Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Walkoff Weekend

The weather this past weekend was certainly not conducive to sitting outside and watching a ballgame, but despite this, I took in games in Nashua (NH) and Worcester (MA). And I'm glad I did as they both ended with walkoff wins for the home team.

I had not been to Holman Stadium in Nashua since 1998, the first year of the Atlantic League. While the team that plays there is the same, the park has undergone some changes. Prior to the 2002 season, new luxury boxes were built and all new seats were installed. While it will never be a great ballpark, there is nothing inherently wrong with it either. It may not be as glossy as the new Manchester park, but it is just as functional. Some may think the Pride are a lame duck team with the Fisher Cats so close by, but it didn't appear that way on Saturday night. It wasn't close to being a sellout, but the crowd was lively and into the game. Maybe the Atlantic League won't stick around in Nashua forever, but it's hard to imagine some team not playing there. As for the game, it had a great finish. Jonathan Nathans hit a three-run walk-off homer to end it in the 10th and send everyone home happy.

On Sunday, I went to the brand new Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field in Worcester. It still feels a bit unfinished, but that's to be expected when a team only has 2 months to get it built from the ground up. Hopefully by the end of the year it will feel a lot more polished. The game featured the Tornadoes hosting the New Jersey Jackals, who jumped out to a 7-2 lead after 7 innings. But for some reason, the Jackals manager decided to try to steal an inning and save his bullpen by using his worst pitcher. The move backfired as the Tornadoes scored 4 in the 8th, one in the 9th to tie it, and one in the 10th to win it.

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