Monthly Archives: August 2018

Lisbon holds off Fryeburg Academy 36-14

Isaiah Thompson (28) scored three times for Lisbon

Lisbon, led by QB Lucas Francis, had a three-touchdown lead early in the second half

(Fryeburg ME) Momentum can change.

And it sure did on a sunny afternoon/evening of Friday high school football.

The visiting Lisbon Greyhounds had, what appeared to be, a comfortable 22-0 lead over the home Fryeburg Academy Raiders two minutes into the second half.

“The kids played hard the whole game,” recalled FA coach Dave Turner afterwards.

It was his team’s defense that put the brakes on the Lisbon domination.  In two straight second-half possessions the Raiders’ defense created fumbles by Lisbon quarterback Lucas Francis.  Those cough-ups led directly and then indirectly to Fryeburg scores.

Tucker Buzzell (50) returned a fumble for a touchdown

It was an ugly three minutes of football for the visitors, as the D3 South Raiders were now only down, 22-14, with 1:40 left in the third quarter.

Momentum, however, is a funny thing.  It can come, and it can go.  And that’s what happened.

“They got some momentum in the second half,” said Lisbon coach Chris Kates, “but we were able to get it back.”

On the Greyhounds next possession, after consecutive FA scores, senior Isaiah Thompson (3 touchdowns) struck from midfield.  Isaiah started right and then cut back into the middle.  He found a ton of daylight and scored as he looked around for FA pursuit.

The D4 South team from Lisbon Falls had a two-touchdown lead back (28-14) early in the final quarter and finished strong.

Lucas Francis threw for a touchdown and ran for another one.

Quarterback Lucas Francis (Sun Journal Player-of-Year last season) added a touchdown and a 2-point rush to close the scoring.

“I think that our conditioning helped,” said Lucas after the game.  “We didn’t take any days off. (Some schools cancelled practices because of the heat.) We were in full pads every day.”

Coach Kates also referenced his team’s conditioning: “Out conditioning enabled us to be physical up front against a strong FA defensive front.  We opened some big holes for our backs.”  (Several of my pictures reveal the size of the running room that Lucas and Isaiah found on occasion.)

Fryeburg coach Dave Turner faulted his team’s execution for the loss.  “We made way too many mistakes.  We missed open guys and we had a lot of turnovers.”

Isaiah Thompson finds an open field ahead

Coach Turner said that the Lisbon secondary played a key role in the loss. “We had receivers open, but their defensive backs were very fast to the ball.”

That poor execution Coach Turner referred to bit FA early.  In the middle of a scoreless first quarter, Raiders wide receiver Nathan Knapp got behind the Lisbon defense.  Quarterback Oscar Saunders hit the senior in stride and in Nathan went for a touchdown.  Not so fast!  Nathan had lined up incorrectly and instead of six points the Raiders were assessed a five-yard penalty.

Nathan Knapp turned defender three minutes into the second quarter and intercepted a pass intended for Isaac Burnell on the FA 5.

Robbie Dick holds up an interception.

Unable to get anywhere, FA was forced to punt, and a nice Daytona McIver runback set up Lisbon on the FA 29.  Several plays later Isaiah Thompson tore off right tackle 20 yards to the end zone.  QB Lucas Francis rushed right for 2-points.

On Fryeburg’s next possession, tall and talented Hunter Job intercepted a pass.  An immediate strike by Lisbon followed.  Junior Robbie Dick ran under a beautifully thrown pass by Lucas to score.  Fittingly the 2-point conversion was another connection between Lucas and Robbie.  The visitors had vaulted to a 16-0 lead in the first half.

The Lisbon momentum carried into the second half.  Another interception (Colin Houle) set the Greyhounds up in Fryeburg territory.  Isaiah quickly followed strong blocking for a 36-yard score.  The rush failed but Lisbon was in charge, 22-0, two minutes into the second half.

Calvin Southwick tackled by Lucas Francis

However, two Lisbon fumbles later, FA was back in the game.  Linebacker Tucker Buzzell picked up a fumble and went fifty yards to the EZ.  Later it was teammate Jack Campbell making a recovery that led eventually to QB Oscar Saunders’ 3-yard score.  Eddie Thurston kicked both extra points.  We now had ourselves a ballgame!  But not for long.

