(Photo Credit: Mick Lite)
Any given night at an independent league baseball game, something amazing happens. Every person in the ballpark wants to be reveling in the ambience of baseball. Tuesday, August 12 was just another night at the ballpark, but this happened to be a night I wanted to go watch a game by myself. Baseball could keep me company.
One player stood out on this night, with two rockets over the right-field wall, but I wasn’t just impressed by what he did. We’ll get back to him later. To recap the season thus far, the River City Rascals, currently leading the western division of the Frontier League with a record of 46-31, are putting together a sterling offensive season. With five players, with at least 180 at bats, hitting over .300, this team can flat out swing with a team average of .284. A good example of their prowess at the plate came on Tuesday.
An attendance of over a 1,000 witnessed an 11-1 victory over the Frontier Greys with Rascals second-baseman Hector Crespo blasting those two homers to right field. Those were only his second and third four-baggers of the season. What he did both in the field and at the plate got his teammates attention. In the fourth inning, a 3-run poke from Crespo put River City up 5-0 and his teammate, left fielder Eric Williams, walked up to the plate next and smacked one to right for back-to-back homers. In the Rascals next offensive half of the inning, Crespo had another plate appearance. This time the bases were juiced and this one was a no-doubter to any part of the field. The former low-A minor leaguer in the Yankees organization had himself a night at the plate with 7 RBI.
I’ll use Crespo as an example for the way the majority of the Rascals squad has been hitting this entire season as he’s hitting .292 at the dish and reaching base 38 percent of the time. The teams knowledge of the T.R. Hughes’ dimensions are incredible. All three dingers from Tuesday night found their homes in right-center. Nearly all the breaking balls thrown the way of River City hitters were waited on. The presence at the plate has really defined the club this either swinging on a first pitch fastball in their wheelhouse or taking a pitcher deep in a count. Essentially, if you like offense, go to T.R. Hughes Ballpark this week and I’ll bet the Rascals put up double-digit hit nights more often than not.
Tonight, River City looks to take the three-game series from the Frontier Greys at 7:05. Be sure to stay posted for more Rascals series recaps and stories the remainder of the 2014 season.