Today we played the first game of our four-game series in the Dominican Republic. We departed the hotel at 8:30 a.m., and headed out to the Yankees' developmental league facility. It was an impressive compound build by the New York Yankees outfitted with four fields, training and locker rooms, dormitories and classrooms where their players live and attend school daily. The Cougars got straight to warm-ups and batting practice only to be interrupted with a downpour of rain. It passed quickly, however, and we were able to finish BP and start the game.
Chris Capper started on the mound for us and went five innings only letting in one run. Wes Guenther did a great job behind the plate controlling the pitchers and blocking the balls in the dirt. Brock Whitney had a couple of great sacrifice flies and key RBI. Austin Hall gave us the go-ahead run and had three of our total team's ten hits. Dillon Robinson hit a great double in the ninth inning to seal the deal for the Cougars as we garnered the win 6-3. Mason Marshall earned the win keeping the Yankees scoreless during the last two innings.
It was a great day at the ball park, especially for several missionaries who received permission from their mission presidents to come and cheer on the Cougars.
After returning back to the hotel and grabbing a bite to eat, we headed out to an orphanage in San Pedro de Macoris. This was truly the highlight of the day as we were all able to spend one-on-one time with about 150 children ranging from ages 3-18. The team organized a few baseball activities with them, played pick-up soccer, and simply spent time with each of them individually. In addition, several bags of baseball gear including bats, gloves, cleats and jerseys were distributed to the children as well as three large boxes full of hygiene kits. It was a special opportunity for the children and the players to get to spend time together. The team made a difference and had a great impact in these children's lives. It was hard to leave when it was time to get back on the bus.
It's been a happy and fulfilling day for everyone. Now it's time to get some rest and prepare to play the Rangers tomorrow!