Frackers set for season opener against California Jays
Game will be first of six-game series at Ricketts Park
- Gates to the park open at 5 p.m. with the game scheduled to start at 7.
- UNM commit Larry Leitha will get the start for the Frackers.
- A beer garden will be open for the first five innings of the game.
FARMINGTON — The Farmington Frackers will make their debut when the team hosts the California Jays Thursday night at Ricketts Park.
Thursday's opener is the first game of a six-game series against the Jays. The teams will play doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday before closing the series with a matinee game Sunday. Johnny Curry, who runs operations for the team, said the team has a variety of events scheduled to entertain the fans beyond the action on the field.
"We're going to have a lot of events in between innings where the kids get involved," Curry said. "The Junior Frackers are going to run out onto the field with the team. We're going to have a ceremonial first pitch, we'll sing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game.' It's going to be a fun, safe environment for the whole family every single game."
Mike Diamond, the executive vice president of the American Amateur Baseball Congress, will throw out the first pitch.
A beer garden will be open during the game, and in the first, third and fifth innings, the team will name a "beer batter" on the opposing team. If the Frackers strike out that batter, beers will be sold at a discounted price.
The Frackers will start Larry Leitha on the mound for the opener. Leitha, a right-hander originally from Center Point, Texas, spent the last two seasons at New Mexico Junior College and will transfer to the University of New Mexico to continue his baseball career for the Lobos.
"He's going to be a UNM guy for us next year," Frackers coach Jared Holley said of Leitha. "He's about a 90 to 94 mile per hour righthander, and he's going to bring some pop (at the plate) tomorrow, too."
Holley said he's excited about the offensive firepower the Frackers will have in the lineup with a good mix of power hitters and speedsters who can put pressure on the opposition. He said that during today's batting practice, the Frackers sent 40 to 50 balls over the fence at Ricketts.
The Jays are based out of the Riverside area of Southern California. Holley said he doesn't know much about the Jays, only what he's found on the team's website.
"I don't know too much, but we looked up their roster and a couple of their guys. I know they have a couple D-I guys. We should match up pretty well against them," Holley said.
Gates to the park will open at 5 p.m. with the game scheduled to start at 7. Tickets cost $6 for general admission and $10 for nonreserved box seats.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.