Holy Pat Benatar!! It's 80's night out here at Gesa Stadium, and we've got some quite colorful and creative outfits tonight.
I'm seeing lots of hot pink headbands, leg warmers and ponytails along the concourse. And the women are dressed up, too.
Even up in the press box, some of the staff has taken part. Media relations man Heath Harshman is wearing his dad's old letter jacket, which I thought was a nice touch. He's got sort of a Teen Wolf thing going. Good thing it's not a hot day, or he'd be hurting.
Dust Devils play-by-play man Jason Schwartz got into the act, too, dressing up in black. Unfortunately, this is the night we sent our photographer, Paul T. Erickson, out to get a shot of Jason for an upcoming feature story. He was slightly mortified, but I think he looks fine. Then again, I myself am a product of the 80s.
I'm disappointed to hear that Tim Gittel, the Dust Devils VP of Business Operations, shaved off a pretty cool looking beard for the sake of the promotion. I hear he's rocking a filthy mustache, though. Way to take one for the team, Tim!
A little surprised not to see any early Madonna looks out here. Mostly it's the Jennifer Beals look from Flashdance. Although one of the groundskeepers was sporting a serious Vince Neil death-metal wig as he swept around the corners.
How about some baseball action?
Tri-City leads 2-0 after four innings. Jared Simon led off the second inning with a walk, and Ryan Casteel followed with a triple to the wall in left center for a 1-0 lead. Casteel later scored on a wild pitch by Yakima starter Teo Gutierrez to make it 2-0.
Dust Devils squandered a good chance to add some insurance in the fourth, as Simon walked and Casteel singled to lead off the inning. But Juan Crousset and Jeff Squier struck out, and Jaron Shepherd grounded out to first to end the frame.
Another visit from Scott Tylinski, the Dust Devils official scorer. He said the scoreboard/scoring/sound crew has had a good time with 80s night. Derrell Ebert just walked by with a white bandana wrapped around his head. Scott wanted me to mention something about "Derrell-san" and "officer Tim".
Consider it done.
Just watched a fan catch a foul ball on a nice easy bounce behind the plate. He then looked around him, leaned over to his left and tossed the ball to a little boy sitting in the next section. An awfully nice gesture. Somebody buy that man a beer!!!
Yakima gets a run in the fifth and another in the sixth to tie it. Tri-City starter Vianney Mayo got a little sloppy in the fifth, loading the bases with no outs on a single, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He was lucky to give up only one run.
But overall, Mayo has pitched pretty well. A defensive bobble by Dust Devils 3B Jeff Squier may have cost the team a run. He might have forced Jimmy Comerota at second otherwise. Comerota came around to score on Henry Zabala's single to right to tie the score at 2.
Here's where the loss of 1B Jordan Ribera really hurts. Not only was he a great bat, but he was a fantastic defensive player. Tonight the Dust Devils have Tyler Massey, usually an outfielder by trade, at first, and it cost them in the seventh. Tri-City reliever Craig Bennigson had a runner on second and two outs, and induced a room-service grounder to Smalling at shortstop. But Massey dropped a good throw to first, which would have ended the inning, and the runner from second came in to score.
Now Yakima leads 3-2 on a bad break for Bennigson.
Here's something you don't see every day. On a 1-2 count from Bears reliever Miles Reagan, Shepherd swung at an inside pitch and somehow took it off the knuckle. After a few minutes with trainer Andy Stover, Shepherd had to leave the game and was replaced by Leonardo Reyes.
The good news? Reyes drew a walk to start off the inning — the Dust Devils' fourth leadoff batter to reach base today. And that starts a whirlwind of offense for Tri-City. Reyes went to second on a wild pitch and took third on a balk by Reagan. Hernandez then reached on an error and stole second to set up runners on second and third for Humphries.
Humphries struck out, but reached on a dropped third strike to load the bases.
The fun continued when Reagan was replaced by Drew Zizinia, who threw a wild pitch that scored Reyes and advanced Humphries and Hernandez to second and third. Zizinia almost got out of the jam at that point, retiring Smalling and Massey.
But then Simon, who had five RBIs in his last three games, lined an 0-2 fastball over the left field wall for a three-run homer and a 6-3 Tri-City lead.
A pretty fun inning.
And that's the way it ends. Bennigson is let off the hook and gets the win, and Ken Roberts shuts the Bears down with a perfect ninth.
Tri-City remains in a first-place tie with Spokane in the NWL East.