mak and I decided to cash in the first couple of tickets of our season ticket package with the Beloit Snappers, the Twins Class A affiliate, on Sunday. Since this will be a semi-regular occurrence, I figured I would follow the Snappers more closely this summer. With your indulgence I’d like to occasionally post some updates on their season. To sweeten the deal, I’ll try to make it a multimedia experience whenever possible.

Things I learned at my first Beloit Snappers game:

– Beloit is not pronounced Bell-wah, but rather Belloyt. Some 18th century French trapper is rolling over in his grave.

– Greg Yersich (the Beloit catcher on Sunday) can take a foul ball off a very sensitive area and not scream obscenities (which is a good thing with the number of kids in the stands). Not only that, he stayed in the game, and later belted a triple on a line drive off the center field wall.

Greg Yersich
Greg Yersich connects for a triple

– My scorebook-keeping expertise does not extend to the proper notation for a batter being called out because his own bunt hit him while he was outside of the batter’s box. This happened to Chris Cates (the Beloit 2B) and I sat with my pen poised over the scorecard well into the next at-bat with no idea how to denote it. Any help would be appreciated.

– I am easily amused by pronounced height differences. Chris Cates (5′ 3″) stood next to Loek Van Mil (7′ 1″) during the national anthem, and I definitely chuckled to myself throughout.

– In the case of the “Miller Lite Beer Batter” striking out, Miller Lite will be buy one, get one free for the remainder of the inning. If you make any move toward the concession stand immediately after the strikeout, expect some good-natured heckling from the bleachers. (no Pyramid Imperial Hefeweizen on tap, sorry, brianS)

– Chris Parmelee can hit a ball really hard. There was absolutely no doubt about his fourth inning homer.

The Snappers opened the season against the Kane County Cougars (Oakland’s A affiliate) with a four game series that was supposed to start on Thursday. The opener was rained out, which would be made up as part of a doubleheader of 7 inning games on Saturday. We went to the fourth game in the series between these two teams, and Kane County was able to pull off the sweep, which sent Beloit to an 0-4 record to start the season.

Final Score: Beloit 2, Kane County 5 (box scoreplay-by-play)

Daniel Berlind works against Kane County leadoff hitter John Johnston

Daniel Berlind started for the Snappers, and he didn’t have too much trouble through the first 2 innings (36 pitches), then he started off the 3rd with a walk to the 9-hitter, and the Cougars figured him out the second time through the order. He had to throw 46 pitches to get out of the inning, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. That would be all for him. The bullpen pitched well, the ninth inning runs allowed were the result of a bunch of ground balls that found holes, nothing particularly hard hit.

For the offense, I already mentioned Parmelee’s HR (and SBG pointed out yesterday his proclivity for the three true outcomes, HR, BB, and SO, he had one of each on Sunday). Yersich hit a triple, and that was it for extra base hits. Beloit actually has generally gotten more extra base hits than that this season (so far), so it may have just been a down afternoon for them. They put together a mini-rally in the bottom of the ninth, getting the tying run to the plate, but couldn’t get anyone around to score.

As you can see, I brought along my camera and video camera to the game. My pictures are on flickr, videos are on YouTube.

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