FanPost

Serious Sam sinks Syracuse (LeCure vs. Kown)

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Alliance Bank Stadium is in downtown Syracuse, and is a small, older ballpark.  It's easy to get to.  Parking is $4, which was a bit of a surprise.  Most of the minor league parks I've been to do not charge for parking.

If I arrive early enough, I usually go upstairs to take a photo from behind home plate.  Alliance Bank Stadium is so small that only the private suites and the press box are upstairs behind the plate.  (There are some cheap seats in the upper deck above first and third base.)  I didn't realize that, though, and ended up where I wasn't supposed to be.  Weirdly, nobody stopped me.  They assumed since I was carrying a camera that I was a member of the press.  I went back downstairs, and took a photo through the netting instead.

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They don't have a radar gun at this ballpark. At least, not a working one.  I assume from this sign, which never changed the entire night, that they did at one time.

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Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey warming up before the game:

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Chris Valaika:

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Hadn't seen him since spring training.  He was on the DL the last time I took in a Bats game.

Pitching coach Ted Power with Louisville starter Sam LeCure:

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(It's just asking for a caption contest, isn't it?)

On the mound for the Syracuse Chiefs was Andrew Kown:

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It's a very friendly, laid back ballpark, which was nice in some ways, but annoying in others.  The seats are tightly spaced, and the cant of the floor is very shallow.  People who showed up late did not wait until the end of the inning, as they do in some parks.  Instead, they went to their seats...and stood there, blocking everyone's view, waiting for the usher to come dry the seats off.  Which took a long time, because the seats had an oily texture that made wiping water off them difficult.  I missed large parts of the first two or three innings because of this. 

There was also a weird group in front that spent a lot of time standing. It looked like they were saying goodbye: they would stand up, hug, shake hands, talk, hug some more, and then some of them would leave.  Only to come back shortly after.  They did that whole long goodbye schtick every time one of them left to go get a beer or to go the bathroom or smoke a cigarette.  It was bizarre.

There was a long delay in the 3rd.  I couldn't quite figure out what happened.  Sam LeCure struck out, and suddenly the Chiefs catcher, Jhonatan Solano, was rolling on the ground in agony.  Apparently, he got hit in the nuts.  Somehow.  It was ruled a foul tip, and it looked to me like he caught it in the glove, not the...

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The men around me were rather freaked out when the female trainer came out to treat him.  Half of them were horrified ("you need a man, she doesn't know what it's like!).  Half got raunchy ("rub it for me, baby!").  

He seemed to be all right.  He stayed in the game, anyway.

Drew Stubbs was up next.

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He got on via a force out.  (Catcher Brian Peterson was on 1B after working a walk.)  Kown threw a lot of pickoffs attempts, trying to keep Stubbs close.

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He went anyway.

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Safe!

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He would eventually score on a Luis Bolivar double.

"Two-Pitch At-Batterson" lived up to his name, but the at-bat ended in a double.  He would eventually score.

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The Bats had a big fourth inning, that featured Sam LeCure coming to bat with two outs, bases loaded.  The fans across the aisle from me started wondering why the Bats didn't put in a pinch-hitter.  It was a little early.

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And no pinch-hitter was needed.  LeCure hit a RBI single.

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The Chiefs mascot:

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They have a train theme going in Syracuse, perhaps because the ballpark is right by the train tracks.  You can see the trains running just beyond left field.

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Elijah Dukes, who got a cup of coffee earlier this season (and soon lost his job to Corey Patterson).  Notice the train logo.  (Not sure what the "HM" is for.)

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LeCure ended up being pulled early anyway.  He left after four innings and 62 pitches.  He pitched okay and didn't seem hurt, so I'm not sure what was up with that.

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Chris Heisey played RF and went 1 for 4.

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Rick Sweet talks to Heisey after Heisey grounded out.

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Kip Wells is wearing Jay Bruce's old number.

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Desmond steals 2B, despite Valaika's attempt to sell the tag.

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Josh Roenicke closed it out.

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Bats celebrate the victory.

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