Isaiah Thompson took Lisbon’s next possession in for a score to break the momentum.  The Lisbon defense, especially the secondary, kept the home team contained.

A final TD by Lucas Francis finished off the Raiders.

This was the opener for both teams.

Lucas Francis swarmed by the FA defense

Lisbon was 7-2 last season.  “This was the first time we’ve played a Class C team since we moved to Class D,” explained Lucas.  “It feels good to take down a contender from that division.”

Coach Turner was disappointed with the loss but was also optimistic about the future: “We executed poorly but we played hard.  The execution can be remedied with practice.  When we play well, we’re a pretty good team.”

FA captain Tucker Buzzell was impressive.  Coach Turner called him, “relentless.”  Tucker ran a fumble back for a touchdown to turn the momentum FA’s way.  In the second half, he kicked off and then made a touchdown-preventing tackle on that play.

Jaycob Lindgren (11) returns a kickoff

I always imagine high school games being quick.  No TV timeouts and the other delays we tolerate with televised games.  This, however, turned into a long game time-wise.  Halftime was twenty minutes long.  There were “water break” timeouts and there were plenty of clock-stopping passes.  It took as long as an NFL game!  But I whine!

Good crowd considering the 3-day weekend ahead.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering why a game held on Friday doesn’t get coverage until Monday night.  One of my problems was the pictures I took.  I had all sorts of trouble getting them set up for a blog entry.  Days and hours later I think I’ve figured things out.  I also like to wait until someone with actual stats does a story so that I can use some numbers to back things up.  Google revealed nothing but the score.  The Bridgton News story won’t be out until Thursday.

(All of the pictures above and below should enlarge if you click on them.)

Battle in the trenches

Cam Bourget (33) and Nathan Knapp (3)

Daytona McIver catches in front of Nathan Knapp

Hunter Job blocks a pass

Hunter Job

Isaiah Thompson (28) celebrates with teammates

Isaiah Thompson

Isaiah Thompson (28) finds a hole

Lucas Francis (5) finds an opening

Lucas Francis

Oscar Saunders (11) and Riley Quatrano (8) chase a pass

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Fryeburg, Lisbon

Eduardo Rodriguez and Christian Vazquez rehab in Portland

Eduardo Rodrriguez

Christian Vazquez

(Portland ME) The stars were out Monday night at Hadlock Field.

How often do you see a major leaguer at an Eastern League (AA) game?

Not often.  Well, on this night the Red Sox had TWO players rehabbing there……..catcher Christian Vazquez and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

I was familiar close-up with both Boston players.  I had seen Christian a few years ago working his way up via Portland.  Eduardo had done a rehab at Portland earlier this season and I was on hand.

Bo Bichette looks back after striking out against ERod

You not only had the major leaguers, but you also had the first-place New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the house.  I had already been to Manchester (NH) a couple of times this season to see that talented team.

There was a very large Monday night crowd in the park.  You knew why the “extra’s” had come when loud ovations greeted announcements regarding Christian and Eduardo.  The normal reaction to players?  None.

The setting was coolish at 7PM after a hot day.

There were celebrations pregame for women in sports.  One of those honored was Kate Hall of Casco (ME).  There was a story about her in the Bridgton News several weeks ago.  She is a national track star hoping to make it to the next Olympics.  I heard the name, connected the dots and got a picture of her….I hope!.

Bobby Dalbec

The Fisher Cats have clinched the playoffs while the Sea Dogs have clinched the basement.  On this night it was as if the roles were reversed as Portland hit early and often on their way to a 12-6 win.

Christian drove in three runs while Eduardo pitched four scoreless innings.  Eduardo had hoped to go six innings but too many long counts prevented it.  (He said as much afterwards, according to the newspaper coverage.)  I probably could have been in that news conference if I had chased it.

Extra cameramen were at the park.  I knew that with lessening light I would forfeit action shots.  My goal was close-up shots and dugout shots.

I shifted to the New Hampshire side after several innings and found a good spot although I was sitting instead of standing.  A ground ball did come my way and was close.  You roll the dice when you put yourself (intentionally) in the line of fire.

