Tucson, AZ – The Tucson Toros have announced the signing of seven players, including former Diamondbacks Pitcher Albie Lopez, who won a World Series Championship with Arizona in 2001. Tucson has also inked hard throwing Taiwanese Pitcher Sung-Wei Tseng, Outfielder and YouTube sensation Josh Womack and former Giants Minor League Pitcher Anthony Moreno. The Toros are also returning an important part of their core group from the Division Champion 2009 squad, with Outfielder Lino Garcia, Shortstop Ryan Priddy and Catcher Luis Apodaca having already signed contracts for the 2010 season.
With their 1st Round Pick (8th overall) the Toros selected RHP Andrew Snowden out of Central Washington University, who was 5-1 with a 3.05 ERA and lead the league with 39 innings pitched and ranking second with an equal number of strikeouts. The Toros then selected RHP Matthew Maguire who paced the league with 6 saves and RHP Eric Faint who ranked second with 5 of his own.
In the 4th and 5th Rounds Tucson selected a pair of players from Japan – RHP Yoshitaka Nishi who had a 2.28 ERA and OF Sho Konishi who hit .432 with a .591 slugging percentage. The Toros wrapped up their selections with LHP Kevin Ricketts who pitched at York College of Nebraska.
Opening Night: Toros walkoff, as Edmonton gets gored and the Edmonton Bullpen gets bombed
Apologies for the Skinsrecap, my wifi is still not working, so I am at Barnes & Nobles.
It was a great night for baseball at Hi Corbett. They still have the Rockies purple and white flowers planted out in front of the ballpark. It was just a little bit strange. I saw a prissy looking girl with a nice body in line to get tickets. She had a designer purse and a dress on. Talk about high maintenance, what kind of girl goes to a ballgame like that? I noticed a couple of the songs that were played over the loud speaker they play at UA Icecats games. For the second year in a row, Im pretty sure I recognize the Toros announcer's voice as being the former Sidwinders announcer but I am not sure. Temperature at first pitch was 86* and the temerature at the time Priddy crossed homeplate for the games winning run was 78*. It took 2:48 to complete and the attendance was just 3,287.
There was nothing much doing in the first 6 frames for the Toros as Edmonton seemed to be in control, leading 4-1. Vince Davis was the Opening Day starter for the Toros. He went 5 IP and gave up a total of 4 earned runs, 1 wild pitch and 10 hits. The highlight of his game was his two strikeouts...of the opposing pitcher. Once Snowdon, making his professional debut, relieved Davis the Trappers bats were silenced the rest of the way. The Trappers only had one base runner after the 6th inning and he (Callero, 1B) reached on an error by Wally Backman Jr in the 8th. Snowdon went 3 innings and struck out 4 batters.
Offensively for Edmonton, RF Allen Battle owned, going 3-4 with two home runs from the leadoff spot. He lead off the game with a HR in an inning that would see another run by the Trappers on a one out RBI double by LF Larry Bigbie. in the second, Davis loaded the bases with 1 out. He got CF Cortez to flyout scoring a runner from 3B and Ferrantes throw from RF to 3B nabbed Carina trying to advance to third. I doubt Davis would have gotten out of that inning if it werent for that great defensive play as the leadoff batter in the 3rd inning singled. The night was done offensively for the Trappers in the 5th when cortez singled after Battle's second HR of the day.
The Edmonton starter, Francisco was in complete command of the game, going 6 innings and giving up one run on 6 hits and striking out a batter. Like they say when a starter is dominating though, anybody but Francisco. The guys who relieved him, made the Diamondback relievers look good. I'm sure Howry would even have gotten an out, ok maybe not, but hes good enough for the Chicago cubs to sign him (read with sarcasm).
The Toros bats didnt wake up until the 8th inning, having only 6 hits to that point off Francisco. They looked like they were going to threaten in the 4th, before a couple of running gaffes haunted the Toros. Lino Garcia led off the inning with a single. He attempted to steal 2B, and it looked like he was safe as the throw was high, but the homeplate umpire ruled that Ferrante had interfered with Farina's throw to second. With the next batter up, Garcia took off on the third pitch of the AB to Backman Jr and was thrown out. Backman JR singled and came around to score the first run of the night for the Toros on a Santana RBI double. Had Garcia not run during the Backman AB, in theory, that would have cut the deficit to 4-2. It ended up not mattering though.
In the 8th inning, LHP Paul was on the mound. He got PH Bistagne (who came in to play 3B on the double switch) to ground to the shortstop. After that it was all downhill from there. Shortstop Rogelstad booted a routine grounder by CF Josh Womack, allowing him to reach. Valdez walked and Garcia singled to load the bases. Ferrante flew out to RF, and it looked like Paul would get out of the jam. On a 2-1 pitch (I think), Wally Backman Jr hit a bases clearing triple in the RF gap to tie the game at 4-4. Paul retired the next batter to get out of the inning.
Emiliana Fruto, a former Diamondback farmhand, worked a perfect top half of the 9th inning and would be in line to get the win latter on.
Edmonton sent RHP Kelly to the mound in their half of the 9th inning. He struck out C Lois Apodaca for the first, and to be only out of the inning. Shortstop Josh Priddy, reached on a fielding error by 3B Brumbaugh. The next batter, Bistagne doubled to put runners on 2B and 3B, Josh Womack was intentionally walked to load the bases to set up the final AB of the game. Valdez worked the count to 3-1 and everone new what was coming next, ball four and the winning run was walked in. The Toros won it by a score of 5 to 4.
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