Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bloop Single blasted in Fall League opener

CONCORD -- A new-look Muckraker team charged head-on into Fall Season play, the result being a 20-5 thrashing of Bloop Single on Field 3 Thursday night.

'Raker newbies Aris Garcia and Brian Kroll took charge from the get-go and played like seasoned veterans in their D-League debut. But the Muckie vets weren't about to let the new guys have all the fun.

Randy Striegel didn't miss a beat in the opener, hitting for the first cycle in 'Rakers history, the hightlight being his three-run homer in the Mucksters' eight-run uprising in the fifth that blew the roof off the opening-night sucker.

It would be a mistake, though, to say that this night belonged to the offense alone, although putting up 20 runs must have the rest of D-League cowering in fear. But the defense ensured that the 'Rakers would not be threatened on this night. Third baseman Dave Alcorn didn't flinch in the face of a vicious line drive, and he also reached to the skies to make a leaping catch of a liner.

The Rakers showed that their intensive preseason workouts paid off when they worked a relay (Right-center field (Chris Wagnon) to shortstop (Striegel) to pitcher (Dave Taxier) to catcher (Kroll)) to nip a Bloop Single runner at the plate. And Striegel did a nifty turn at second as the 'Rakers pulled off a 1-6-3 double play to quell a possible rally.

The offense, too, was in midseason form. Striegel drove in six runs on his historic night, and Garcia went 3-for-4 in his 'Raker debut, while Mike Gale and Luke Abbott (3-for-3) and Wagnon (2-for-3, three RBI) showed no effects from the offseason layoff.

These 'Rakers served early notice that they've come to play. D League, you've been warned.

No comments: