I took in my first game of the season this year, as I was in attendance for the New Britain Rock Cats (Twins) taking on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays).
At first, this was a slow game. New Britain had this game in hand, getting hit after hit, but just not scoring any runs. They had men on third numerous times, but just couldn't put them across the plate. With a man on second, there was a single to left field and, to me, was an apparent run. But the Fisher Cats' left fielder, Ron Davenport, threw a bullet to home plate and gunned the runner out to keep the score at zero all.
In the seventh I wasn't really watching the scoreboard until I heard the smack of the bat and saw a Carlo Cota home run go over the wall for the Fisher Cats to take the lead 1-0. That was the Fisher Cats' first hit of the game, and was the first run of the game for either team.
The Rock Cats got two in the eighth, and the life in the New Hampshire crowd was pretty much gone. Pretty much gone. Not completely.
Before the bottom of the 9th inning, with the score 2-1 Rock Cats, the stadium played a clip from "Animal House" where John Belushi says that "when the going get's tough, the tough get going" and runs out of the room. Apparently the Fisher Cats were listening.
Pat Neshek came in to close the game for the Rock Cats and was doing his job until he had two outs in the game. Leadoff hitter Miguel Negron hit a single, and then was advanced with a single by Carlo Cota. Designated hitter Kevin Baker then came up and with the crowd behind him he hit a gapper to left center that scored both runs and won the ball game. Walk off double.
It doesn't get much better than that.
July 9th I'm going back to Manchester, New Hampshire to see the Fisher Cats take on the Portland Sea Dogs, the Red Sox double-A affiliate.