Chiefs start 2010 season at home.
Some people complain that baseball is boring.
Those naysayers should have joined us on a warm and sunny April afternoon Thursday, April 8, as the Syracuse Chiefs opened their 2010 International League season at Alliance Bank Stadium.
Arguably the best opening day ever for the hometown nine, the game included enough excitement to grab everyone's attention. There was a humongous home run by Seth Bynum and an excuse-me dinger off the right-field foul pole by Roger Bernadina, three doubles, three triples, some craftsmanlike pitching, clutch hitting -- including two by Chiefs' pitcher J.D. Martin, no less! -- a brilliantly executed double-steal and a couple of rifle-like throws by rightfielder Kevin Mench.
Best yet, the Chiefs won the game in dramatic fashion beating the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 8-7 when shortstop Pete Orr lifted a majestic 408-foot fly-ball to deep center to score Mench with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
"I've been to 50 opening days here in Syracuse," commented Ron Gersbacher, president of the Chiefs board of directors, "and I only remember two of them. But this one was one to remember."
Ron was right!
And the next three games were just as memorable as the Chiefs delivered late-game offense to butcher the Steel Swine on Friday and Saturday and nearly swung the cleaver again on Sunday.
On Friday, with a frosty chill in the air, the Chiefs won 5-4 in the bottom of the tenth after first baseman Chris Duncan (son of Dave and brother of Shelley) hit a long sacrifice fly to score Orr.
The sun shone again on Saturday while rookie catcher Devin Ivany singled in the wining run after a double by Orr, a sacrifice bunt by Eric Bruntlett and an intentional walk to Chase Lambin.
Before Sunday's game Roger Bernadina was called up to the Washington Nationals, the Chiefs parent club, breaking up the ideal outfield combination of Maxwell in center with Mench and Bernandina at the corners.