Memorial Stadium Magic
The Hawks returned home from Yakima with a 9-8 record, having dropped their final two games of the trip – and faced a group of Cubs field coordinators waiting for them at Memorial Stadium. However, the mystique that is the “Big House on Glenwood” for nearly 25 years continued each of the last three nights – as Boise picked up three extra-inning walkoff wins, by three different players.
Before a super-sellout crowd on the 4th of July, the squad rallied from a 4-1 hole to tie the game late, with Paul Hoilman ending a 1-for-20 slump with a walk-off homer – the first by the Hawks since Jake Opitz won a game on opening night in 2008. Tuesday, the bullpen squandered a 4-0 lead, only for Kenny Socorro to hit a seeing-eye single to right in the 10th for another win. And tonight – it was a Ben Klafczynski bloop single to left that scored Pin-Chieh Chen with the winner in the 12th inning.
It marked the first time in recent memory that the Hawks played three-straight extra-inning contests (they played back-to-back games in extras in both 2003 and 2004).
The piggybacks the last two nights have been stellar – as Welington Cruz and Joe Zeller combined to allow just one run in eight innings, while Luis Liria (who went a season high six innings) and Kyler Burke limited Yakima to just two runs and five hits in 10 innings.
HOW BOUT THEM EMS? The Hawks opened up 2011 in Eugene, losing 3-of-5 to the Emeralds – though had the chance to win 4-of-5. Until tonight, Boise was the lone team to beat the Ems, as Eugene set a new NWL record by winning 14-straight game.
THE LONG DRIVE HOME: Following Sunday’s game in Yakima, the Safford family loaded up the car and made the trek back to the Treasure Valley – and it was an interesting five hours. Not only did I have to stop twice to get coffee, we witnessed a crazy event in Hermiston, Ore., where a trunk ran off with $173 in unpaid gas – it was intense. I hope they caught the guy.
ROSTER MOVES: The Hawks added a player today, as Colin Richardson joined the team from Mesa – as righty Hector Mayora is on the shelf for at least a week with shoulder soreness. Richardson was thrown into the fire tonight, tossing two shutout innings for the win. Other news has both Marwin Gonzalez and Chris Rusin earning promotions to AAA Iowa, while Marcus Hatley is now at AA Tennessee. Finally, congrats to former Hawk, Austin Kirk, who tossed a nine-inning no-hitter at Class-A Peoria.