Annelise Straw

Where there is sun, there is Baseball!

On a beautiful, event -filled Saturday afternoon, surrounded by friends, family, and plenty of burgers, two of Ocracoke’s baseball teams kicked off their season at home. Both the Blue Claws and the Raptors brought home wins to improve their records!

Blue Claws and Raptors Win at Home

Ocracoke 4th grader Mariah Temple delighted the crowd by singing the National Anthem.

The Ocracoke Blue Claws started the day off strong playing against the Hatteras Mets. The Mets are an all-girl baseball team (girl power!). One of the biggest highlights of the game included an in-the-park-homerun by Finn Kattenburg in the bottom of the third inning.  His long pop fly to left field scored three RBIs! Way to go, Finn!

The Blue Claws continued to dominate in hitting throughout the game. With bases loaded in the bottom of the first, #7 Jacob Daniels brought in our first run of the day. A beautiful hit down the third baseline by #10 Noah O’Neal advanced a runner to second, starting the hitting streak for the Blue Claws in the 3rd inning. Continuing in the inning were hard hits by #12 Carter O’Neal, and #9 Augie Giagu, both driving in runs for the team. We closed out the inning leading the Mets 9-2.  Hits from #4 Django Meacham, #13 Uriel Guerrero and #6 Nicholas Cole helped solidify the lead in the 4th and 5th innings.

Blue Claws and Raptors Win at Home

While on the field, the Blue Claws played a strong defensive game. In the 2nd inning, pitcher #5 Danny Badillo made a fantastic play to the first basemen to get the first out of the inning. In the top of the 3rd, after striking out two Mets players, an awesome play was made from the third basemen to first to close out the inning. In the top of the 4th inning our shortstop made an all-star play to make the final out! An in-the-park homerun by a Met did not hurt the Blue Claws’ spirits! A strike out ended the game in the top of the 6th inning! The final score of the game was Ocracoke Blue Claws, 11 Hatteras Mets, 3. 

Noah O’Neal celebrated a very special birthday by playing an outstanding game of baseball! Happy birthday, slugger!

After a short break in-between games, the Ocracoke Raptors were ready to take on the Hatteras Hot Rods in the second game of the day. This turned out to be a tough game for the Raptors, but resulted in a well-deserved win!

Blue Claws and Raptors Win at Home

In the top of the 1st inning the Hot Rods drove in two home runs, making the score 4-0. Their at-bat ended after pitcher #3 Daymon Esham struck out the last two batters.  

Daymon’s tough pitches led to a short top of the 2nd with two strikeouts and a caught pop fly. The Raptors first run of the game occurred in the bottom of the 2nd inning after #8 Landon Fuller stole home, and advanced the runner on a wild pitch.  We ended the inning with 2 runs scored! (You could tell they wanted to win!)

We had a short third inning with one run scored by the Hot Rods due to a throwing error. Our second basemen made a fantastic play to get the third out by tagging a runner at 2nd base! Our at bat in the bottom of the third inning brought us closer to the win! Good base running skills by the Raptors brought in a run, bringing the score to 4-5. 

In the top of the 4th inning we changed our pitcher to #15 Max Elicker (great job in the first three innings, Daymon!) Max stuck out two batters as well as getting help from his third basemen to end the Hot Rods at-bat.

Blue Claws and Raptors Win at Home

The Raptors put on their game faces in the bottom of the 4th inning and rallied! Hard hits by #7 Julian Bennink, #11 Chandler O’Neal, #8 Landon Fuller, #3 Daymon Esham, and #12 Jackson Strange brought in six runs! (Phew that’s a lot of running!!)

We went into the top of the 5th inning with a big lead of 10-6. Pitcher #14 Hayden Austin crushed this inning with three batters up, and three strikeouts! (Great arm, Hayden!)

The Raptors sealed their win in the bottom of the 5th inning with #10 Whisper Meacham on base, #2 Silas Tretheway singled to the short stop, and #1 Savannah Hodson hit a pop fly to center field, giving her a double and 2 RBIs. Closing out the 5th inning the score was 13-6!

The Hot Rods scored three more runs in the 6th inning, but not enough to challenge our Raptors for the win. The Ocracoke Raptors beat the Hot Rods 13-9!

Blue Claws and Raptors Win at Home

The Ocracoke Community Ballpark was a cheerful, and enthusiastic place to be on Saturday afternoon! I spoke with a spectator visiting the island for vacation who commented, “This game is more exciting than watching a Red Sox game at home.” How awesome is that! Community baseball brings a sense of unity to the island and its visitors. These boys and girls are learning not only to be good baseball players, but how to also be good teammates. We cannot wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for these promising teams!

Baseball fans can look forward to a home game for the Middle School Dolphins this Wednesday, April 27th at 4pm. The Blue Claws and Raptors host games at home again on Saturday, May 14th.

And everyone is welcome to play Pick-Up Softball on Sundays at 5pm at the Community Park. Pick-up players are asked to chip in $2 for the Park. 

Blue Claws and Raptors Win at Home