Dodgers Win Major League's Season Opener In Australia

Former Lookouts' Star Scott Van Slyke Is Hitting Hero

Saturday, March 22, 2014
Scott Van Slyke
Scott Van Slyke
- photo by Tim Evearitt

SYDNEY -- Clayton Kershaw put on his typical Opening Day show for the Aussies on Saturday while fill-in left fielder Scott Van Slyke homered and doubled as the Dodgers beat the rival D-backs, 3-1, at the hallowed Sydney Cricket Ground, which held its first baseball game in 100 years to become the oldest stadium to host an MLB game.

In four Opening Day starts spread over two hemispheres, Kershaw is 3-0 with a 0.35 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings.

This opener was on a converted cricket pitch in front of an enthusiastic, if not baseball savvy, crowd of 38,266 that Kershaw said "really loves foul balls, I've noticed," one that Van Slyke said "had a lot more people with beer in their hands" than games back home.


A.J. Ellis conceded the game didn't have the feel of a traditional opener.

Although Kershaw pitched deep into October last season and this game marked the earliest start in Major League history, he stayed in the game to bat in the top of the seventh inning, singled sharply to left field, then was thrown out tentatively trying to stretch it for a double.

He made 102 pitches and allowed one run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven with a walk and receiving a standing ovation when Mattingly pulled him because of pitch count. Kershaw is 8-6 lifetime against the D-backs.

Kershaw's biggest scare came in the third, when the wind knocked down a Paul Goldschmidt blast to center field that went from a potential two-run homer to the third out when it died in Andre Ethier's glove. Goldschmidt had two of the five hits, as Kershaw relied on his slider to keep the rest of the "super-aggressive" fastball-hitting D-backs off balance.

Chris Perez made his Dodgers debut and finished off the seventh inning, then Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen closed it out, a "six-inning game" just the way the Dodgers drew it up over the winter when they loaded the bullpen by bringing back Wilson and acquiring Perez.

Van Slyke padded the lead in the fourth. With one out, Gonzalez took advantage of the real estate between the plate and the backstop when he swung at a strike-three pitch that bounced away from catcher Miguel Montero, Gonzalez reaching first base without a throw.

Van Slyke then sent an opposite-field home run that the jet stream curled just inside the right-field foul pole for a 3-0 lead. It was his second home run in nine career at-bats against Miley.

While Van Slyke carried the offense for the Dodgers, the Yasiel Puig leadoff experiment got off to a bad start. Puig, who hit .122 this spring, went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and seemed to tweak his left shoulder during a seventh-inning at-bat, but he played the entire game, driving a ball to center in the ninth inning that was held up by the wind and caught.

Van Slyke won the Southern League batting title in 2011 by finishing the season with a .348 clip. He was the fourteenth Lookout in the modern era (1976-current) to lead the Southern League in batting average.

The Atlanta Braves open the 2014 season on the road, March 31, in Milwaukee. Their home opener will be Tuesday, April 8, at Turner Field. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

--- Source: MLB.com

Scott Van Slyke
Scott Van Slyke
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

UTC's Brown, Boaz Win Flight B Doubles At Mercer

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s tennis team returns from Mercer with some hardware after this weekend’s action.  UTC’s sophomore duo of Derek Brown and Austin Boaz won the Flight B doubles tournament. Brown and Boaz lived up to their No. 1 seed in the draw with a win in the finals today.  They defeated Georgia College’s Pedro Ecenarro and Mattia ... (click for more)

Weekend Prep Soccer Round up

The Baylor girls soccer team played St. Benedict in the Rivals Soccer Tournament in Memphis.  Neither team would find the net, ending in a 0-0 tie.  "It was good that we had two shut-outs in the three games,"  Baylor head coach Curtis Blair said.  "We must continue to find ways to win games that are close. We will get back to work on Monday and try ... (click for more)

Person Shot Sunday Morning On Englewood Avenue

One person was shot on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. At approximately 9:18 a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a gunshot wound call at 1049 Englewood Ave. involving one victim. T he victim was transported to a local hospital suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding ... (click for more)

North Carolina Man Dies In Rafting Incident On The Ocoee River

A 50-year-old North Carolina man died Saturday morning when the raft he was aboard overturned in the Ocoee River. The victim was Gary Brown of Clayton. Mr. Brown and five other occupants along with a guide were ejected after the raft they were navigating overturned in a rapid.   The victim was unresponsive when he was recovered from the water further ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Switchings Are Nothing New

As best I can remember, I was switched with “tree branches” in at least five different Southern states when I was growing up. These seemingly endless and quite deliberate incidents of corporal punishment were not just doled out by my parents but others got into the act -- my grandmother, my aunts and or whoever else felt I deserved a whacking. There were even some notable African-American ... (click for more)