|Marko Bajic (L)||3.0||0||0||9||0||0||0||8.10|
|Chris Davenport (W)||5.0||3||4||4||2||1||0||5.43|
Mudcats Win Season OpenerUpdated Tuesday May 8, 2018 by Justin Biggs.
The Mudcats started their season against a Razorbacks squad who sough redemption for a controversial playoff loss that ended their 2017 playoffs.
It was a warm, sunny evening at Heritage Mountain Park. The Mudcats began their warmup in high spirits and reminiscing about a field that has given the team many memorable moments such as Craig Valach's 'the throw' from the 2017 season, and David Metcalfe's 'the dive' from the 2018 pre-season. Today's game would not disappoint.
The Razorbacks jumped to an early lead by benefiting from plate discipline, timely hitting, and capitalizing on Mudcat misplays. The bottom of the Mudcats order responded in the second inning by scoring a run to keep the deficit manageable. After two innings the Mudcats trailed 5-2.
The momentum continued to sway in the Mudcats favour as the Mudcats defense woke to keep innings short. The Mudcats offense then threatened with bases loaded in the third only too see the inning end on a deep fly ball.
The Mudcats would then break out to score five runs in the fourth to chase the Razorbacks starting pitcher and grab their first lead of the ballgame. However, the Razorbacks would respond with a bases clearing triple to tie the game at 7.
The Mudcats were unfazed and came up with timely hits, and timely chirping from Chris Smith helped the Mudcats recapture a lead that the team would not relinquish.
On the defensive side, the Mudcats second rally started with one out and a runner on first. The Mudcats were playing for a double play and when a hard hit ball took a bad bounce, the opportunity for a double play to end the inning was seemingly over. Scott 'the good eye' Arthurs did not give up on the play and attempted to deflect the ball to second base with his face to keep the double play alive. Unfortunately, he was not successful.
Yogi Berra was famously quoted as saying "baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical." In the proceeding at bat and with one eye nearly swollen shut, Arthurs showed that depth perception is overrated by smashing a line-drive to the right field fence for a stand up rbi triple. Further living by the words of Yogi Berra, Arthurs pitched to close out the game and induced outs for all three batters he faced.
The final score: Mudcats 12, Razorbacks 7.