Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rock Cats drop Bowie in exhibition game

The New Britain Rock Cats defeated the Bowie Baysox, 5-4 in the second preseason game of training camp.

Bowie took a two run lead in the second, both runs were unearned with players advancing on errors. Justin Jones took the start for the Rock cats, striking out two in the first inning. His pick off throw to Erik Lis in the second however was off target however, accounting for the first run.

The Baysox player had gotton on base on a double, one of two Jones issued up in that inning.

New Britain reliated though as Scott Whitrock hit a double to get the inning started. Javier Sanchez walked, and Justin Arenson hit a single. Alan De San Miguel brought in the first runner has he flew into first base. Sanchez was tagged out on the basepaths, but Kaulan Kuhaulua hit a single, and advanced to second on a throwing error, driving in another run.

With runners on second and third, Angelo Fermin knocked in a double that scored both, before the inning was rolled over.

Nick Blackburn allowed a double in the third that the Baysox were able to convert when Kyle Phillips missed a throw to the plate, but he otherwise pitched two solid innings, striking out three of the eight batters he faced.

Fermin hit a long double that he ran out for a triple in the fifth and came home on a sac-fly by Erold Andrus.

Bud Smith allowed a single home run in the eighth for the Baysox fourth.

On the whole, this was a really well played game for the Twins prospects, and was satisfying to watch as my first minor league game of the season. Justin Jones, Nick Blackburn, J.T. Thomas and Matt Yeatman all pitched, and I enjoy watching all three, even though J.J. still drags his foot when he throws -- the visual equivalent of finger nails on a chalk board.

Thomas and Yeatman both experienced some trouble as did Bud Smith who had to work to get three outs in the seventh.

Fielding wise, David Winfree and Angelo Fermin both had some excellent plays, but it was Larry Jones who stole the show, getting his glove on a long outfield fly which could well have gone over the fence. An excellent play by Jones who had one single for his two at bats in the game.

Winfree hit two singles in the game during his two at bats. Fermin was 2-for-3 at the plate as was Andrus, the only two players to get three at bats as the fielding changed over after the fifth inning.

I am being cautiously optimistic about having Javi Sanchez and Allen De San Miguel behind the plate for the Miracle this season. Despite his young age, De San Miguel proved he could play at the High A level last season and remains one of the most explosive players in the farm system. The burst of speed he put on the second was nothing short of phenomial, drawing cries of "WWWHHEEEEEELLLSSSS!" from his teammates on the bench.

Rochester and New Britain journey to Bradenton tomorrow, while I will likely watch the Miracle take on Lynchberg for a 1:00 PM game at the Lee County Sportsplex.