Redlegs Rally Past Machine in Opening Day Win


The Redlegs opened up the 2017 season in strikingly similar fashion as they ended in 2016; with a late come from behind victory over the Mad River Machine.

One thing that was not so similar was the man standing on the hill for the Redlegs. For the first time since 2010, someone other than Kevin Campbell got the opening day nod. That nod went in the direction of Aaron Carmack who turned in a stellar 2016 rookie campaign going 6-2 with a 3.34 ERA and 46 Ks over 56 2/3 innings pitched. Campbell, by far the Redlegs career leader in almost every pitching category, will still be a constant fixture in the Redlegs rotation throughout the season.

The Redlegs drew first blood in the top of the 2nd inning. Brandon Howard, Mike Hartman, and Matt Mattice all singled to load the bases. With 2 outs, Jared Bradley was able to reach on a Machine miscue that resulted in a run.

However, runs were tough to come by early in the game as Carmack found himself locked into a pitchers duel with 2016 Rookie of the Year Matt Clark. Carmack racked up 10 strikeouts through 6 scoreless frames before the Machine finally tied things up at 1 in the bottom of the 7th when Clark and Jake Wilson hit back to back doubles. With 2 outs and a runner on 2nd Tyler Bundy laced a line drive into left field that looked to be sure to give the Machine a lead and give Bundy extra bases, but Kyle Arend was able to track it down and make a great catch near the left field fence to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Clark continued to work out of jams and keep the Redlegs at bay. Matt Mattice led off the 7th inning with a triple but Clark was able to get two ground balls into the teeth of a drawn in infield and a pop out to end the threat, stranding the 9th Redleg baserunner on the afternoon.

The Redlegs finally re-gained the lead in the top of the 8th. Kyle Arend started the inning with a double and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Howard.

Trailing 2-1, the Machine got through to Carmack in the bottom of the 8th highlighted by an RBI single from Abdiel Torres-Vega and a 2 run double by Logan Gray. Matt Redman entered in relief after Gray’s double and was able to end the threat on one pitch, bringing the Redlegs to bat and one more chance to rally from the 4-2 deficit.

Matt Morrison and Matt Mattice both were hit by pitches to start the top of the 9th which prompted a Machine pitching change from Clark to Jonathon Webb. Jared Bradley greeted Webb with a hard line drive tucked just inside the 3rd base line that scored a run and put runners on the corners. Matt Redman then walked to load the bases and Jacob Robinson followed with a walk to bring in the tying run. Kyle Arend then hit a sacrifice fly scoring Bradley and Matt Redman alertly moved up to 3rd. This set up another sacrifice fly this time by Joey Watson. Brandon Howard then doubled to score Robinson and give the Redlegs a 7-4 lead.

Jake Wilson tried to start a Machine rally by leading off the bottom of the 9th with a single, but Matt Redman retired the next 3 batters and ended the game on a strike out to preserve the win.

These two clubs will battle it out again just 6 days after opening day as they are on tap for a double dip at Athletes in Action on Saturday April 8th at 4:00 and 7:00.


J Robinson41111
K Arend41110
J Watson40010
B Howard22121
J Robinson41000
M Hartman52000
M Morrison31100
M Mattice32100
J Bradley41110
M Redman31101

2B: Arend; Howard
3B: Mattice

A Carmack 7.67743112
M Redman (W)1.3310010