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Let's Play One

We’ve got just a single nine-inning game today, but I must admit that I kind of like the two seven-inning games thing. The games go fast and you get to see 14 innings of baseball without it dragging on at all. Though I must say, the American Association is behind the times a little bit in making doubleheader games seven innings. This is professional baseball, isn’t it? Let’s play nine. They’re men. They can handle it.

There were a lot of interesting things going on yesterday. Most notably, a series of Christian bands were performing across the parking lot behind the left field wall, making for quite an interesting ballpark atmosphere. I won’t speak to the skill level of the bands other than to say I probably would have more enjoyed an endless loop of last year’s Stephen Pearson walkup song, “Superstar” by Lupe Fiasco.

Then after the bands, there was some other group with a religious message. I’m not sure exactly what that message was, but there was a lot of yelling and a lot of counting down from 5 to 1. And I thought they announced that former NFL player Shaun King was in attendance, but I don’t think it was him. I think it was somebody else and I misunderstood.

Finally, the fireworks produced a brief episode of mass hysteria. There were no fireworks going into the sky, just flashes behind a few buildings, causing many in the press box to believe that something had gone seriously wrong. Apparently that wasn’t the case, however. The fireworks eventually began going in the right direction and the 25-minute show was marginally entertaining.

All of that paled in comparison to Wichita’s two wins over Lincoln, the Wingnuts’ first wins of the season and the first in Kevin Hoopers managerial career. Dustan Mohr, who lost a lot of weight in the offseason and looks to be in phenomenal shape, blasted two home runs during the doubleheader, including the first walkoff homer in team history to end the second game.

It’s probably not too early to assume that Mohr, after struggling because of health problems last season, is back. But it probably is too early to assume that we won’t be seeing much production from the other middle-of-the-order hitters.

Kelly Hunt has already struck out four times and has only a single to show for his first nine at-bats. Greg Porter had two singles in the first game but was 0 for 7 yesterday. Michael Thompson had two hits yesterday but doesn’t look entirely comfortable at the plate. Former Shockers Nick Blasi and Joe Muich, who didn’t start Game 2 yesterday, are also looking for their first hits.

Still, it’s only three games so we have to imagine that these guys will get it going eventually. Their track records look too solid for them not to. Maybe it will happen today. We’ll see.

Come on out to the ballpark. Just baseball today, no background music.