After hitting the Harrisburg the night before, we made it to the IronPigs game the next night to check them out against the Durham Bulls. Tampa Bay’s top two prospects were on hand as Brent Honeywell (#1) started the game and Willy Adames (#2) was at short.
Honewell was tagged early when Jorge Alfaro crushed a no-doubter to left to give Lehigh Valley a 1-0 lead. That was all the Pigs could get off of the Rays #1 prospect. He pitched great, going 6 innings allowing that one run on 5 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.
Former IronPig Taylor Featherston hurt his former team in the 3rd and 4th innings. He hit into a groundout that scored a run in the 3rd and then singled in a run in the 4th to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead. #2 prospect Willy Adames grounded out in the 5th, but scored Jake Hager in the process. Hager then hit a 2-run homer in the 7th to finish the scoring and give the Bulls a 5-1 victory.
Hager finished the night 2-4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs for Durham. Ben Lively started the game for the IronPigs, but was only able to go 4 innings after taking a liner off the leg in the 5th inning. He finished the game 4 innings giving up 3 runs (2 ER) on 5 hits with a walk and 4 strikeouts. Scott Kingery, Andrew Pullin and Alfaro each had two hits, but were the only ones to muster a hit on the night for Lehigh Valley. Pullin’s two hits were doubles.
My parents were in town so I wanted to take them over to see what the IronPigs were all about. We didn’t get tickets until we got to the stadium, which on a weekend in Lehigh Valley, isn’t the smartest thing to do. The only open spots left were the lawn and the Pig Pen. We decided to go with the Pig Pen since it was actual seating and also came with in-seat food service. The section is right on the left-field wall and right in front of the bullpens. During the game, the Bulls pitchers were playing a game of who could hit the water bottle from 90 feet away. On one of the tosses, the ball ricocheted over the seats and onto the field, leading to everyone in the bullpen scattering. The game was obviously over at that point.
As for the actual game, it was completely one-sided. Andrew Knapp got the scoring started in the bottom of the 2nd for the IronPigs when he singled and scored Darin Ruf to give Lehigh Valley the 1-0 lead. The 3rd inning came around and the Pigs decided to put some distance between themselves and the Bulls. They scored seven runs, highlighted by four RBI singles and a Brock Stassi 2-run double. In the top of the 5th, the Bulls finally got on the board. After back-to-back walks, Juniel Querecuto grounded to J.P. Crawford at short, but was unable to come up with the barehanded-play. The hit was ruled a single, the only hit of the game for Durham! The score was now 8-1.
The IronPigs were back at it in the 7th, scoring six more runs. Brock Stassi started it off with a solo shot to right. J.P. Crawford hit a sac fly and then Darin Ruf hit a grand slam to make it a 15-1 game. The Pigs added another in the 8th to go on and win the game 16-1.
The Bulls were only able to get one hit off of Ben Lively who went 7 innings and giving up only 1 run, 3 walks and striking out 5. Ruf finished the game 2-3 with a double, grand slam, 2 walks and 3 runs scored. Cedric Hunter went 4-5 with 3 RBI, 2 runs and a SB. Brock Stassi finished 3-4 with 3 RBI and 4 runs. Durham starter Jaime Schultz only managed to go 2 1/3 giving up 8 runs (7 ER) on 7 hits with a walk and 3 strikeouts. Querecuto managed their only hit, but Cameron Seitzer was able to draw three walks on the night.
A view from the Pig Pen
The 16-1 final score