What an Opening Night…
RECAP: A crowd of nearly 3,100 (almost capacity) on a very cool night (68F) for Boise watched a great Opening Night for the 28th edition of the Hawks.
It began with a great start from lefty Tyler Ihrig, who was nearly unhittable, using all three of his pitches effectively. Ihrig retired the final 14 men he faced, allowing only a broken bat infield single in his five innings of work. It was very reminiscent of the Opening Night start last season by James Pugliese.
David Bote returned to the Valley earlier this week after spending all of 2014 and provided a spark in the middle of the Hawks line-up, going 3-for-4, including a double off the glove of Tri-City first-baseman David Bergen.
David Garner threw heat in his two innings of work, fanning four to pick up his first professional save – working out of a first-and-third jam in the ninth.
And then there was Kyle Schwarber. The first-round pick definitely was nervous early on – committing a throwing error in the first and rolling over on a ground ball in his first professional at bat. He loosened up as the night went on – ripping a single into right in both the fourth and sixth innings, then crushing a 3-0 batting-practice type get-me-over fastball over the sandpile and into a grove of trees way beyond the right-center wall for the go-ahead three-run homer in the 4-2 win.
EERILY SIMILAR: Schwarber became the third-straight Chicago Cubs first-round pick to hit a home run in his first game at Memorial Stadium. Albert Almora lined a homer inside the left field foul pole against Salem-Keizer in his second at bat vs. Salem-Keizer, while Kris Bryant crushed a homer in his second at bat last year vs. Spokane.
Bryant and Schwarber are also connected by this line – both hit three-run, go-ahead homers and both were on 3-0 counts.