With rosters cut down and spring training in the rearview mirror, the 2014 American Association season begins in earnest Thursday with six matchups.
At 7:05 PM Central, the defending champion Gary SouthShore Railcats begin their title defense against the St. Paul Saints at Midway Stadium in St. Paul. RHP Anthony Claggett gets the start for St. Paul, while Gary goes with RHP Morgan Coombs (pictured).
The Kansas City T-Bones will begin the second season of the John Massarelli era at home against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 PM. The T-Bones will start RHP Daniel Barone and Lincoln will start former Major Leaguer RHP Joe Bisenius.
Nearby opponents will face off when the Sioux City Explorers head to South Dakota to face the Sioux Falls Canaries at 7:05 PM. RHP Greg Holt starts for Sioux City, while Sioux Falls will counter with RHP Ben Moore, the two-time American Association Pitcher of the Year (’10 and ’11).
Making the long trip south for the first weekend will be the Winnipeg Goldeyes, who head to Amarillo, Tex. to face the Amarillo Sox. First pitch is at 7:05 PM and the Goldeyes will send LHP Chris Salamida to the hill. He will be opposed by Sox RHP Joe Zeller.
Rounding out the night’s slate is a matchup in Laredo as the host Lemurs entertain the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. First pitch will be at 7:30 PM from Uni-Trade Stadium. Laredo will start former San Diego Padres RHP Cesar Carillo and Fargo-Moorhead goes with RHP Taylor Stanton, the defending league Pitcher of the Year.
Check back later for complete recaps and stats from Opening Night.