Monday, May 24, 2010

McClain the early-season hero

In the Seals first season, it was Jamar Hill. That player that everyone cheers for, everyone wants an autograph from, and who always seems to deliver when needed. With Jamar gone and a fresh batch of Seals at the park, this town's in need of a new hero. If the first three games of the season are any indication, that job may belong to Terrance McClain.

T-Mac digs in in the ninth, with Wilver Perez looking on.

On Sunday afternoon at RAP, McClain came through in the clutch yet again. With two outs and the winning run standing on second base, he stood at the plate with a 2-2 count. After fouling off 3 balls from monstrously large Maui closer Jerry Spradlin, T-Mac got all the way around on a fastball and laced it just inside the bag at third, past a diving Keoni Ruth. Colin Moro flew home from second as the ball made its way to the outfield fence, and was met with a huge mob at home plate as he scored the winning run in a stunning come from behind 6-5 victory to move the Seals to 2 and 1 on the year.

McClain, with helmet raised, is mobbed by teammates after driving in Sunday's winning run

In Friday night's opener, T-Mac went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs, and has been solid at first base this year contributing some defensive gems. Sunday's game saw him make a great tag play at first on a throw that pulled him off the bag, and he chased a Maui runner down for the tag on a botched steal. While his braided locks remind many in the crowd of Manny Ramirez, his defensive abilities bear no resemblance. With his unique style and his flair for the dramatic, no doubt Seals fans will be cheering hard for #24 as the season moves on.

Seal Blubber bits on Sunday's game 3:

  • Victoria native Charlie Strandlund put another notch in his belt Sunday, collecting his first professional RBI as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. Watch it here.
  • Maui pitchers did themselves no favours on Sunday, bringing the Seal's fourth and fifth runs in on wild pitches. Both runs tied the game at the time, much to the enjoyment of the rowdy crowd along the first base line.
  • Perhaps the happiest man in the park when the winning run was scored, was reliever Aaron Easton. Easton gave up a home run to Maui lead-off hitter Fehlandt Lentini in the top of the ninth inning, just minutes after the Seals had tied the game at 4 and narrowly missed a chance to take the lead. On the hook for a loss, Easton leaped over the dugout fence to join the party at home plate and celebrate his first win of the season.
  • The Seals once again wore their dark blue "third jersey", leaving the home whites in the locker room. Like much of last year, the players seem more comfortable in the pullover rather than the more traditional jersey style. Perhaps the whites should be labeled the "alternate jersey"...
  • Maui showed off their alternate jersey as well on Sunday - a bright green model with the word "Ikaika" on the front. Combined with the loud white/red/yellow pants, the uniform now reminds us of the old Windows 3.1 colour scheme called "Hot Dog Stand". They blended seamlessly into the Subway banner in left-center field.
Maui outfielder Paul Nishimura sports the alternate greens while coaching first

Two more games are upcoming against the Warriors, Monday and Tuesday nights at 7:00.