Thursday, August 12, 2010

New recruits upset Seals

Based on the absolute fire sale conducted on the St. George roster, I was curious to see what kind of talent the Roadrunners would trot out on Wednesday evening at Royal Athletic Park. I immediately went over to the white-board behind home plate to see if I recognized any names in the St. George starting lineup. Aside from starting pitcher Chuck Tiffany, not a single one of the St. George starting eight was on their roster the last time the team took to the field (July 31st). I assumed that Victoria would blow out their less experienced opponents. Boy was I wrong.

As it turns out, a significant chunk of the St. George roster is now made up of players who either played in the relatively obscure New York State League or participated in the inaugural season of the Peach State League. The New York State League is a small four-team independent circuit that started in 2007 and plays games in the metropolitan New York area. The Peach State League is made up solely of players who went undrafted in this June's MLB First-Year Player Draft. As you might expect, the Peach State League just wrapped up its first season, so it wasn't difficult to convince some of the eager 23-year-olds to sign up as a band of traveling professional baseball players. Especially since the Peach State League doesn't pay its players and all four teams play out of the same stadium in Macon, Georgia to reduce travel costs.

On Wednesday night, the Seals got beat 4-3 by a team of younger, less experienced players who just wanted it more. I don't mean to say that there weren't any talented ballplayers on "Roadrunners 2.0", because there definitely were a bunch of them. I was especially impressed by first baseman Matt Huggins, who hit a triple, knocked in a run and scored a run himself. His defensive work was simply outstanding and he ended the game on a nice running catch in foul territory. I doubt anyone else in the GBL would have run down that particular pop-up. Huggins hit .302 for three teams in the Peach State League (Robins Aviators, Albany Quails and Milledgeville Capitals) and I’m guessing the calibre of this league and the New York State League is pretty high.

On the positive side, Henry Calderon looked impressive in his Seals debut. He went 3-for-5 and hit a homer in his first at-bat as a Seal. He looks perfectly suited for the second-spot in the lineup and Kip Gross penciled him in there and moved Terrence McClain down into the three hole. Calderon played second base, but he didn't have a busy night in the field.

The Seals better put forth a better effort in the next couple of days or youthful exuberance will continue to get the better of the more-experienced Victoria squad.

Editor's Note: 

This post was originally published late last night and it incorrectly stated that the Roadrunners' roster was now comprised almost entirely of players from the Peach State League. As an alert (and anonymous) reader pointed out, there are slightly more players on the roster from the New York State League than from the Georgian circuit. We apologize for the error and thank the reader for notifying us of our mistake. We do make errors from time to time and we always appreciate reader comments, especially when it improves the quality of the blog. Keep in mind that we write this blog in our spare time and we receive no monetary compensation for our work. Things like work, family, vacations and volunteering sometimes get in the way of our blogging. We thank you for your patience when errors do occur.