I got more pictures of Bo Bichette.  Last year he excelled in A ball (top hitter in the minors) and this year, as a 20-year-old, has continued to star.  The New Hampshire shortstop leads the EL in hits, doubles, and several other categories.  He starts for Toronto next year or the year after, in my opinion.

Cavan Biggio

Harold Ramirez

Two other top talents at NH are Harold Ramirez (top EL batting average) and Cavan Biggio ( EL home run leader).  It interested me that Cavan (normally a 2nd baseman) was in right field for this one.

I also took more pictures of Bobby Dalbec.  He is one of Boston’s top prospects.  He has been at three levels this season and is tied for the lead in the minors in homers.

There always will be a Slugger section in my coverage of Sea Dogs’ games.  The big guy was out of uniform.  I can’t describe what he was wearing and why but at one point he was dancing with an umpire!  Needless to imagine, Slugger was outrun by yet another youngster.  Slugger got into a great starting stance, but it didn’t help.  His opponent was fast and knew what he was doing.  By the time second was crossed, Slugger was destined for second and that was where he finished.

Slugger in a solid starting stance

Another day for me at a great park.  Portland’s home season ends Thursday.  Where did the spring/summer go?

New Hampshire has qualified for the EL playoffs.  I might venture to New Hampshire for one of those games.

Thanks again to Chris Cameron for letting me into Hadlock and onto the field.  I greatly enjoy my time there.

(All of the pictures above and below should enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Prospects Bobby Dalbec and Bo Bichette

Bo Bichette near second

Bo Bichette rounds third

Bo Bichette finishing DP

Christian and Eduardo arrive pre-game

Slugger comes in second

Christian scores

Christian eyes bat

Danny Mars

Eduardo sets to pitch

Pitcher Jon Harris

Kate Hall

Play at second

 

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Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland, Portland Sea Dogs

Bubba Pollard: As good as advertised

Bubba Pollard all smiles after winning 45th OPS 250 on Sunday night

Joey Polewarczyk finished 2nd

(Oxford ME) “Bubba is just good,” said second-place finisher Joey Polewarczyk after the race.  “He’s the best in the country at super late models.”

Bubba Pollard came to Oxford Plains for the first time on Friday and walked away on Sunday night with the title in the 45th annual Oxford 250.

Bubba, from Senoia, Georgia had won at least sixty SLM races coming in.  Sunday night he took the lead for good with 31 laps left.

“This was one of the toughest races, I’ve ever run,” he said post-race.  “I didn’t realize how big this race was until the day of the race.  The crowd was amazing.”

The weather was terrific.  There was sun, but the clouds kept the temperatures lower than they could have been.  There was also a breeze.

OPS 250 is the only race of its kind at the Oxford Plains Track.  All the crews are set up in the infield so there are no wild dashes behind the grandstand to pit row and back when repairs are needed.

Reid Lanpher (59) earned a top position at the start

The length of the race necessitates pitting and that is where the outcome is often determined.  Cautions are the best time to get in and get out, but who knows when a caution will happen?  There were ten in this race.

Reid Lanpher (Manchester ME) finished second last year and third this year.  It was a pit stop that cost him dearly this year.

“I really messed up,” he told me.  “I stalled it in the backstretch before we came into the pit.  I sat there for a moment.  We came into the pits last as a result after being 2nd or 3rd on the track.  That really threw us back.”

Bubba Pollard gets the win

After that?  “Once we got that second set of tires on we were really good.  Coming from where we were (last) to where we ended up (third) was fun, that’s for sure.”

The pit stops for 2nd place finisher Joey Polewarczyk gave him a chance to win the race.

“We started 21st and took a gamble getting four tires early,” he recalled.  “Our goal in doing that was to get track position.  I didn’t think we’d grab the lead and run away with it like we did.”  Joey was one of five leaders during the race.

“Then we had that yellow with like 50 laps to go and since we had two new right’s in the pits I said that we had to at least take those two.  We did and it worked out.”

Joey chased Bubba Pollard over the final 30 laps for the lead.  “I felt like I was catching him a little at the end and if I had a little bit more….”

Bubba and Joey afterwards

But not on this evening and the first driver in six years not from Maine and New Hampshire took the top prize.

