Wednesday was the planned off day. The group had a nice excursion planned for a catamaran trip which included some beach time and snorkeling on a off-shore reef. We drove caravan style to Fajardo and the Puerto Del Rey marina. The boat was nice as was the nearly perfect weather, which some thought Laurie ordered too. We had lunch on the boat and some tropical punch to wash it all down with. The beach was beautiful. Most got off the boat to explore and test the waters. The ride out and back was truly enjoyable.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
At the conclusion of game #3 the group traveled to see the PRBAHS. Game #4 was again against the PRBAHS, this time against the 18 team, but only after a player and coaches lunch at the school. Game #4 was at a different field in Caguas but it also seemed to have some historical significance. There were plaques in the stands celebrating championship teams of old, two of which Alex Cora played on in his youth ('85 and '86). The PRBAHS pitchers in this game threw a lot of heat, had good change-ups, and some good breaking pitches too. The GAB bats were pretty silent but their defense was solid with the score 2-0 after four innings of play. Alex Cave pitched a complete game for the GAB. It seemed almost all of the PRBAHS players batted left (there were a few righties) which gave Dallas Mickey and Nick Moretti a workout on the right side of the infield. Alex's stuff had the PRBAHS players somewhat off-balance as not much went out to Larry Pagano in right field all day. That changed in the bottom of the 5th when the GAB surrendered a two run wood bat home run over the right field fence to bolster their lead to 4-0. Not content to leave our final game shut-out, Chris Hacker got on base when the PRBAHS secondbaseman booted a ball. A lucky balk call moved Hack to 2B setting the stage for a Kevin Sadoski RBI double to the Right-Center gap. But that was all the GAB had that day. The defense held solid for the bottom of the 6th but the PRBAHS put the GAB down in order in the top of the 7th for a final score of 4-1. Looking back, the GAB went 1-3 over the trip but seemed to play pretty competively in all the games. Our bats weren't as lively as we might have liked but this was the first time facing live pitching for many of the players since Fall Ball. I do have to say the kids had fun and enjoyed all the games, regardless of what the scoreboard said at the end.
Game #3 was against the PRBAHS-16 team. PRBAHS stands for the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy High School. It's a place where the students take regular high school classes and also baseball everyday. The facility is sponsored in part by MLB. In Game #3 the GAB was considered the home team. Chris Hacker took the mound and the GAB managed to post 3 runs in the bottom of the first thanks to hits by Kevin Sadoski, Nick Moretti, Will Ramos and Derek. PRBAHS decided to put a number of their own up in the top of the 2nd making it 3-2 GAB after two. From here on out the game turned into a defensive gem with both teams battling through three scoreless innings. But in the top of the 6th things came momentarily unglued with the GAB letting in two PRBAHS runs on a little miscommunication. The GAB failed to answer in their half of the 6th and the score was 4-3 PRBAHS going into the 7th. In the top half of the final inning PRBAHS plated two more runs. Going into the final half inning the GAB was down 6-3, but facing some pretty good pitching the GAB didn't plate the needed runs. By the way...the PRBAHS team was managed by Carlos Berroa (team photo far left side of picture).
Monday turned into an OFF day due to a little overnight rain and poor field conditions. Everyone took advantage of the time. Some went beaching it off site, others snorkeling, and others probably shopping. A group went into Old San Juan Monday night for dinner. It seemed like a nice time to rest our pitcher's arms too. Double header on Tuesday against the PRBAHS teams bright and early in Caguas.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Game #2 was against a team that given the many different and multi-colored uniforms, looked like a local Carolina All-Star team. The starting Carolina pitcher was throwing gas and set the GAB down in order to open the game. Tyler Agostini took the hill for the GAB and although the Carolina All-Stars seemed to hit the ball hard, the GAB defense got out of the inning with the score still 0-0. The GAB threatened in the 2nd, when Larry Pagano hit the first pitch of his at bat into CF for a 2-out single to load the bases. Unfortunately the GAB couldn't capitalize as the Carolina pitcher notched his third K of the game to end the inning. In the third the GAB kept pressing, loading the bases when Dante, Nick Moretti, and Will Ramos drew walks. Hayden Lundberg's hot streak continued when he hit a 2-RBI double in the RF power alley to start the scoring. Tyler's pitching and a solid GAB defense had the score at 2-0 after three full innings of play. In the fourth the GAB tacked on another run. Alex Cave reached on an error and was able to advance to second on the throwing error. Alex then advanced to third with some good baserunning on Larry's 5-3 putout. Anthony then came up big with a RBI single to plate Alex and make the score 3-0 GAB in the middle of the fourth. Carolina was not going to go quietly. Carolina knocked in three runs of their own to knot the score at 3-3 to end the fourth. At the plate the GAB couldn't get anything going in the top of the fifth but Carolina put up another 3 in their half of the frame to make the score 6-3 Carolina after five. Both teams failed to put up a number in the 6th which set the stage for a possible GAB comeback in the 7th. The GAB opened the 7th hitting from the top of the order. But things weren't to be. With two outs and two on, the GAB ended the game with some agressive baserunning trying to advance to 3B on a wild pitch. All in all it's been fun. The games have been good, the GAB's record is 1-1 after two games, and the fields and the local flavor have been most unique. Yesterday's gametime lunch was a deep fried pita looking concoction filled with chicken, onions, and cheese.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Game #1 was something of a nail biter to start the trip. Kevin Sadoski started things off by driving the first pitch of the game into CF for a basehit. The GAB started with some agressive baserunning but Kevin was nailed trying to steal 2B. The opening frame was a ZERO for the GAB but the tone was set. Chris Hacker took the hill to start the game and pitched a solid 4 innings, giving up four runs in the outing. The GAB had the bases loaded in the 2nd but couldn't plate a runner. Bayamon managed to score one in the second, one in the third, and a pair in the fourth. Although each inning was competitive, Bayamon had a 4-0 lead after the fourth. In the fifth, Alex Cave came in to pitch. Both teams put up ZEROS in the 5th and it seemed going into the 6th that the GAB had a pretty big deficit to overcome. Somehow everything clicked in the 6th. The GAB put up 5 runs in the top of the 6th to take a 5-4 lead. Bayamon fought back and scratched out another 2 runs in the bottom half of the inning to once agin take the lead at 6-5. Entering the top of the 7th the GAB managed to get runners on first and second with one out. Down a run and with two runners on, the GAB capitalized with a Hayden Lundberg "off the wall" triple in deep RF for a 7-6 lead. Hayden went on to score himself when Joe hit a basehit for an insurance run to make the score 8-6 going into the bottom of the 7th. Alex pitched a scoreless 7th to secure the win, with the GAB executing a game ending Moretti-to-Mickey 4-4-3 double play.
Friday was travel day for most. Some caught the early flight, others the direct, but the end result was we made it. The hotel is nice and most everyone used Friday for a little sun and fun before the games begin. A group watched the UCONN game but the one downside was the time zone. The 9:00 EST start means a 10:00pm tip-off in San Juan. It made for a late night for a day that started for many of us around 2:00am. The games start on Saturday...can't wait!