by Robert Held
The New Britain Bees fell behind early to the York Revolution in the team’s first game ever, and were never quite able to come back, losing by a score of 4-3.
Revolution outfielder Jason Repko hit a double on only the fourth pitch of the game from Bees’ starter Josh Outman. He was able to advance to third before scoring on a double play, to put the Bees behind 1-0 in the first inning.
Outman pitched in and out of trouble all night. The former major leaguer took the loss after pitching five innings and allowing three earned runs. Outman gave up five hits, five walks, and struck out six.
The former Cardinals left handed reliever, is the top starter in the Bees pitching staff followed by Nick Greenwood, Cole Johnson, Brian Dupra, and Kyle Simon.
In the fourth inning the Revolution were threatening again with the bases loaded and no outs. However, Outman only let up one run in the inning on a potential double play ball that Repko was able to be out at first, allowing a second run to score.
The Bees stung back in the bottom of the fourth after infielder Jovan Rosa laced a triple off Revolution starter Mike McClendon, allowing Greg Golson to score the first ever run in Bees history. McClendon was only able to pitch four innings and therefore did not qualify for the win. Instead the win went to Kelvin De La Cruz, who was excellent in two innings of relief work.
In the fifth inning, the Revolution again had the bases loaded with no outs thanks to two walks and an error by Outman. The Bees were again unable to turn a double play, allowing the Revolution to make the score 3-1.
Not turning double plays haunted the Bees throughout the whole game. The Revolution had runners on first and third in the top of the seventh inning, when outfielder Michael Rockett hit a ground ball, that he was able to beat out at first to push the score to 4-1.
The Bees attempted to make a comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning. After designated hitter Kevin Rivers hit a single, Rosa hit a fly ball that mishandled by Repko giving the Bees runners on second and third with no outs. Rivers than scored on a wild pitch from Revolution reliever Wes Alsup, who had a rough outing giving up two runs without recording an out. Jon Griffin then hit a single, driving in Rosa and making the score 4-3.
Alsup was then replaced by Michael Click who was able to get all three outs of the inning, after the Bees had the tying run on second. Mike DeMark was able to get the final three outs in order for the Revolution and pickup a save in the process.
Despite the loss, Bees relief pitcher Shawn Haviland was able to pitch effectively in relief. Haviland went four innings with five strikeouts and kept the Bees in the game by only allowing one earned run.
The Bees players were not the only ones having a rough night.
“I stumbled at the end but that is what opening day is for,” said Bees radio announcer Chris Knoblock.
Even though the Bees lost, the night was not all bad. The stadium was nearly filled to capacity, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart threw out a successful ceremonial first pitch, and even the gift shop ran out of gray Bees hats due to heavy demand.
“I just didn’t want to have as bad a first pitch as 50 cent and end up all over YouTube, so I practiced in the parking lot of my office earlier today,” said Mayor Stewart.
The Bees next game is tonight at 6:35pm once again against the Revolution. The first 1,000 fans in attendance get a free season schedule poster featuring Bees mascot Sting. This has some fans excited to already come back.
“Tonight was so much fun,” said Terryville resident Ashley Rondo. “I can’t wait to come back tomorrow and watch it all over again.”