It was a sunny day when Alby came visiting for the home opener of 2013. The stands was crowded and some people fortunately brought some chairs with them, making everyone have a place to sit. People of all ages attended the games. The Sharks have had a celebrity with some ties to Gothenburg throwing the ceremonial first pitch in the past years. Unfortunately that did not happen for the 2013 season opener since the person had to cancel on the same day. The chairwoman of the board, Maria Jönsson, did present the future of the Sharks instead. Two kids participating in the Bee Ball practice that the Sharks has every Sunday did a very good job delivering the first pitch and a few minutes later the spectators could hear “Play ball” and the game was on!
Line up Sharks
- Branden Rooper-Hubbert P-C
- Anders Ekberg 2B
- Patrick Laffin CF
- Andreas “Walle” Wahlin 1B-RF
- Joe Lankford 3B
- Johan Weidolf C-1B
- Christian Göttlicher P
- Rickard Göransson SS
- Wilhelm “Ville” Sundin RF-LF-P
- José Martinez LF-P
- Mathias Johansson LF
Line up Alby Stars
- Demond Wiltshire 3B
- Roberto Hanoi Labrador LF
- Vladimir De La Rosa SS
- Aridany Moreno C
- Emil Sahlin CF
- Tayron Feliz 1B
- Jayron Feliz 2B
- Ramon Illa DH
- Sebastian Diaz RF
- Raul Lozano P (not batting)
Brandon starts as pitcher in the first game. Wiltshire leads the Stars off, but was definitely caught off guard by Branden who only needed three pitches to retire him looking at the last strike. A great start by Branden! Labrador hits the third pitch to 3B Lankford for the out. De La Rosa takes five pitches to retire swinging. What a start by Branden!
Branden leads it all off by hitting a short fly ball in the gap between first and second base for a single. Lozano keep Branden on his toes by a pick off attempt. Throws a strike and then a pick off attempt to first base again. Branden jumped back on base gracefully, not even close to be picked off base. Lozano tosses Ekberg a ball while Branden steals second. Ekberg unfortunately strikes out looking. Patrick steps up to the plate. Lorenzo tried to pick off Branden but failed once more. Patrick crushed one hard flying to the deep center field for a double. Branden scored easily. Walle steps up to the plate and fouls one off and then pops one up to the short stop De La Rosa for the second out of the inning. Joe steps up and shows determination to get on base. On his tenth pitch Joes founds himself hitting a line drive in the gap between second base and the short stop. Joe reached second for the double. Patrick was paying attention in his base running and took the opportunity to score on a passed ball. Lozano tries to pick Joe off second but fails. Unfortunately Weidolf flied out to left fielder Labrador for the inning.
Moreno starts second for the Stars with a fly ball to the glove of right fielder Sundin for the first out. Sahlin grounds out on the play from 3B Lankford to 1B Walle. Jayron reached first on too many balls from Branden. Jayron stole second, in vain. Tayron strikes out, even though the pitch was droped, Weidolf was right there to pick it up and an accurate throw to Wahlin on first base ended the inning.
Göransson got an base due to an error from first baseman Jayron Feliz. Ville reaches first on a fielders choice and Göransson didn’t make it to second. José at bat. Lozano tries to pick Ville off base, but fails. José works up a full count when Lozano tries to pick Ville off base and he was caught stealing. José hits a single. However he was stranded there after Branden hits a pop up to second base for the inning. Three Sharks got on first base but none made it passed first base.
The designated hitter Ramon Illa reached first after Lankford was charged with an error after a ground ball to third. Sebastian bunted out to pitcher Branden who forced the out on his throw to first base. Ramon reached second on that play. Wiltshire hits a double after a deep fly ball into center field close to the arena limit. Ramon scored on that double. Labrador grounds out on the play from the short stop Göransson to first baseman Walle. Wiltshire steals third. Wiltshire managed to score a run after a passed ball(?). De La Rosa was walked by Branden after four straight balls. Moreno flies out to center field where Patrick picks the ball down safely, ending the inning.
Ekberg hits a hard line drive towards third which the short, but agile, Wiltshire managed to catch after a quick and high jump for the first out. Patrick reached base on balls after five pitches. Lozano attempts twice to pick off Patrick from first, but he stays. Walle eventually grounds out on the play from short stop to first. Patrick reaches second. Lankford ends the inning after looking at the last strike.
Sahlin grounds out Branden which safely makes the throw to first base. Jayron strikes out after just four pitches. Tayron got on first on a ground ball towards short stop defense area. Tayron tried to steal second and finally reached after the short stop was charged with an error. Tayron got greedy and while Illa still at bat he tried to steal third as well, but was caught for the final out of the inning.
