The crowd of 6,236 was really waiting for the fireworks display scheduled for after the ballgame.
Silly crowd.The Trappers and Giants pulled enough multi-colored tricks out of the cannister Friday night at Derks Field to render the fireworks ineffective in a 13-9 Trapper victory.
Unfortunately, they both made it look like rookie-league ball - definitely not Streak material. When was the last time you saw a professional ballplayer hit by a batted ball on the basepaths? Or saw a pro pitcher handle a chopping ground ball that is going foul when he has no chance to make a play, while bases are occupied, no less? When was the last time you saw a pro team with a 13-0 lead give up nine runs in the next inning? Or use four pitchers in one inning?
"We can't be up 13 runs and give up nine and go through four pitchers. It's ridiculous. It's just mental, not physical," said Trapper reliever Michael Gibbons, who finally put out the fire and got the Traps through to the win. "They read in the papers about the Japanese pitchers coming and Van (chley) saying he's going to make a move, and they think they're going to be released, and as a coincidence, they don't throw strikes."
Just part of the early season charm of this year's Trappers.
"It was a nightmare," said Trapper Manager Barry Moss. "Never in my 14 years of coaching have I ever seen pitchers who can't get outs like this," he said, directing accusations at the middle relievers again, noting that starter Willie Ambos, responsible for six runs, developed a blister and that he left him in the game for a few runs.
"Sitting between (ong) innings is very tough on a pitcher, and he has a shoulder that stiffens," said Moss, absolving Ambos.
Things were sailing. Ambos had himself a two-hit shutout for six innings, and the Traps had scored two in the fourth, six in the fifth with three doubles being the big plays, and five in the sixth on four singles, a double and an error.
Then came the seventh. Kerry Shaw hurt a knee going for a ground ball and couldn't make the play. He left the game. Ambos followed six runs later after striking out the second batter of the inning, giving a single to Jack Penrod and seeing Penrod get hit by Dave Slavin's grounder for a second out.
Ambos then surrendered two singles, a double, a single. Ed Ramirez came in, and it didn't help him when the second baseman wound up like a center fielder for a short throw to first and missed Greg Ehmig's range. Ramirez walked the next two and was relieved by Blaine Reber, who walked in a run and gave up a single and left in favor of Gibbons, who got a grounder to end the inning.
Gibbons then got through the final two innings giving up just one hit and no runs to preserve the win.
Gibbons said he just comes in to throw strikes and let hitters hit it to the defense, trying only to control the location and sinkability of his pitches to keep it on the ground. he credited catcher Mando Verdugo for working well with him on such plays.
TRAPPER NOTES - The Trappers have released backup catcher Bill Fellows, the only member of the squad to have played with the 1987 championship team. Fellows' departure is by mutual consent, said player personnel director Van Schley. Fellows assumed he wouldn't advance by not playing regularly, and he wasn't going to beat out Mando Verdugo, Schley said. Tim McKercher and Marty Peralta, both listed as infielders, will be backup catchers ... Schley said Japanaese imports Masami Yamada and Akihiro Fukushima are now expected to reach the team July 7 after having visa problems ... Schley said he's still hoping to find a middle-relief pitcher somewhere ... 1987 Trapper pitcher Kent Hetrick has moved from Class A ball to AA at El Paso. He's the first of the Streakers to reach AA ... Recently signed Randy Moore, who'll platoon with Rick Hurni in right field, is the brother of former (984) Weber State outside linebacker Jeff Moore. His father is four-time all-America Don Moore of Boise State and Idaho College ... The Trappers start a five game road trip Saturday at Pocatello.