With Rocky and his Rock Cats relegated to history, the New Britain 2016 baseball season opened Thursday evening with a fresh team, the Bees, and a new mascot, Sting.
The York Revolution spoiled the New Britain Bees’ inaugural Atlantic League game on Thursday night, securing a four to three victory at New Britain Stadium to open the year in winning fashion.
York (1-1) wasted little time getting its bats started for the 2016 season, scoring in the first inning to grab an early one to nothing lead. It ultimately turned out to be a lead that the Revs would never relinquish, although things did get dicey late in the contest.
York eventually built a four to one lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. Both players and fans zeroed in on the mound when Wes Alsup failed to retire any of the three New Britain batters he faced. It quickly looked like the Bees were about to have some inaugural-game magic. The atmosphere changed when newly acquired Michael Click came in for the Revolution and cleaned up the damage, only allowing one of the two runners he inherited to score. That helped the Revs escape the eighth with a four to three lead still intact.
After Alsup left the mound quietly in the top of the ninth, manager Mark Mason turned to Mike DeMark to close things out. DeMark accomplished his task easily, recording a one, two, three inning, striking out the final batter he faced to pick up the save.
Kelvin De La Cruz picked up the win for York, pitching two scoreless innings in relief of starter Mike McClendon. De La Cruz allowed two hits and a walk in two innings while striking out three. McClendon went four innings and allowed one earned run on two hits, with three walks and six strikeouts. Alsup gave up two earned runs on three hits and didn’t record an out. Click and DeMark went on to record the final six outs, allowing just one hit and striking out two.
Making the first start in Bees’ history, left- handed pitcher Josh Outman held the Revolution to three runs in five innings of work despite battling with his command for the entire game. The veteran left-hander struck out four Revolution batters. Middletown native Shawn Haviland worked four impressive innings in relief of Outman, striking out five and allowing just one run on two hits.
Despite nine hits, the Bees were unable to string hits together, scoring a single run in the 4th on a Jovan Rosa run-scoring triple. New Britain did rally for two runs in the bottom half of the eighth inning thanks to two wild pitches and a RBI single by first baseman Jon Griffin. The Bees also stole three bases in the game, with two coming from outfielder Greg Golson.
A look at Golson’s box score would tell you he earned “zero-two” with two strikeouts. You might miss that in his two previous at bats, he saw six plus pitches and walked both times. To top it all off he had two stolen bases (one in the bottom of the fourth) that led to the first run for the Bee’s franchise.
“Early on I will try and see some pitches,” Golson said. “For the most part I’m selectively aggressive and if I see a pitch I like, I’ll try and take advantage of it.” It’s safe to say that if Golson can keep that approach throughout the season, he will score nothing but success for the Bees.
The Bees recorded their first win Friday night with a score of one to nothing against the Revolution.. New Britain closes out their series with York tonight at New Britain Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM at New Britain Stadium.
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