Weidolf grounded out to second base which safely made the play to first baseman for the forced out. Göransson reached first on a line drive in the gap between first baseman and short stop. Göransson was unlucky with the fielders defensive decisions when he once again failed to reach second on a fielders choice on behalf of Ville. José grounded out to second baseman Tayron which makes the throw to Jayron on first in time for the final out of the inning.
Ramon Illa continues his interrupted at bat the previous inning. Ramon grounds out towards the pitcher, but got on first due to an error on the catch on first base. Diaz does a mini pop up which the catcher Weidolf takes care of. Wiltshire at bat when Ramon steals second. Wiltshire immediately hit a single with a line drive towards second base. Ramon makes third safely. Labrador flies out to left fielder José. De La Rosa finally strikes out swinging after protecting the plate well after 10 pitches.
Branden starts the inning with a hard line drive passed the short stop for a single. Lozano tries to keep Branden on first with two pick off attempts, but he still managed to steal second. Ekberg got a big piece of the ball, but unfortunately center fielder Sahlin managed to catch it for the out. Patrick got hit by a pitch and advanced to first. Walle fouls the first pitch off and then really hits it good! A fly ball into deep center field which renders in a double. Branden scores from second and Patrick scores from first! Lankford is up! He selects his pitches carefully and stares down three balls until finally finding something to hit! A soft fly ball just over and passed second baseman for a single. Walle embraced the opportunity and scores from second. Göransson gives Lanford the opportunity to advance to second, which he does. Unfortunately he failed to reach base himself on the throw from short stop to first baseman. Ville grounded out towards first baseman who took care of the out himself unassisted for the final out of the inning.
The sharks decided to save an inning of pitching that Branden was allowed to do in the double header. José takes the mound. Branden takes Weidolfs position as the catcher which pushes Walle to right field and Ville finally takes José’s position as left fielder.
Moreno was walked when on full count. Moreno advances to second on a wild pitch. Sahlin gets on first after a fly ball just over second baseman. José had to leave the field injured. He was massaging his upper pitching arm while leaving the field. Ville replaces him and Mathias Johansson enters the game and moves out to left outer field. Moreno scores on a passed ball. Sahlin reaches third base on a passed ball. Jayron got hit by a pitch moving him to first. Tayron reaches on a fielders choice but Jayron was caught by Ekberg assisted by Göransson. Ramon reached base on balls, Tayron moved on to second and Sahlin scores. Diaz was walked too, now bases are loaded! While Wiltshire moves up to the batters box the Shark coaches are acting. Christian Göttlicher replaces Sahlin. Weidolf leaves the game. Walle takes back first base from Weidolf and Sahlin moves out to right field. Wiltshire grounds on the throw from the short stop Göransson to first base. Walle reacts fast on the forced out and throws a good throw back to the catcher Branden teaching Alby third base runners that you should not challenge him for the home plate. Jayron literally hit a brick wall. Of course he was tagged out by Branden which immediately checked up on Jayron making sure he was ok. Jayron limped back to the dugout.
Johansson takes his first at bat and starts off with a walk. Branden hits the first pitch he sees and puts it deep into center field. Unfortunately Sahlin is there to pick it down for the out. Ekberg grounds out to first baseman who makes the out himself. Patrick was walked. Walle did a very controlled at bat reaching base on balls. Bases are loaded! Lankford failed to capitalize on that opportunity seeing his fly ball to left field being caught by Labrador for the final out.
Labradors turn at bat. He hits a single and advances to second on a passed ball. De La Rosa hits a single. Moreno hits a ground ball to Ekberg at second base which makes the throw in time to first for the out. Labrador and De La Rosa advances to third and second. Sahlin hits a fly ball to shallow right field. He reaches first on an error by the short stop. Labrador scores. De La Rosa occupies third base. Jayron hits a grounder to the pitcher Göttlicher, which decides to let Jayron on base and throws the ball to the catcher Branden which tags De La Rosa out. Branden just had to flex his muscles this time and no one got bruised. Tayron hits a grounders towards short stop, but both Tayron makes first base in time as well as Sahlin making home plate, scoring. Ramon hits a line drive, passing the short stop, making it to first. Jayron moves on to third and Tayron to second. bases loaded! Diaz hits a grounder towards the shortstop making the play to second base for the final out.
Göttlichers turn at bat in the number six position inherited after Weidolf. Göttlicher hits a line drive in the gap between short stop and second baseman for a single. Göransson hits a fly ball right over second base for a single. Göttlicher advances to second base. Ville lays down a bunt sacrificing himself for an advance to second and third base by Göttlicher and Göransson. Johansson reaches first on a fielders choice, however Göttlicher was safe at home plate, scoring. Branden reached first on a fielders choice where Johansson was tagged out at second. Göransson safely reached third. Ekberg struck out swinging for the last out of the inning.
