My Take on Opening Day in Eugene
Opening Day in Eugene was an interesting experience for the Boise Hawks in more ways than one – ending with a convincing 7-0 victory over the Ems, the first win in a season opener since the 2008 season.
The Hawks struggled initially when they arrived at where they “thought” was their clubhouse – as Eugene is the only team in the league with the changing room not near the stadium. After waiting 10 minutes to learn where to go, the team was housed in the new football building – which forced the team to make a 12-13 minute walk (one way) to the stadium. It marks the fourth season the Ems have been at PK Park and every year we hear there is going to be a clubhouse, and every year a different excuse. Luckily for the Hawks it wasn’t raining…I wouldn’t want to have to walk in the rain to BP, back to change, back to the park for the game, then back to shower.
Another strange thing was pregame at PK Park. Typically on Opening Day, the entire rosters have been announced, teams line up on the foul lines, and the National Anthem is played – the entire pomp and circumstance. Game time was scheduled for 7:05, but all of a sudden at 6:57, the Ems took the field, the anthem was played, and first pitch was thrown at 7:00. Strange? Sorta like a sasquatch that is on the concourse at the stadium.
It was a match-up of looks, as the Hawks unveiled their new graphite/charcoal colored road uniforms, while the Ems wore uniforms that were white that faded into a “forest” with neon green numbers. The Hawks uniforms looked sharp, although it was very difficult for me to pick up the numbers on the front and back of the uniforms from the press box (yes I need to get my eyes checked and probably need glasses, but it was hard to see). You be the judge in these game highlights from KVAL-TV in Eugene
RECAP –Pitching dominated the game, as James Pugliese showcased his new delivery and picked up his first win. The righty went five innings, allowing just three hits, striking out a career-high seven. Shawon Dunston Jr. went 4-for-6, with Kevin Encarnacion and Danny Lockhart each rapping a pair of hits in the win. Jacob Rogers hit a monster home run to center for the big hit of the night.
CONCESSIONS – Game 1 of the season featured hamburgers in the press box, but I had the opportunity to tour the park to see what they had to offer. Since there are no permanent facilities for concessions, the Ems have a bunch of food trucks/trailers throughout the stadium – including a barbecue booth, a fish and chips trailer, and a Voodoo Donut booth that serves a Maple Bacon Voodoo Donut Bratwurst. Prices in Eugene are a bit more expensive – $3.50 for a hot dog, $4.75 for popcorn, $4.00 for a small soda, $6.00 for a small domestic beer, $7.00 for a small microbrew.
AROUND TOWN – I mentioned it on the broadcast that Eugene is an interesting city, very liberal and reminds me a lot of my time living in Olympia, Wash. Dreadlocks and tie-dyed shirts are everywhere, as if we are still in the late 60s and 70s. So with that, I saw a restaurant while taking a walk for lunch yesterday – thought the restaurant fit my description perfectly.