I enjoyed the race.  I started in the pit area and was very uncomfortable there.  If you recall, last year Rowley’s Eddie MacDonald backed into me during one of the heats.  There are so many cars coming and going.  Some are setting up for the next race while others are coming in for quick repairs.  A guy said to me, “It’s a wonder no one gets killed here!”  That “encouraged” me to get around to the pressbox side of the stadium.

The beauty of the pressbox is that there are seats.  No chairs in the pit area although someone gave me one after I was hit last year!  There also is less race-car noise.

I saw the Last Chance race from up there.  Curtis Gerry, last year’s winner, couldn’t even race in the heats because of mechanical problems.  Earlier I had seen all the frantic work going on with his car.  Curtis was in Last Chance race and won it.  He would later get into a wreck in the latter part of the main event.  Pre-race he was the top favorite.

Heavy repairs done on Curtis Gerry’s car pre-race

I was also a year wiser getting pictures.  The lights at OPS are minimal.  No need to dream of an action shot as darkness sets in.

I also have had trouble getting onto the track afterwards to get early celebration shots in the past.  This time I got down the 50+ steps from the pressbox with twenty laps left so I was in position to get onto the track faster.  You still have pitiful light to work with even if you get there but at least I was in position to get shots that I could photoshop later.

Something I need to do next year: I must get numbers to go with cars.  My plan was to shoot drivers pre-race and then use those pictures later.  Couldn’t really do that since I didn’t know numbers.  It doesn’t help that some cars have the SAME number.  Both Travis Benjamin and Curtis Perry (former winners) drive #7.  You also must know the color!  If I looked up the drivers online I’m sure I could have had some of the information I wanted.

Thanks to the OPS folks for enabling my visit to happen.  I enjoyed it.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

15-year-old Gabe Brown

Mike Rowe interviewed

Crowd taking their chances on pit row

Car on fire on the track

Pre-race lineup

Bubba after taking a victory lap

Bubba on top of his car

Bubba Pollard interviewed

Bubba with trophy and flag

Bubba with Mac

Bubba with Mac and Erin

 

 

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Filed under Oxford, Oxford 250, Oxford Plains Speedway

Bobby Dalbec: A big hit in Portland

Bobby Dalbec poses in front of the Portland Sea Dogs dugout

Bobby Dalbec ready to hit.

(Portland ME) Sometimes batters get your attention in batting practice.

Bobby Dalbec of the Portland Sea Dogs is one of those players.

Thirteen games into the 23-year-olds promotion to Double A, he bears watching even before the game.

I took in the pregame yesterday at Hadlock Stadium and saw him drill BP pitches all over the place.

During BP the Altoona Curve was warming up in the left-field corner awaiting their turn to take over the field.  I’d hear the whack of bat meeting ball and watch players at least 300 feet away take a quick look to see if the ball was coming their way.  And several times it did.

I watched one of the Sea Dogs coaches, standing near second base, hear a ball go whizzing by his head and not have time to react.

The young man has power.  Between Salem (VA) in the Carolina League and his brief time in Portland, Bobby is tied for the top spot in the minors with 31 home runs.

“I know about where I am with home runs but I’m not going to chase them,” Bobby told me in a post-BP interview.  “I want to hit the ball hard.”

Portland broadcaster Mike Antonellis

Sea Dogs announcer Mike Antonellis added that, “Bobby isn’t trying to hit the ball out like some players do.  He’s not upper cutting but he generates so much power that they do go out.”

Mike, who reached 3000 games broadcasted recently, has seen all thirteen of Bobby’s Portland games and recalled two memorable homers already. “The most impressive one I’ve seen here (Hadlock Stadium) was one that cleared the Thomas College sign in center.  That sign is 24’ high.  Our trackman service estimated that the ball traveled 451 feet!  On the road he had one in Erie to left center that landed on the roof of their arena.  Some of the Erie people told me that they thought it was one of the longest ones they had ever seen there.”

Bobby relaxes in the dugout pregame with a teammate

Bobbly was one of the Portland players without a number on his practice jersey.  “That gives you away as the new guy,” I kidded him.

“I may be new here, but I know most of these guys from the lower minors,” he said, “it has been an easy transition for me to be in Portland.”

Bobby told him that his parents were in Portland for the weekend to see him play here for the first time.  They had taken two trips to Salem to catch him in the Carolina League.

