Last Saturday, my parents were coming into town, and, since Beloit is pretty close to on the way from Marshall to Chicago, we figured why not take in a game to kick off the Memorial Day weekend? After checking the schedule and noticing the unusual start time of 5 PM, I took off from work a bit early and headed up to Wisconsin. In about the fifth inning, a whole bunch of people started to show up, talking about how they didn’t realize the game time had changed. But, the others in the stands behind us assured them that this was a doubleheader so they would get to see a game after the current one. This was news to me, but I’m always up for watching more baseball, so this report will cover both games of May 24, as the Snappers swept the doubleheader from the Burlington Bees (Kansas City’s A affiliate).
Last time I went up, I was disappointed that I missed Ben Revere. He was in the lineup on this day and he was really exciting to watch. He went 5-8 in the two games with a double, a triple, 3 runs, and 3 RBI.
He can absolutely fly around the bases, and he’s extremely aggressive with his speed. Almost too much so. In the fourth inning of game one, with Revere on third, Garrett Olson (“Red” as my wife likes to call him) fouled a pitch, in the air, right in front of the Beloit dugout on the third base line. The third baseman came over and made a nice catch as he went into the dugout. Revere tagged and tried to score! Note that the ball was, at that point, about 40-50 feet away from home plate. Even though the 3B recovered and shoveled the ball to the catcher before Revere reached home, the umpires called the play dead when the fielder went into the dugout. Olson was out, but they awarded each runner one base. First off, I honestly don’t know if that’s the right call, I know if the ball is thrown into the dugout runners move up, but it seems odd that they would be given a base in this instance. Secondly, my scorekeeping acumen is being severely tested by this team. I had to put a ‘?’ for the scoring play. The official box score awarded Olson an RBI, so it may have been the world’s shortest sacrifice fly.
Still, my scorekeeping was a vast improvement over whomever was operating the Pohlman Field scoreboard. As a math major and general number nerd, these types of things amuse me. The score in the top of the fourth was 2-0 with Beloit adding a run in the bottom of the third, but 1+0+0=2? Later, the third inning run was added, but the 5 run lead seemed bigger somehow, and it didn’t have anything to do with the way the pitching staff was confounding the Burlington batters.
The pitching was exemplary for the Snappers. In two games, Michael Tarsi, Bradley Tippett, Michael McCardell, and Steven Hirschfeld combined to record 42 outs while facing only 48 batters and allowing one run. Michael Tarsi was particularly impressive, pitching the first 6 innings of game one and allowing 2 hits, no walks, while striking out seven. McCardell started game two and threw 3 perfect innings, before a walk, a basehit, and a groundout got Burlington on the board. He must have been on a pitch count because he got pulled after 60 pitches exactly (according to my count) and only 3.2 IP.
In between games we amused ourselves by thinking of real-life situations where being referred to as Jooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooe Benson would be hilarious (the announcer in Beloit has been drawing out his first name longer and longer with every visit). For instance, when he goes to sign his next contract, does he need an extra long dotted line? I think there’s a Twins Territory commercial in there somewhere if/when Benson makes it to the bigs. Also, someone left a banana on top of the dugout for the entire break, almost until the next game started. I knew you wouldn’t believe me, so I got photographic proof.
Chris Parmelee continued his run of recording a strikeout and a walk in every game I have attended (in those 4 games he is 1 for 9, with a HR, 5 BB, HBP, 5 SO for a .111/.467/.444 line and a .000 BABIP). But, I did finally get a picture of him swinging at a pitch, so this trip was a success.
Some quick notes on other players, Jair Fernandez (3rd on Beloit in OPS behind Revere and Parmelee) went 1-4 with an RBI and 2 SO. “Red” Olson got 3 RBI on the day and went 2-2 with 2 BB in game 2. Ramon Santana and Ozzie Lewis (who just returned from the DL) both got 2 hits and an RBI in game one and didn’t play in the nightcap.
Finally, even though the Snappers mascot came in last place in the sausage race (to be fair, he is a turtle), I’m happy to report that Beloit celebrated their doubleheader sweep in WGOM-approved style, with a very nice fireworks display after the games.