Edinburgh Giants 7 - Edinburgh Diamond Devils 8

Scheduled Date: 
Sunday, April 1, 2018 - 13:00
Away Team: 
Edinburgh Giants
Home Team: 
Edinburgh Diamond Devils
Away Score: 
7
Home Score: 
8
Game write up: 

Despite rumors of rain and snow the sun came out shining in Edinburgh for an Easter Opening Day game with the Edinburgh Diamond Devils playing host to the Edinburgh Giants. In what looks to be a wide open Scottish National League, both teams are optimistic that a title may be in the cards this season. So even with high expectations of a quality game, those expectations were exceeded in what was a game for the ages of Scottish baseball.

The Devils started manager Bret Griffin on the mound and the Giants countered with staff ace Kyle Huffey. Both traded zeroes for two innings in the both runs and hits columns before Rafa Perez singled to right in the top of the third for the first hit of the 2018 season. He would later score on a two-out throwing error. The Devils countered with 4 runs in the bottom half of the third. Highlighting the inning was Callum Brown getting the first Devils hit of the season with a leadoff single, after missing all of last season with a back injury, and Hsin-yen Lai hitting a two run double to left.

The Giants added one more in the top of the fourth as rookie catcher Matt Cote walked, stole second, then scored on a hit and run groundout. After a scoreless bottom half of the fourth, Hsin-yen Lai took over pitching for the Devils in the fifth and the teams traded zeroes once again, with the Devils leading 4 – 2.

In the top of the sixth the Giants stormed to the lead with Cote hitting a two run homer to left center to tie the game, followed by two more runs with a combination of hits and errors. With the Giants now leading 6-4, Huffey settled in to sit the next 6 Devils down in order, leading to the bottom of the seventh. Devils lead-off hitter Sylvain Morisot reach on a fielder’s choice, then proceeded to steal second and third, with a throwing error on the steal of third allowing him to score.

The Giants answered right back with a run in the top of the eight as Cote smashed his second home run in his Scottish debut, this one clearing the park fence beyond the right field wall, landing in the street for the longest home run in the history of Bobby Thomson field. This unprecedented display of power added a new term to Scottish baseball jargon – a Cotian blast. Fortunately for the Devils no one was on base at the time, and both teams were held off the scoreboard going into the bottom of the ninth, Giants leading 7 – 5.

Huffey made quick work of the first batter, getting his 12th strikeout of the day. Morisot followed with a ground ball to third, but an errant throw allowed him to reach second. Huffey, now tiring, handed the ball over to Luis Marino to close out the game. The next two batters both walked, loading the bases with just one out. After getting to a full count, Marino got the Devils clean-up hitter to chase a high one for strike three and out number two.

The Devils now placed their hopes in third baseman Jeremy Goyffon, who hit a well-placed ground ball to the right side of the infield bringing the first baseman, second baseman, and pitcher all going for the ball, with no one covering first. The second baseman got to the ball first and quickly fired to first base before anyone could get back to cover. As the ball rolled out of play, two runs crossed the plate, tying the game. Up stepped Devils rookie catcher Matt Yocum. He had struggled earlier in the day at the plate but this time made an adjustment and stroked a line drive walk off single to right, bring in Lai from third to score the winning run.

For the Devils there was joyous celebration as they won the opener in dramatic fashion, but for the Giants they was clear frustration as this will undoubtedly feel like one that got away. Apart from Cote, there was little offense on either side, but both teams can take positives from pitching and defense in what was a well-played game. There were a number of people on hand to watch the Scottish opener and they were treated to a fantastic display of Scottish baseball, hopefully the first of many to come this season.

Players of the game:
Giants: Cote, 2HR and a great game behind the plate; and Huffey, 8.1 IP, 12K, 3ER
Devils: Morisot, 3R in addition to his usual standout defense in center field