Georgetown, TX – It had been a whirlwind two weeks for the four prospects. In less than two weeks, they had been drafted, signed their first professional contracts, relocated across the country – some leaving home for the first time – and now they were all in the starting lineup on opening day for the Georgetown Tigers.
It was a warm but dreary night, with the sky darkening hours earlier than usual. The beautiful Georgetown Town Square was mostly empty, and the lights from Wayne Heights Grounds were reflecting on top of the slowly growing puddles. The rain was constant but light enough to play through, so there was little chance of the game being canceled. The lineup was hanging in the dugout:
- Riedy 2B
- Campbell SS
- Sweeney DH
- Terp RF
- Shipes C
- Halberg LF
- Spearing 3B
- Cole 1B
- Swoger CF
As the players stepped out onto the field for the national anthem, Elton Terp was grinning from ear to ear. He looked around at the announced crowd of nearly 10,000 fans and thought one thing: “I was made for this shit.”
Second baseman Oscar Riedy released some nerves in the top of the first inning, turning a 5-4-3 double play, and shortstop Brendon Campbell made a nice play on a ball hit hard up the middle to end the inning. Batavia did not score.
Oscar Riedy led off the bottom half by grounding out to the first baseman. Campbell then did the same, on a much harder hit ball. Ethan Sweeney singled, and Elton Terp singled up the middle with 2 outs, bringing Derek Shipes to the plate. He had a long, 10 pitch at bat, and he smoked a 3-2 fastball (104.4 MPH EV) right at the shortstop to end the inning.
“Lots of baseball left, gentleman,” Georgetown manager Thom Johnston shouted encouragingly. Nobody knew yet just how much baseball was actually left.
In the top of the 4th, Batavia finally plated the game’s first run. Georgetown tied the game in the bottom of the 6th inning on an Ethan Sweeney home run.
7th Inning? No Runs. 8th inning? Nothing. Rinse and repeat every inning until the 18th inning.
Nobody had scored for 12 innings. Finally, mercifully, in the bottom of the 18th inning, with 2 outs and Brendon Campbell on third, the pitch got away and Campbell scored from third, giving Georgetown their first win of the season. 18 innings of baseball ending on a wild pitch, but nobody was complaining.
After 18 innings and a ridiculous 5 hours and 50 minutes, the four prospects first professional baseball game was over. As they walked off the field, the dry humored Shipes asked wryly “Do you think they’ll all be like this?”
Riedy finished 2-8, Campbell was 1-7, Terp was 2-7 and Shipes was 1-6 with a walk. As expected in a 2-1 game, nobody hit well.
And then the next night, with all four in the lineup again, Georgetown would again win 2-1, this time in 12 innings. 30 Innings in the team’s first two games. Shipes was exhausted after catching all 30 innings, but would still catch the next two games as well. He caught 52 innings in 4 days, for some reason.
Oscar Riedy ruptured his Achilles tendon during the team’s fourth game, ending his season.
Oscar Riedy : .318/.318/.500 with 1 HR in 4 games before SEI.
Elton Terp : .229/.281/.338 with 3 HR in 41 games.
Derek Shipes : .368/.448/.556 with 5 HR in 32 games at Rookie League. Promoted to A+, hitting .444/.444/.833 with 5 extra base hits in 5 games since promotion.
Brendon Campbell : .281/.356/.437 with 6 HR in 43 games. 7th in ASL in Zone Rating.
Georgetown is 31-13 and leading their league.