Bobby is a third baseman but so is Boston’s #1 prospect Michael Chavis.  In tonight’s game Michael was at 3B and Bobby was DH.

“Bobby is 6’4” so he’s easy to see at 3B,” said Mike.  “He’s a former pitcher (Arizona) and has a terrific arm.”

There is so much data available on players that with his reputation he faced shifts even in A ball.  “I was aware of the shifts, but I just refused to change my approach at the plate to try and defeat it,” said Bobby.

Bobby Dalbec in the dugout with pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz

Mike explained that Double A can be tough for newcomers.  “The good one’s face shifts and they see more secondary pitches thrown by better guys.”

Mike told me that he was surprised that the righthanded-hitting Bobby was seeing a lot more fastballs early in counts since teams were shifting a bit toward the left side.

There are some comparisons between Bobby and JD Martinez. “Both players seem to have a similar plan at the plate,” said Mike, “and that is to hit the ball hard.  Both insist that they’re not intentionally going for homers”

Regarding his future Bobby said: “I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and see where it takes me.”  So far it has taken him this season from Boston’s #12 prospect to #6.

Bobby Dalbec

Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers may be younger (21) and entrenched a bit in Boston but Bobby’s power numbers and ability to play the position could move him up to Fenway sooner or later.

“I think he’s special,” added Mike. “There may be some adjustment periods, so we’ll have to see.”

One is left to wonder how the last-place Portland Sea Dogs (52-69) would have done in 2018 with Josh Ockimey, Michael Chavis, and Bobby Dalbec in action from the beginning of the season.

Mike Antonellis has been involved in broadcasting for twenty-two years.  “I started out doing sports updates at Dean Junior College,” he told me.  “I felt comfortable at it right away.  I have been with Portland since 2005 and have done 2000 games with them.”

My thanks to Mike for arranging my interview with Bobby Dalbec and adding to the information I had on the talented young man.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Feeling at home in Portland

Bobby was the DH against Altoona

Heading out to bat

With Coach Luke Montz

On the move on the bases against Altoona

Set to bat

 

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Filed under Bobby Dalbec, Portland, Portland Sea Dogs

Puffin Watch – New Harbor, Maine

Lobsters being sorted on the dock near the cruise boat.

(New Harbor, ME) My wife and I took the Puffin Watch organized by Hardy Boat Cruises out of New Harbor on Tuesday night.

The pilot of the 60-foot boat called the trip “memorable” and that it was.

The daily puffin watch cruise leaves the harbor at 5:30PM and returns 1 ½ hours later.  And that’s exactly what we did.

The idea is to cruise out to Eastern Egg Rock, see some puffins, and then head back.  That part didn’t go quite as smoothly!

The harbor was calm but as we exited, the wind and waves picked up.  As we got out near the place where the puffins are located, there was thunder, lightning, and then rain.

Smooth waters within the harbor

Rough water developed

Viewing puffins went from primary importance to secondary importance.  The folks on the upper deck were told to move in with us on the bottom deck to escape the bad weather.

Nearby lobster boat feeling the swells

Meanwhile, we are trying to see puffins!  The boat is rocking, the waves are rolling, and it’s darker than usual.  Did I mention that puffins are small (less than a foot long), fly fast, and look in lesser light like other birds?

My original intention was to get some nice puffin shots.  I had my mopod and my 400m lens.  The conditions changed my plans considerably. The close quarters, the rolling waves, and the darkening skies were not favoring my plans to sight and photograph a puffin.

Most people were on the side of the boat between it and the puffin island.  Made sense.  I was on the other side and was surprised to see some birds in the water.  I couldn’t tell what type of bird they even were because of their distance from the boat, but I started shooting them as quickly as possible.  I didn’t know until hours later that the little birds I was shooting were indeed puffins. Talk about dumb luck!

Puffins

Things that surprised me about the puffin trip:

  • People brought infants along and someone even had a dog with them. What was in it for them?
  • Parking was ¼ mile away from where you got the boat and there were no sidewalks. Not easy walking.
  • Puffins are very small and are not easy to identify from a boat that was yards from them. That picture on the brochure could have been of one of those Made-in-China puffins!
  • I didn’t get sick during the rolling conditions but plenty of other folks had a miserable trip because of the conditions. All those suffering folks wanted was off the boat.

