After the BayBears survived the search to find a baseball team to fill the new stadium in Biloxi, the local squad has rewarded its fans with another successful season.
The minor league team is currently battling the Montgomery Biscuits for first place in the South Division. This continues the BayBears’ winning trend, as they just missed capturing a third straight Southern League pennant last year.
Leading the way at the plate has been David Peralta. After last weekend’s action, the outfielder tops the team in runs scored (21), hits (35), home runs (5), doubles (9) and runs batted in (31). He has a .294 batting average.
Second baseman Mike Freeman was recently named the Southern League’s Player of the Week. He has contributed 17 runs, 30 hits, two triples and four home runs with a .268 batting average.
Also contributing at the plate are shortstop Sean Jamieson (.296, 2 doubles), third baseman Garrett Weber (.291), first baseman Jon Griffin (.255) and infielder Jake Lamb (.248, 8 doubles, 4 homers, 20 RBIs).
On the mound, the most successful hurlers have been Chase Anderson (4-2, 0.69 ERA) — the Southern League’s Pitcher of the Week for April 6-13 — and Michael Lee (3-2, 3.79 ERA). Coming out of the bullpen has been Jake Barrett (3 saves, 2.00 ERA) and Mike Stites (3 saves, 3.75 ERA).
The BayBears are currently hosting the Mississippi Braves, through Friday, May 9. After a trip to Jacksonville, Fla., the squad returns to Hank Aaron Stadium to take on the Chattanooga Lookouts from Thursday, May 15, through Monday, May 19. The final game of the homestand will have a special 11:35 a.m. start time.
In addition to presenting championship baseball, the BayBears’ staff offers special promotions for all 70 home games. According to the club’s website, the reoccurring daily themes are as follows:
Sunday Fun Day/Bark in the Park — Dogs can bring their owners out to any of the Sunday games. Fans are also invited to play catch on the field pre-game for the first 30 minutes after the gates open. Children ages 12 and younger may also run the bases post-game;
Every Monday Matters — Bring two books, two gently used articles of clothing, or two non-perishable food items to the box office to get a complimentary ticket to any Monday game;
Two for Tuesday — Bring in a Subway sandwich shop receipt and receive buy one/get one free tickets to any future Tuesday game;
Wacky Wine Down Wednesdays — Fans 21 years of age and older can enjoy $2 glasses of wine from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Every Wednesday will also feature a weird and wacky theme;
Thirsty Thursdays — Fans can enjoy discounts on sodas and beer from 6 to 8 p.m.;
Friday Night Fireworks — Enjoy a post-game fireworks extravaganza after every Friday game;
Showtime Saturdays — Every Saturday will be a show filled with endless entertainment and select giveaways.
There are also special promotions during individual games. Set for the upcoming homestands are Game Shows Night (May 8), Disco Night (May 9), Zombie Night (May 15), NBA Night (May 16), Big Hair Night/CPSI Travel Mug Giveaway/Fireworks (May 17), Star Wars Day (May 18) and Character Day (May 19).
For more information on the team, call 251-479-BEAR (2327) or visit www.MobileBayBears.com.
And in a bit of irony, the club that is moving to Biloxi next season – the Huntsville Stars – sits in first place in the North Division.
Wouldn’t that make for an interesting Southern League championship series with the BayBears?
Once around the airport
A unique event is set for Saturday, May 10, when the Crepe Myrtle Trail Bike Ride is scheduled. The 11-mile round-trip event is free and open to all ages.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the ride projected to last from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The trail begins at Arlington Park, located at 1814 15th St. South. The course will offer a chance to ride around the runway at the Brookley Aeroplex.
Sponsors said the ride aims to educate residents about local natural resources, to promote the benefits of biking and to experience the beauty of the area’s biological resources. For more information, call 251-990-6002 or visit www.joinacf.org.
Local flavor for soccer team
When the Pensacola City Football Club begins action in the National Premier Soccer League, several area players will be on the roster. From the University of Mobile are Alvaro Pichardo, Ade Adedapa, Moses Muhubao and George Stannard.
The team’s first game will be at home on Wednesday, May 14, against the New Orleans Jesters at 7 p.m. Pensacola plays its home games at Ashton Brosnaham Soccer Complex. For more information, visit www.pensacolacityfc.com.