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Friday, May 18, 2012
LAREDO, Texas – As was the case in the majority of their 39 losses in 2011, the Grand Prairie AirHogs had their chances in the 2012 season opener at Uni-Trade Stadium. But Thursday night the big hits never came, as the AirHogs stranded 10 men on base in a 5-1 defeat to the Laredo Lemurs in that franchise’s and stadium’s first game.
Grand Prairie (0-1) actually got on the board first, with a long solo home run by Trent Lockwood to right-center in the second inning. But that was all the AirHogs would get against Lemurs starter Todd Privett (1-0) and a trio of relievers.
John Brownell (0-1) held Laredo (1-0) off the scoreboard in the first two innings, but ran into immediate trouble in the third. Ninth-place hitter Jeff Vincent lined a double to left to start the inning, before a bunt single by Jimmy Mojica put runners on the corners with no outs. Anthony Scelfo then punched a single to right to tie the game and Yunesky Sanchez followed with another hit to right to make it 2-1.
Brownell got out of further trouble that inning and worked two more scoreless frames before leaving after five, allowing the two runs on six hits, with three walks and five strikeouts.
The AirHogs’ put two on with two outs in the fourth but David Thomas struck out to end the inning, but Grand Prairie’s best chance to level the score came in the fifth. Chris McMurray walked to start the inning and moved to second on a groundout by Yasutsugu Nishimoto. Keanon Simon then lined a single to center and advanced to third when Vincent’s throw home sailed over the cutoff man.
But with runners at second and third and one out, Bridger Hunt grounded into a fielder’s choice and Brian Myrow bounced to second to end the threat. Two more walks in each of the sixth and seventh innings went for naught against Laredo relievers, and McMurray struck out to end the eighth against Chaz Roe with two more AirHogs on.
Meanwhile, the Lemurs put the game away with a two-out rally in the seventh, getting two straight walks of Ronnie Morales before Sanchez and John Allen had first-pitch RBI hits off Griffin Bailey to provide the final three insurance runs for Laredo.
Notes: The announced attendance was 5,923 in Uni-Trade Stadium’s first game…The AirHogs drew six walks and one hit batsman but none of those players scored…AirHogs manager Ricky VanAsselberg is now 1-6 in season openers in his career – but has made the playoffs in all six of the losses and failed to reach the postseason in the one year his club won its first game (2009 with Shreveport-Bossier)…Andres Rodriguez was the only AirHog with multiple hits, ripping a double and a single.
The 2011 American Association Champion Grand Prairie AirHogs continue their four-game series against the Laredo Lemurs on Friday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. The 2012 home opener is Monday, May 21, at 7:05 p.m. against the El Paso Diablos with a Championship Ring Ceremony presented by the Grand Prairie Parks & Recreation Department and Balfour. All games are aired live and for free on Ustream by clicking on the link on the AirHogs’ home page or visiting http://www.ustream.tv/channel/airhogs-baseball with selected contests aired on Time Warner Cable’s Texas Channel. For information on tickets, promotions, advertising, and other opportunities with the AirHogs, check out the Web site at www.airhogsbaseball.com, or call the QuikTrip Park office at (972) 504-9383.