However, all is well that ends well.  Everyone made it back to the New Harbor dock safely and I ended up with some shots, though poorly focused, of some puffins.

We did see some lobsters getting sorted on the dock near the cruise boat.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Two puffin

Five puffin

Puffins in rough water

Four puffins

Note the waves

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“Into the Woods” I went at Lake Region High School

Cinderella and her prince sing

Little Red Ridinghood and the wolf

(Naples ME) My wife and I were in the audience for “Into the Woods” performed by the Lake Region Community Theatre at Lake Region High School on opening night (August 3rd).

If you’re looking for some sort of theatre-critic entry you’re in the wrong site!  I will share some non-expert observations, however.

From the get-go I knew that I was in the right place because, and others coming from Bridgton will confirm this, there was a lovely rainbow in full bloom right over Lake Region High School when I arrived for the show!

The story “Into the Woods” was written by James Lapine with a future musical production in mind.  James had worked with musical/lyricist Stephen Sondheim in 1982 on a similar production. The talented two-some were back together in 1987 putting “Into the Woods” together.

The baker and his wife count the beans he got from Jack

The show was transformed into a Disney film in 2014 and was very successful.  In 1988, the stage production has similar successes even though it was up against “Les Miserables,” when it was time to give out awards.

I think what I liked best about the show in Naples was the cleverness of the story.  The writer took familiar fairy tales including, Little Red Ridinghood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Cinderella and interacted them.  What a concept!  For example, you had Little Red Ridinghood in the company of Cinderella.  Just a fascinating idea to me.

So, I went in totally unfamiliar with how the show would go but familiar from a much earlier life with the characters.  It was almost like going to a class reunion and finding out what folks have done since graduation!

The Naples show featured performers of all ages and most of them live nearby.  Quite a few Lake Region High School were involved.  The program provided some interesting bio information on the actor/actresses.

As I watched the show, I could easily see that a tremendous amount of practice and coordination was needed to make the show work as smoothly as it did.  The last number of the night, as an example, had everyone on stage with singing and footwork involved and it came off, as far as I could tell, very smoothly.

The baker’s wife and Cinderella’s prince

The makeup of the show, intertwining fairy tale characters, required plenty of interaction from multiple performers.  One person out of synch could have been disastrous but I never saw anything like that happen.  These folks had put in the time to make things work, and they did work.

I thought that the lighting was very good.  When an amateur photographer (yours truly) can get focused pictures, the lighting must be good, believe me.

Sound system?  I’ve had my ears for a while.  Little difficult at times to catch the words.

The orchestra was perfect, and the costuming fit the story nicely.

Air conditioning?  You can’t have everything!  There were fans in the corridor to cool us off during intermission.

I would recommend taking in this show.  There are five more chances to see it, counting tonight.  The price is right, and the seats are comfortable.  You’ll enjoy it…….I did.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

The witch (Lydia Symonds)

Cinderella comforts Little Red Ridinghood

The baker (Matthew Mayo)

Baker’s wife (Corban Ridlon)

The baker’s wife and Cinderella’s prince

Narrator (Barb Stauble)

Jack feeds Milky Way (Sophey Potter)

The baker and his wife

Cinderalla

Rapunzel’s prince (Derrek Schrader) and Cinderella’s prince (Sean Buchanan)

Jack (Thomas Kolofsky)

Hearing from The Giant

Rapunzel (Corinne Ulmer)

Little Red Ridinghood (Annie O’Connor)

Cinderella (Paige Goldstein)

 

 

 

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Filed under Lake Region Community Theatre, Naples

Josh Ockimey promoted after Portland sweep

Josh Ockimey runs to cover first.

Josh Ockimey was promoted to AAA Pawtucket today

(Portland MA) I didn’t plan for it, but I was at Hadlock Field and witnessed Portland’s Josh Ockimey’s last game with the Sea Dogs.

Josh was promoted to AAA Pawtucket after Portland took two from the Erie SeaWolves on this hot Thursday afternoon.

The power-hitting 1B finished his time in Maine with a homer, double and three RBI.

Erie is the Double A farm team of Detroit.  Six of their top eighteen prospects are at Erie.  I missed seeing the top two (Alex Faedo #4) and Beau Burrows (#5) because they’re starters.  Beau pitched the second game today but by then I was on my porch about an hour away.

