Even though the California League lost 9-1 in Carolina, the Bakersfield contingent made themselves known. Billy Hamilton started off the game with a drag bunt single and stole 2nd and 3rd. Now what was incredible about this is that when Billy was stealing 2nd, it was against a PITCHOUT, but yet still he made it safely. It’s pretty rare to steal 2nd on a pitchout, but we are talking about the Carolina League’s BEST catcher, Mike Freitas from the Nationals. The California League was humbled pretty badly though as Hamilton scored the team’s lone run in the first inning. That was enough to get Hamilton the California Team MVP of the game.
Bakersfield’s other two representatives did well as Chad Rogers came in for an inning of relief in the 6th and gave up one unearned run. Blaze closer Brian Pearl came in to start the bottom of the eighth and pitched got two outs before they opted for Quakenbush to get some playing time.
There were two other Blaze nominations to the roster, Donald Lutz, who is still on the DL (hoping to return soon in the 2nd half) and Tony Cingrani who is now pitching in AA for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
This was a FANTASTIC showing for the Bakersfield Blaze and even though unfortunate for the Cal League, it’s great to see our guys make a mark. Now we just need them to start off the 2nd half of the season with the same way they ended the first and having Lutz back will be a huge help.