Tony Turcato, Jerome Williams & David Parrish
Photos by: Smith Prasirtpun
Blair Field was the place to be this past weekend as the Long Beach Armada hosted the National Team from the Peoples Republic of China for two games. The weekend was originally intended to be an exhibition series—a chance for both managers to evaluate their players so that they could trim their rosters. After the devastating earthquake in China the focus shifted to fundraising and helping people across the world that desperately need it.
China came out strong in the first game, scoring four runs in the first inning behind a bases loaded triple by Feng Fei. Rik Currier, player/pitching coach, received little help defensively from his Armada teammates as the team committed four errors in the first three innings. Boo Tao pitched 4 2/3 innings for China and gave up four runs including a bases-empty home run by Steve Moss in the first inning and an RBI double to catcher David Parrish. Parrish also threw out a Chinese base runner.
The Chinese team held on for a 9-6 victory on Saturday night but couldn’t stop the Armada on Sunday. Long Beach Manager Steve Yeager cut three players after Saturday’s game, trimming the roster down to 34. Yeager needs to get down to 22 players before the season opener on May 22 in St. George, UT.
Long Beach native and Millikan H.S. alum Nick Bierbrodt took the mound for the Armada and the first ever draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks looked sharp as he struck out five batters during his three innings on the mound. Ryan Claypool took the hill after Bierbrodt and fanned four more Chinese hitters as the Armada won the game 5-2.
Kris Kasarijian singled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ryan Lehr to give the Armada a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Marland Williams later reached base on an error and scored on an RBI single by Tony Torcato.
Steve Moss lined a two-run single in the eighth inning that highlighted a three-run rally giving Long Beach a 5-0 lead.
Feng Fei singled in two runs in the top of the ninth inning for China. Fei had five RBIs in the series, including a bases-loaded triple in the first inning on Saturday.
Andrew Layfield threw two scoreless innings for the Armada, while Brandon Buxbaum pitched the ninth inning and allowed the two China runs.
The Armada open the regular season on May 22 with a three-game series in St. George, UT. You can listen to all the action right here at longbeacharmada.com as Josh Feldman and J.R. Reed start with the pre-game show at 6:55 PM.
You can follow the team on the road with audio, video and a blog. Click on the links for all the action.