Campers in the crowd

It was hot.  Today was campers’ day and many camps were represented, each with their own brightly colored shirts.  I wondered how many bad sunburns happened after hours in the rays. The concessions stands were very busy.

The four Tigers prospects that I did see came to them when they traded Justin Verlander to Houston, JD Martinez to Arizona, and Alex Avila to the Cubs.

Both 3B Isaac Paredes (#11) and 2B Sergio Alcantara (#18) made errors in Game One today.

I also saw CF Daz Cameron (#8) get picked off first.  Catcher Jake Rogers (#10) had several balls go through him.

Trouble at 3B for Isaac Paredea

Frankly, there wasn’t much to pin your hopes on if you were a Detroit fan wondering about the team’s future.

It was the last-place Portland team that had the excellent pitching (Matt Kent) and hitting on this warm afternoon in the 9-1 first-game win.

I started the game shooting from the Erie dugout.  I was hoping to eventually switch to the Portland side, but one of their players (How dare he!) was in a chair that he had set up in the photographer’s area.  I considered shooting from the stands, but it was way too hot.

I switched to a small lens to get some Erie dugout shots and Josh Ockimey chose that time to hit his home run.  Tough later editing action shots with tiny players in them!

Will Castro and Sergio Alcantara

One shot that I have gotten the last two times I’ve been at Hadlock is of the Portland player signing in the Concourse.  Give me someone stationary and cooperative and I can usually get a good picture of them.  It was relief pitcher Jordan Weems this time.

I did make connections with broadcaster Mike Antonellis before the game.  He is in charge of setting up interviews.  I would like to do an interview with a Sea Dogs player before the season ends in a month.  I would probably have to be at Hadlock three hours early.  We’ll see.

I came to Hadlock on Brighton and St. John’s.  Couldn’t resist the GPS way (via Deering) on the way back.  Bad idea!  Too many lights and traffic.  I’m thinking that I could use River Road to get straight onto Brighton.

I violated my nutritarian diet with the meal provided but not by much.  The turkey wrap was tasty.

The Sea Dogs blasted four homers in the first game.  Josh Ockimey, Michael Chavis, Chad De La Guerra, and Luke Tendler all went deep.

Isaac Paredes after a tough inning in the field

Two Erie dugout scenes of note.  In one, the manager (?) had a player translate what he wanted to say to another player.  Knowing Spanish would be absolute gold for anyone connected to teams at any level.  I have heard Spanish in every A ball and AA ball dugout that I’ve been in.  The other dugout scene involved 3B Isaac Paredes.  The 19-year-old had two errors in the first three innings!  He had his head down in the dugout afterwards for the entire half inning.  No one on staff to talk to him?

Boston’s #1 prospect Michael Chavis had his first multi-hit game since he finished his 80-game suspension.  His batting average is close to .200 and I can assure you that he doesn’t get cheated on his swings.  Bo Bichette (New Hampshire Fisher Cats) has the same approach to batting.

I wonder if Michael will be part of the next group that moves up?  Homer-hitting Bobby Dalbec could move up from A ball to join the Sea Dogs.  I would have to get a look at him.

In hardly surprising news; Slugger lost.  This time it was comical.  Slugger tried to psych his female opponent out by getting into a ridiculous starting stance.  The young lady was unimpressed.  The flip-flop-wearing speedster had him in trouble at second and reached home with the big guy nowhere in sight.  The idea of trying to intimidate an opponent with a weird stance needs to be closeted.

Thanks again to Chris Cameron for arranging the visit.  Everyone who goes to Portland games seems to have a good time at an affordable price.  And you get to see future Red Sox players such as Josh Ockimey.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Isaac Paredes

Jake Rogers

Matt Kent

Sergio Alcantara leads off first

Michael Chavis – How much longer in Portland?

Daz Cameron

Jeremy Rivera on base

Isaac Paredes

Josh Ockimey homered

Sergio Alcantara to the left

Michael Chavis takes a full cut

Michael Chavis nears third

Josh Ockimey

Luke Tendler after homer

Daz Cameron

 

 

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Filed under Erie Seawolves, Portland, Portland Sea Dogs