After waiting all winter, Opening Day finally arrived!
And, yes, so did the rain. They actually managed to get partway through the top of the 5th inning before they finally called the game. The rain was just coming down too hard, with no indication of slacking up.
Instead of canceling the game, they suspended it. They will complete the game tomorrow at 5:30 (gates open at 5:00) and play tomorrow’s scheduled game approximately 30 minutes after the completion of tonight’s game. Tomorrow’s game will be shortened to 7 innings.
Up until the rain delay, the game was pretty normal for a Hoppers game. That is to say, they were losing. The Augusta GreenJackets scored their only 2 runs in the very first inning, thanks in part to two errors when the 2nd batter was up. It was pretty painful to watch. Thankfully, after the first inning, the Hoppers defense tightened up a bit and only 2 more hits were allowed in the next 3.1 innings, with no more runs allowed. As far as offense goes, the Hoppers had a single hit during the entire 4 innings they batted. That came from first baseman Chad Cregar in the 4th inning. He ended up being left on base.
Pitching for the GreenJackets was Chris Heston, and he looked good — he had 4 strikeouts. For the Hoppers, we had Matt Montgomery on the mound and he looked OK. He had 3 strikeouts and one walk.
I was scoring the game, and it was pretty neat when a fan in the seat behind me asked about how the errors were assigned in the first inning, and I was able to give him a good answer. I’m real rusty with my scoring and was erasing quite a bit as I went along, but I don’t think I made any serious errors. Looking over the box score (incomplete at time of writing), it looks like my scoresheet is really close to being correct, so I’m pretty happy about that. Once I get a handful of games under my belt, I think I’ll be in much better shape for scoring.
Here’s how I’ve got the game scored so far (click the picture for a bigger version):
I’ll have to figure out what to do in my book tomorrow when they resume the game. Should I start a new set of scorecards? Make a note on the ones I’m using and continue using them? I’m not sure, but I’ll figure something out. I’m using Baseball By The Numbers books to score my Hoppers games this year, and I like it. It’s the best layout of any scoring book I’ve ever seen. The biggest drawback is that the book itself is pretty large. We’ll see how well I continue to like it after getting a few games under my belt.
I’ve got a handful more photos from tonight over on Facebook, but let me leave you with how we ended the night — being entertained by Napoleon Dynamite dancing during the rain delay.
All in all, it was a good night, but that’s really only because I’ve been jonesing for baseball for so long. I really am glad for the rain — it’s washing a lot of the pollen away — but I was was hoping we’d be able to get a complete game in before the skies opened up. That’s OK, it just means there’s going to be extra baseball tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.