The 2017 Shankees rolled into Bajo Flores under cloudy skies to host division rivals the Criollos at beautiful Daom Field on what was a most particular opening day. Donning new uniforms and with a totally revamped roster, this Shankees team is unique for many reasons, not only were there three sets of siblings in the likes of the Martinez, Boccardo and Bracho brothers, but also for the three U.S. players, Jeret Adair, Sammy Carter, and Fabian Placencia, on board to help the Shankees capture that elusive league division title. The Criollos, who beat the Shankees twice last season by capitalizing on lackadaisical defense and shabby at bats, felt confident they could once out-hit the Shankees. But that didn´t happen today as the Shankees defense held their ground and their bats blazed into the emerging sunset. Pitcher Fabian Placencia got the start on the mound for the Shankees and pitched a solid 8 innings (116 pitches) despite getting out of the gate slow, giving up a leadoff hit and two walks followed by a triple to put the Shankees down by three early in the first inning. He settled down and struck out two batters looking as the Shankees defense stepped up the rest of the way with an almost error-free outing. Offensively, Placencia shined by going 2-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Leading the charge at the dish was Jeret Adair, who was a homerun away from completing the cycle. Adiar went 3-4 with a walk, 4 rbi´s and 1 run scored, establishing himself as a threat at the plate. Clean-up hitter and centerfielder, Sammy Carter (2-5), dropped a bomb in the 5th inning to score shortstop and team captain Mariano Boccardo, who was most productive offensively with 3 walks, 1 hit and 3 runs scored. Another new Shankee on the block, Gabriel Di Sabatino, who got the start at 2nd base, went 1-3 with a double, two walks and one run scored. Lucas Boccardo, who got the start behind the dish, had a quiet day at the plate going 1-3 with a walk and 1 run scored. The veteran catcher held his ground behind the dish catching 9 full innings under a blazing summer sun in a 3:20-minute game. Siblings Wilfredo and Angelo Martinez had a quiet day with right fielder Wildredo batting lead-off going 0-3 with a sac bunt and younger brother, righty pitcher Angelo, waiting in the wings to take the mound. The Bracho brothers for their part held their own as older sibling Cesar played solid at third with the youngster Julio entering in relief in the top of the eighth to seal the Shankees 11-8 victory. Full team stats coming soon. Reporting for the Shankee Press, Jack Green. Go Shankees!!
Editor´s note: Two months ago, the Shankees roster consisted of only three players, as team President Paul Perry, decided to totally revamp the team and set course on a new direction. Thanks to the efforts of the Shankees Front office, which includes U.S. recruiter, Scott Weaver, team manager Jay Bartelli, and sponsors like Fred Badagnani and Jason Hermes, the Shankees are once again on course for a historic season.