One of the constants of the universe seems to be that come Opening Day in the Midwest League, there’s going to be subpar weather. Four games were postponed and will be played as part of doubleheaders Friday, and a fifth game was suspended in the 4th inning.
Meanwhile, there were strikeouts galore at Bowling Green Ballpark, where the visiting Fort Wayne TinCaps beat the host Hot Rods 4-1. Three TinCaps pitchers combined to notch 17 strikeouts, led by starter Jesse Scholtens, who struck out 11 in 5.2 innings and got the win on his 23rd birthday. The Hot Rods countered with 18 strikeouts racked up by four pitchers. Two players struck out four times — Lucius Fox and Josh Lowe, the Nos. 1 and 2 hitters in the Hot Rods lineup and two of five top Tampa Bay Rays prospects on the Bowling Green squad.
There were a lot of strikeouts at Modern Woodmen Park, too. The Quad Cities River Bandits struck out 15 on their way to beating the Timber Rattlers 3-0. Wisconsin pitchers racked up 12 strikeouts of their own, but allowed three runs in the 4th inning.
At Kane County’s newly-renamed Northwestern Medicine Field, the Cougars got off to a hot start by plating seven runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, and they never looked back. The Cougars beat the LumberKings 13-3, led by a 4-for-5, 4-RBI performance by third baseman Ramon Hernandez. KC’s Luis Alejandro Basabe and Clinton’s Luis Liberato each hit a 3-run homer.
The game in Dayton was suspended because of rain in the top of the 4th inning, with the Lake County Cougars leading the Dragons 3-1. Lake County’s Todd Isaacs and Dayton’s Taylor Trammell each hit solo homers.
The other four games scheduled for Opening Day were postponed before they began.