Saturday night was about as beautiful of a night as you could ask for to go to a baseball game. There were no bugs, the sun was shining, there was a calm breeze out of the South, and it was in the 70s for the first pitch. On this day, the Ashby A’s played host to the visiting Long Prairie Predators. The Ashby A’s are in the Resorter’s West and the Long Prairie Predators are in the Resorter’s East, so this was the one and only match-up these two teams would have all year.
Long Prairie was a state participant last season and have returned the squad for another year. The Ashby A’s finished just below .500 last year and have been showing improvement with a consistent group of guys who have all been playing together for a few years now. Ashby is somewhat unique to the league, in the sense that every player on the team is a former graduate of Ashby High School.
The crowd of around 100 people, saw a fast moving game that ended up with Ashby on the short end of the score. It was evident with both teams that this was the first game of the year as there were very few hits and a couple of errors by both teams. Pitching was definitely stole the show with most half innings showing no more than 4 hitters or so. Jordan Lillemon, Andrew Risbrudt, and Chris Rylander all looked strong on the mound for the A’s.
Even in the loss, the A’s played very well for the first game of the season. I believe only one of the runs Long Prairie had was earned, but there were only a couple errors committed that wouldn’t have happened had we been a few games into the season. The biggest area of improvement is at the plate. Strikeout numbers were high, as batters were trying to get a feel for their swings again. Drew Hanson was the only A’s player to register a clean hit with a double early in the game. In the end, you can’t win a game if you don’t score any runs. Had there been some run support, this would have been a different ballgame.
The A’s take on the Swanville Swans this coming Friday, May 8th, at the Chuck Anderson Sports Complex with the first pitch being thrown at 7:30 PM. If you have not experienced a ball game at the Ashby field, I encourage you to do so. It is a unique and beautiful layout unlike any other field. This will also be the last year on dirt, as the field will be transformed into a grass infield at the end of the baseball season. Single game tickets are $4 and season tickets are available. High School aged kids and younger are free to attend. Kids race to get a quarter for every retrieved foul ball! There is always a concession stand open, and your game ticket is good for discounts and promos around town. Pay attention during the 5th inning, as your tickets are entered into a drawing for prizes! Put it on your to-do list to attend an A’s game this summer! Like the Ashby A’s on Facebook for team updates, upcoming schedules, and any changes and happenings going on with the A’s, as they are quite active both on and off the field!