Blustery Baseball in Burlington
Tied at five headed into the ninth inning Wednesday evening in Burlington, the TinCaps and Bees looked like they might be headed for extra innings. It had been a long day for both teams, with the TinCaps having a 6 a.m. EDT bus to Burlington, about a seven-hour trip, and the Bees having driven through the night after a win against the Dayton Dragons in Ohio, about a seven-hour ride, too. Burlington elected to not even take batting practice on the field yesterday, executing what’s known in baseball as the “show and go”–meaning you show up to the field in time to get dressed, get treatment, stretch and play ball.
Jeremy Baltz, pinch-hitting for Mallex Smith, led off the ninth with a pop-out to right field, which brought up Alberth Martinez. But before getting to Alberth’s at bat–first, a note about the weather. At first pitch last night, the temperature was 80 degrees, the skies were a beautiful light coral blue, and there was hardly a breeze to speak of. In the seventh inning, a wind, which came out of nowhere, started fiercely blowing from left to right across the diamond, and it would drastically alter the game.
When Martinez came to the plate in the ninth, he hit a high pop-up toward shallow left field. Wendell Soto, Burlington’s shortstop, went out to try and make a play on it. I didn’t watch Soto as he went to try and catch it, but rather I kept my eye on the ball. Isn’t that what we’re taught to do in Little League, anyway? This ball, which started hovering above shallow left, was carried back toward the infield by the wind, and Martinez jogged into second with a Mother Nature-aided double.
Maxx Tissenbaum came up next, and his at-bat was the turning point of the game. He hit a slow roller to third, which got under the glove of Michael Bolaski, the third baseman. That only happened, though, because as Bolaski tried to look Martinez back to second, that’s exactly when he should’ve been looking at his glove? Lack of sleep? Difficult bounce? Who knows, but the TinCaps will take it. The ball was backed up by Soto, who then threw wide of third and Martinez came in to score the game’s winning run.
By the way, Martinez also homered in the fourth inning, giving him a jack in three straight games. Stay hot, Alberth.
Today’s game is at 12:30 EDT, with our pre-game show at 12:10 on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com. Hope you’ll disobey your company policy and listen to the radio at a more than reasonable volume during hours other than 9 to 11.
Here are some photos of Community Field, the home of the Burlington Bees. It’s not quite Parkview Field, huh?
Long-time TinCaps radio broadcaster Mike Maahs had the call for Alberth Martinez’s grand slam Tuesday, and he was a guest on Fort Wayne’s Morning News on WOWO Radio to talk about his call Wednesday morning. You can listen at the link below:
To hear my pre-game chat with Maxx Tissenbaum from Wednesday, listen to the podcast below:
The Fray…take it away!