Presidents Blog April 1st
As Opening Days go, this one was my most anticipated and also my most nervous. I moved from leading the Giants team to transitioning to a full non playing member of the league after last season, and while I will still play the odd game this year I am mostly on Umpire duties. Yesterdays Opening Day would be the baptism of fire. With the regular Edinburgh Umpire unavailable it was up to me to take the mantle of home plate. As if that wasn’t bad enough it was involving my Giants team. Confident I can be neutral when not wearing the uniform, and also confident that the opposing Cannons team know me well enough to trust I could be neutral I said play ball… in a slight quiver of a voice. The thing that soon calmed me down was the second pitch of the game coming back off the Giants lead off man Kyle Huffey’s bat and smacking me in the face. That knocked the nerves into the water of Leith behind us and we were off. Opening Day!
The Cannons and Giants put on a fantastic game of Baseball. An early flurry of runs from the eager Cannons was all the action we would see as the pitching masterclass was a sight to behold. Kyle Huffey of the Giants was fantastic. Allowing only 10 hits and 3 earned runs from the 6 scored with 8 Strike outs and 4 walks over 7 innings. His counterpart Sam Davidson was even more devastating. Sam had double the Ks through 9 innings, giving up just 7 hits and only 1 walk. Davidson’s debut in the Scottish National League was the catalyst that gave the Cannons that first win since the 2017 season, and I must admit – I am looking forward to seeing what this team can do against the other teams in the SNL.
Elsewhere Glasgow Galaxy faced Glasgow Comets and up North in Aberdeen it was the debuting Aberdeen Express getting their feet wet against club and city rivals Granite City Oilers. Both of these games offered something different looking at the scoresheets. In Aberdeen the game was dominated by pitching and defence. Fred Gambedotti of the Oilers amassed 14 strikeouts through 8 innings (10 hits, 1 ER, 4BB). The deadlock broken in the 7th inning with Express scoring a run via their starter Shane Sures. Shane had doubled, and as batted in by captain Jared Thomley with 2 outs. The Oilers replied in the bottom of the 7th with 5 runs, and another 1-5 inning in the 8th saw a final score of 10-2 in favour of the Oilers. 6 scoreless innings up North – then mirror that to the game in the West – Glasgow was a run fest. Glasgow Comets facing reigning two time league winners Glasgow Galaxy. A final score of 19 to 11 in favour of the Comets who in the 6th inning onwards won the game coming from a 10-2 deficit. Robert Grucela their star man looking at the score sheets as the Pole amassed 5 RBIs from 4 hits, including a double and a triple. A special mention to Galaxy player Jacob Wright who battered the first Homerun of the season deep over the Tolcross fences.
If nothing else, this Opening Day has shown that Baseball Scotland’s 2019 season is going to be a pure belter!