Fun Times in Eugene
To say that Jeff Antigua (pictured left) was flat out dominant might be the understatement of the day, as the Hawks left-hander stymied the Eugene Emeralds for four and two-thirds innings in a 7-4 victory today at Civic Stadium.
How dominant? Of the 14 outs that he recorded, 11 were via a strikeout – the highest total by a Boise pitcher since Rich Hill (now with the Baltimore Orioles) fanned 13 batters on June 30, 2003 at Everett. Antigua had great movement on his fastball, got his curve-ball over for strikes, but he change-up was definitely the filthiest pitch of them all.
Today was also the Boise debut of Chris Rusin, the fourth-round pick out of Kentucky, who lasted two and a third innings before his pitch count was up. He had a live fastball and a quality curve, however, he left his change up in the zone and it was hit a bit. He will be another quality arm in the Cubs system.
The top of the order continued to impress, as both Hak-Ju Lee (pictured right) and Jose Valdez each had two hits. Lee has reached base safely in all but one game this season, while Valdez is riding a career-high ten-game hit streak. Right behind them is Brett Jackson, who extended his hit streak to eight games yesterday and has reached base safely in all 22 games as a Boise Hawk.
FUN TIMES IN EUGENE: The team has been able to get a little loose while baking in the 100-degree, humild weather in the Upper Willamette Valley. One night after a game, Lee and Jae-Hoon Ha sang karaoke on the bus going home – including Hak-Ju’s cover of a Ne-Yo song (listen here –
LeeSinging.wma, thanks to Mike Sharp). The Korean duo also had some fun following a game, doing a jive in the parking lot (video thanks to Mike Sharp) for the team to watch.
AROUND CIVIC STADIUM: I had the opportunity to test out the speed pitch machine at Civic Stadium – and as you can see, I can’t throw very fast. I also got a tour from Ems media relations director Bryan Beban underneath the nearly 75-year old stadium – and although it is pitch black, you can get the picture of how eerie it is.
OFF DAY AHEAD: The players are already looking forward to Tuesday’s off day – Roaring Springs, whitewater rafting, and fishing are all at the top of the list.