MOBILE , Ala. - A solid effort by the Mobile BayBears' pitching staff went for naught as they lose their season opener to the Carolina Mudcats 3-1 at Hank Aaron Stadium. Brooks Brown (0-1) started the ballgame for the BayBears and suffers the loss after giving up three runs in five innings.
Brown and Carolina (1-0) starter Burke Badenhop (1-0) traded zeros through the first three innings, but the Mudcats broke the tie in a big way by scoring three times in the fourth innings. Florida Marlins top prospect Cameron Maybin hit a deep home run over BayBear Mountain in left field to give Carolina the lead. After a double by Gaby Sanchez, a walk to Kris Harvey and a single by Brad Davis, the Mudcats had the bases loaded for shortstop Manuel Mayorson, who lined a ball down the third base line for a two-run double.
The BayBears (0-1) would stay off the scoreboard until the sixth when center fielder Greg Thomson reached on an infield single and took on an error by second baseman Chris Coghlan. Rusty Ryal followed that with a base hit which allowed Thomson to score the BayBears' first run of the 2008 season.
Despite the lack of offense, the BayBears showed plenty of promise on the pitching and defensive sides. After Brown left the ballgame, three BayBear relievers combined to pitch four scoreless innings while allowing just one hit. Matt Elliott worked a scoreless sixth while Abe Woody worked the seventh. Vince Bongiovanni came on for the final two innings.
The BayBears' defense sparkled as right fielder Chris Rahl made an outstanding diving catch to end the first inning while left fielder Cyle Hankerd robbed Davis of a hit in the second.
Greg Thomson extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his base hit in the sixth inning.
Before the game, former BayBears manager Brett Butler threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The BayBears fell to 4- 8 in franchise history on opening days and 1-3 on opening day against Carolina
The Mobile BayBears, in conjunction with the National
Baseball Hall of Fame and the American Library Association (ALA), have announced
that Hall of Famer and Mobile native Ozzie Smith will kick off season three of the national Step Up to the
Plate @ your library® program in Mobile on Friday, April 4.
At a morning library event at the Baker High School library, Smith will lead a
group of students through a series of baseball trivia questions developed by librarians at
the Hall of Fame for the Step Up to the Plate program. Later in the evening, Smith, ALA
and Hall of Fame and local library representatives will be recognized on field during a
pre-game ceremony promoting the program.
The BayBears also battle the Mudcats again tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. Call the BayBears for tickets at (251) 479-2327 (BEAR) or log on to mobilebaybears.com.