Göttlicher finally seemed to get some help by the defense. Wiltshire grounded out to the short stop making the play to first base in time. Labrador flies out to right fielder Sundin. De La Rosa hits a hard fly ball to deep center field for a double. Moreno hits a hard ground ball passed the short stop converting it into a single. De La Rosa scores from second. Sahlin has once again a fine at bat eventually taking him to first after four balls. Moreno managed to steal first, second and then third during that at bat. Jayron seemed pumped about batting in some runs. Fouling off the first two pitches and the strikes out. The pitch was dropped but Branden was quickly there to tag for the final out.
The Sharks are down 6 to 7 entering bottom eight. Lozano finally retires after nearly 130 pitches for the day. The DH Ramon takes over the pitching. He starts by walking Patrick. Walle reached base on balls too and Patrick moves on to second. Joe was looking for a walk too, but the first two balls was called strikes and he failed to get a piece of the third ball thrown at him and struck out swinging. Göttlicher followed up on a bottom eight tradition reaching first on balls. Bases are loaded and everyone was walked there. Göransson failed to capitalize on the situation in the worst possible way, grounding out into a double play bringing Göttlicher with him.
If the Sharks could keep themselves from letting any runs here, they would have a good opportunity to turn the game around. Still down 6 to 7, but they have been giving themselves chances to win the game, just not getting the little extra for the run. One could start feeling the excitement around the audience and the players. It has been a very long game and everyone couldn’t wait to see the last inning where the win both teams has been waiting for should be awarded one of them.
Göttlicher continues on the mound. Starting off by walking Tayron after four straight balls. A bit nervous, no? Ramon protects the plate well and finally after six pitches (no balls) hits a grounder towards the short stop. However the out at second didn’t happen and both Ramon and Tayron reached safely. Second baseman was charged with an error. During Diaz at bat, Lankford did his part of the job catching Tayron stealing. Lankford had to get a band aid after that play. Fortunately he got back into the game again after a short break. Diaz finally reached first base after sending a grounder towards the short stop, which should have made the play to first charging him with an error. Ramon advanced to second. The audience started to feel a bit uncomfortable. Top of the order once again and Wiltshire hit a line drive just pass third baseman Lankford for a base hit. Ramon and Diaz advanced to third and second loading up all bases. Labrador hits a line drive just right of second base for a single. Both Ramon and Diaz scores. Wiltshire advanced to third from first. De La Rosa hits a line drive passed the short stop for a base hit. Wiltshire scores. De La Rosa was picked off at first by a nice throw by the catcher Branden to Walle at first base. Moreno finally grounds out to Göttlicher who makes to the play in time to Walle at first. Three runs scored by Alby was not what the doctor ordered!
The Sharks are down 6-10 and desperately needs four runs for extra innings or five for a walk off win. Ville leads it off good by carefully deciding what to hit and not to hit and was walked to first. Johansson takes one for the team and got on base after being hit by a pitch. Ville takes second. Branden continues the walking tradition and Ramon has once again set up himself in a bad position with bases loaded, no outs. The crowd got even more exited when a glimpse of hope came to them. Ekberg, who had a terrible at bat this far, hit a grounder just passed the short stop, for a base hit and Ville scores with bases once again loaded. Patrick takes the first out after a line drive right into the glove of the short stop which sadly enough also managed to tag Johansson for the second out in the same play . Walle reaches first when right field failed to catch his fly ball, charging right field with an error. Branden scores from second. Ekberg makes third from first. Walle stays at first. Lankford was determined to give Sharks the chance to win this despite the miserable top ninth and hits a fly ball that drops just after passing the short stop for a base hit. Ekberg scores from third and Walle takes two bases to third. Göttlicher takes a pitch on his shoulder for the team and loads up all bases. Göransson at bat, bases are loaded and the spectators are now really exited! One more run for extra innings and two more for the win! Ramon finally finds the strike zone and lands two strikes after one another. Göransson doesn’t agree the least when the takes the third called strike for the game..
Alby wins, and the Gothenburg Sharks felt robbed. Both by the amount of scoring chances they set up for them during the game, that was enough to score a few more runs, but probably also for all the plays they gave Alby during the game. Outs that did not happen that eventually scored later in the inning. Poor Göttliches did a good job on the mound, but the defense just didn’t pull it together when he needed them the most. The team and coaches needed to quickly regroup for the second game to bounce back and not to give away another win to Alby.
What to see the play by play, check out IScore central as the game was broadcasted play by play.
We also have an unofficial and unfortunately not completely correct protocol: Alby @ Gothenburg Game 1