Monday, October 15, 2007

Red Team, Blue Team

Cole Devries
Cole Devries

"Camp Day" started out Saturday morning with the Twins pitching staff engaging in a game of whiffle ball. Played on field 2, the pitchers used a wooden bat on poor little plastic balls that took quite a beating.

For the pitchers, it seemed like a lot of fun. Short little underhand tosses and great big hits. Charles Nolte distinguished himself as the premier whiffle ball hitter in a contest with a made up score of 26-3 at the end. No one was really keeping track, and it really didn't matter.

It was just a fun way to get a bit of work out, and to do something just slightly different from that the guys have been working on all through camp.

And yes, it seems the pitching staff knows how to run the bases too.

The "real" game, came later. While the Saturday games are slated to start at 10:00 AM, this one got underway at 1:00 PM, with Team Red taking on Team Blue in Hammond Stadium.

Cole Devries took the start for Team Red. For my second look at the former Golden Gopher, the Eden Prarie native was throwing like a candidate for a Miracle starting spot, which he is. He worked 3 solid innings, giving up 4 hits, and striking out only 1, but he kept Team Blue off the board.

Miracleman Brian Dinkelman greeting him with a single to start the game, but Ben Revere flew out, and Rene Tosani hit into a force out that nabbed Dinkelman at 2nd. Deibinson Romero struck out to retire the side.

Team Blue would put Appalachian Pitcher of the Year David Bromberg on the mound. Bromberg issued three straight strike outs, sitting down Esterlin De Los Santos, Alejandro Machado and Brandon Roberts to end the inning.

Chris Parmelee would hit a single to start off the second inning, but Devries got Angel Morales to hit into a double play and Jon Waltenbury ground out. Bromberg went back out and started up right where he left off, by striking out Juan Richardson. He then got Matt Moses and Garrett Olson on line outs to end the inning.

Ben Petsch and Roldolfo Palacios both singled, but Petsch would be taken out attempting to steal, James Beresford would fly out and Dinkleman ground out to end Devries stint on the mound.

Bromberg made short of Greg Yersich (fly out), Alex Soto and Reggie Williams (both on ground outs to end the inning.)

Southpaw Henry Reyes took over for Devries in the fourth, going 3 up, 3 down with Romero picking up his second strike out of the game.

Curtis Leavitt
Curtis Leavitt

Team Blue retaliated by putting Mike Tarsi on the mound. This would be my first look at the lanky lefty.

Tarsi got Mark Dolenc to ground out and De Los Santos popped out before putting Machado on base by plunking him, while Roberts drew a walk. He would strike out Richarson though, to end the inning.

Reyes got Parmelee on a ground out, then walked Morales. Waltenbury hit into a double play and I was beginning to wonder if the Twins pitching staff could blank each other for nine innings. I shouldn't have wondered.

Richardson lined out with an arrow to 3rd, but Olson then slugged a pitch over the right field wall for the first run of the game. Yersich would ground out, Soto would pick up a walk and Williams would fly out to end the inning.

With the fifth over, several new players made their way into the game. Ben Petsch started out by striking out for Team blue, and Palacios never made it to the bag either, but then Parmelee jumped in there for an extra at bat, picking up a walk. James Beresford would then line out and Danny Rams would get his first at bat, picking up a walk. He'd take over behind the plate for Rocky as well.

Nick Papasan replaced Williams in the line up, grouding out for his first at bat. Dolenc struck out, but De Lo singled his way onto the plate. Machado would hit over to short though, so De Lo was taken out at second to end the inning. Danny Lehmann would replace Yersich in the line up and took over behing the plate for the seventh, which also saw Tyler Robertson take to the mound for Team Red.

They're going to have to fix the Kwick Kopy "K" board if Robertson is going to pitch for the Miracle this season. They may even want to consider making it larger. Frank is certainly going to have his work cut out for him.

Dinkleman ground out, but Robertson got Revere and Tosoni out on strikes for a quick top of the 7th. Curtis Leavitt would come in to handle the pitching for Team Blue.

Brandon Robertson singled his way onto base and moved over to second on Richardson's ground out. With Moses batting, he would then steal 3rd. Leavitt would unleash a wild pitch that would put him over the plate to make it 2-0 Team Red. Moses then hit a double, but he'd be stranded when Olson ground out and Lehmann flew out to end the inning.

Romero and Parmalee both hit singles off Robertson to end the inning. He'd take Morales out on strikes, but then Waltenbury slammed a ball out to center field for a triple to tie up the game. Petsch and Rams would both be issued strikes though, leaving Jon standing on 3rd with no where to go.

Leavitt would get Soto to ground out and Papasan and Dolenc to strike out for a quick bottom of the 8th. He didn't want to kill off Team Blue's offesive momentum.

Caleb Moore would come into the game in relief of Robertson, who'd be awarded the blown save. He allowed a single to Beresford, but got Dinkelman to ground out. He then walked Revere. Tosoni hit a single to load the bases. Romero then followed that up with another deep single that saw Baby Bear-Cat Bearesford, and Speed Demon Revere over the plate to make it 4-2 Team Blue. Moore would get Parmelee and Morlaes out on fly balls to end the inning.

Rob Delaney came in to close out the game for Team Blue. You know how Delaney is, he HAS to make things interesting.

He got De Lo to ground out, but Parmelee would not handle Machado's hit, putting the man on base on a fielding error. Roberts then drew walk to put a man in scoring position. Juan Richardson and Matt Moses would both fly out though, handing the loss to Moore, and giving Delaney the win, and sending Team Blue back to the locker rooms quite happy.

The Twins play at home Monday and on the road Tuesday before another camp day on Wednesday. Fall Instructional League closes out at home Thursday with a game against the Reds.

NOTES: Joe Benson "did something" to his elbow. It's not serious, but he's exited camp early. Former Miracle slugger Brock Peterson is in town "working on his shoulder".

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