Updated: Aug 17, 2022
When it's 110 degrees outside, you spend half the day down at the Columbia River watching an air show, watching hydroplanes go fast and turn left; the last thing most people are probably thinking is that they will spend the evening at the ballpark. When I told some co-workers the plan for my kids and me this weekend, they thought I was insane. Like, legit insane.
However, when you get a chance to see the #13 overall pick from the draft less than two weeks ago make his pro-debut, you make a way to go regardless. It was hot, but the crowd was alive and well at GESA stadium. Everyone enjoyed dip n dots, snow cones, mini donuts, and all the delicious treats from the park.
We were treated to a heck of introduction/first pitch from the pilots and aircrew I mentioned above that performed wild and insane tricks just hours before the game. We were lucky enough to sit just a few rows up from the flight crew, and my 5-yo had to ask the questions I had been asked 100x times, "have you guys ever thrown up flying the plane?" followed by "I would throw up." The answer was no; the pilots haven't thrown up doing the air show or during training.
Now, into the game action. Saturday featured the professional debut for SS Zach Neto and CF Joe Stewart after being drafted about 12 days earlier. Neto hit 2nd in the game, and Stewart was in the 5-hole.
Neto's line went as follows: K-BB-Single-Reach on Error-GO.
Stewarts' line went as follows: HBP-GO-K-K.
I was very impressed with Neto's defensive abilities at SS, we looked very smooth tracking the ball, and High-A's speed didn't look too much for him. Neto didn't look like there were a ton of nerves there, and he looked the part of what I imagine a first-round pick should look like. He passed the eye test for me despite the one fielding error.
Stewart's ability in the OF looked great; he has good speed, moves smoothly, and takes an excellent path to each ball. I did notice that at the plate, he did look a little nervy, which is to be expected; however, transitioning from the NCAA to the MiLB can be strange, and there likely will be an adjustment period, and the bat will come around; he just missed on the strikeouts.
Now, the real story of this game wasn't either of the prospects. It was SP Landon Marceaux spinning yet another gem for Tri-Cities. 8IP, 2H, 0ER, 1BB, and 8K to lower his season ERA to 2.65. He continues to add to why he is on his way up the ladder. In 85IP in 16GS, 69K-14BB, 5HR, 64H. The most impressive stats are that hitters have a .246BABIP, .240 OBP and .319SLG, and .559OPS against him on the season.
The Rooster Tails celebrated after this game winning 3-0 as Gregorio, Peabody, and Paris supplied the offense in the win tonight. The team as a whole looked like it stuck around to watch fireworks, and I was again reminded, like all the other fans in the stands, that these are just young men, kids if you will some of them, playing a game they love and fueling their passion for competing. I was reminded that it's okay to soak it all in and enjoy the moment while you're in them.
The Rooster Tails close out the weekend and July with a Sunday evening game before taking off to Vancouver, BC, for a 6-game set against the Canadians. The Dust Devils will return home against the Everett Aqua Sox on Tuesday, August 9th.