(Portland) Joe Panik drove in four runs as the Richmond Flying Squirrels defeated the Portland Sea Dogs, 4-1, on a muggy Thursday afternoon at Hadlock Field.
The Eastern League game featured two teams trying to get to second place and thereby make the EL playoffs. After today’s game, Richmond is four games out of second in the EL West while Portland is 3 ½ games out of second in the EL East. The regular season ends on September 2nd.
2010 Winter Olympian Julia Clukey of Augusta (Maine) addressed the large crowd of campers before the game and later tossed out the ceremonial first pitch. Julia hopes to compete in 2014 Winter Olympics in the luge in six months in Sochi, Russia.
My goal at the games I attend is to get faces to go with the names of the players performing. I am intent on getting prospects because the trip from the AA Portland team to AAA Pawtucket and then the Red Sox can happen fast. In this season alone, fifteen players from Portland have moved up to a higher level.
Pitchers are the most difficult to get pictures of unless they’re actually pitching in the game. I missed Anthony Ranaudo (he’s now at Pawtucket) and am hoping to get pictures of Matt Barnes and/or Henry Owens before the season is over.
The player I wanted to make sure I had photos of was Garin Cecchini. This 22-year-old third baseman moved up from Salem (A) recently and has played well so far at Portland. Garin had three walks in this game. My hunch is that if Xander Bogaerts gets called up from Pawtucket to the Red Sox then Garin will move up to Pawtucket.
I thought that the most promising prospect on the visiting Richmond team was 22-year-old Joe Panik. Joe was drafted in the first round in 2011 (29th pick) by San Francisco. Joe is a middle infielder with some power. His 3-run homer in this game was hit very deep to right center.
There were some excellent defensive plays today. Flying Squirrel centerfielder Ryan Lollis took in a long shot just before running into the fence.
There was plenty of entertainment on the field between innings. The Sea Dog mascot’s losing streak, running the bases against young fans, continues.
After several innings of picture taking from the ends of both dugouts I went up to the press box to thank Media Relations director Chris Cameron for making my visit possible. While I was sitting up there chatting with Chris, I realized that Dwight Evans was to my right. Some retired players put on weight and/or lose some hair but not Dwight. He is apparently a roving instructor for the Red Sox.
I continue to recommend taking in a game at Hadlock Field. It certainly is affordable and entertaining for everyone. The Red Sox have some terrific young players.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)