Thursday, December 12, 2013
PORTLAND - By the fourth inning you could barely see the New Britain outfielders, in their gray uniforms, until they moved.
Portland’s Zach Gentile and New Britain’s Chris Colabello await a call. Both teams are still awaiting a conclusion as Friday’s game was suspended by fog.
Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer
Shannon Wilkerson slides into second base in front of New Britain’s James Beresford following a passed ball. The game was halted after four innings with New Britain leading 1-0 and will restart in the top of the fifth inning at 1 p.m. today at Hadlock Field.
WHO: Sea Dogs (TBA and Anthony Ranaudo 0-1) vs. New Britain Rock Cats (TBA and Steve Hirschfeld 3-4)
WHEN: 1 p.m.
WHERE: Hadlock Field
TICKETS: About 1,700 available
The fog was that thick at Hadlock Field on Friday night.
Too thick, as it turned out.
For only the fourth time in Portland Sea Dogs history, a home game was halted because of the fog. It happened once in 1994 and twice last year.
Friday's game was suspended after four innings, with the Rock Cats leading 1-0.
The game will be resumed at 1 p.m. today, at the start of the fifth inning. It is scheduled to go nine innings.
After the resumed game is completed, the game scheduled for today will take place. It is now slated for seven innings. Anthony Ranaudo is expected to start the seven-inning game.
Fans with tickets to today's game can see both contests.
Fans with tickets to Friday's game can exchange them for tickets of equal value to any future home game, including today's, if available.
NESN is scheduled to begin televising the action today at 1 p.m.
The game Friday was being dominated by the starting pitchers -- Portland's Chris Balcom-Miller and New Britain's Andrew Albers.
Balcom-Miller retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. The only hit he allowed was in the fourth when a short fly ball in the fog dropped in shallow left field. Left fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker made no play for the ball.
"I had no idea where it was," Hazelbaker said.
That single, sandwiched between a hit batter and a walk, loaded the bases with one out. Deibinson Romero hit into an RBI groundout to first.
Balcom-Miller, who had command problems his previous two starts, needed only 52 pitches over the four innings.
"I made a a little adjustment on the mound," he said. "Just worked on being patient, sitting back and not rushing."
The Sea Dogs got two hits off of Albers -- a bunt single in the first inning by new outfielder Shannon Wilkerson and a fourth-inning double by Reynaldo Rodriguez. Sixteen of Rodriguez's last 18 hits have been for extra bases.
After Rodriguez's double, two walks loaded the bases with two outs. But Albers struck out Zach Gentile to end the threat.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Sea Dogs ran out to their positions, but the umpires called them back in and eventually suspended the game.
"There was no question," Portland Manager Kevin Boles said about the decision. "You're running a risk out there."
In an injury not related to the fog, third baseman Ryan Dent left the game in the third inning. He felt tightness in his hamstring running out a groundout in the second inning. He played in the top of the third, but then left for the clubhouse. Dent missed two months last year with a hamstring injury but said, "this is not nearly as serious. We'll see how it feels in the next couple of days."
Heiker Meneses moved from second base to third and Gentile entered the game at second base. Dent had been playing third because regular third baseman Kolbrin Vitek is on the disabled list with a strained rib muscle.
NOTES: Outfielder Juan Carlos Linares sat out Friday after fouling a ball off his leg on Thursday ... Chris Martin, recently moved to the bullpen, will make a spot start Sunday ... Outfielder Oscar Tejeda (strained hamstring) is taking batting practice but is still not ready to run the bases Outfielder Peter Hissey (broken hand) is rehabbing in Fort Myers, Fla.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:
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Chris Balcom-Miller might have been the only Portland player enjoying Friday’s fog. Balcom-Miller needed just 52 pitches to breeze through four innings as New Britain eked out a 1-0 lead.