Week 1: Plugs Whallop Goats, 'Topes Top Wonders, Phils & Grays Rained Out
Plug Uglies 11
Fainting Goats 0
WP: Greg Elbaum
LP: Eddie Esposito
At last it was Opening Night of the 2023 TNB season, and the Plug Uglies and the Fainting Goats were ready to go after some sketchy weather threatened the proceedings. The first pitch of the season was thrown under dark skies at School Street Park in Agawam, in a rematch of a classic first round playoff game in 2022. That game saw the Goats dominate for six innings, only to have a Plug Uglies come back in the seventh for a shocking win.
This game was very different in that it was all Uglies all night, who coasted to an 11-0 win. Greg “G-Bomb” Elbaum pitched a gem, going five scoreless innings. The Goats were able to get plenty of men on base, but G-Bomb always pitched himself out of trouble.
The Plugs scored 2 in the first (RBIs for Matt Boulanger and Jeff Cabana), 2 in the third (RBIs from Noodles Bennett and Cabana), and put the game out of reach with 6 more runs in the fourth.
Despite some great defense from Tom Conway at SS (who also went 2-3 at the plate), the Goats couldn’t comeback. The game was called after 6 innings because of darkness.
Jeff Cabana (3-3, 2 runs, 3 RBI) and Greg Elbaum (5 IP, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB) led the Uglies' onslaught. Rookie, Mike Martindell, collected his first TNB50 hit for the Goats.
Game photos courtesy of Stu Clark
WP: Gary Webber
LP: Nabil Hannoush
Thursday evening featured an opening night pitchers' duel at a cloudy, dreary and chilly Mitchell Field in Holyoke. Gary Webber scattered 7 hits over 7 innings, including 7 strike outs, 1 hit batter and 1 walk in an excellent season debut complete game. Not to be outdone, Wonders hurler Nabil Hanoush scattered 8 hits over 7 innings with 3 strike outs, 2 walks, one hit batter and zero earned runs. Four throwing errors hurt the Wonders' chances of outscoring the Topes. Andy Ayres bombed a triple to deep right field and Luke Cavagnac went 2 for 3 with two solid line drive singles off his old teammate for the Wonders offensive stars. Newcomer Diego Ortiz went 3-3 and was a vacuum at first base for the Isotopes.
The Phillies and Grays were postponed Wednesday evening. The game has been rescheduled for July 27th at Herlihy Park.