June 11, 2011: Potomac Nationals vs Salem Red Sox

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If you see Uncle Slam, you know that one of the First Ladies must have been enjoying herself at a Potomac Nationals game! In this case, it was Ashley, accompanied by husband Drew and camp friend Sarah.

After an unbearably hot week, a big thunderstorm rolled through Virginia late Saturday afternoon. Although this delayed the game an hour, the weather was crisp and cool – perfect for a night of minor league baseball.

There were three first pitches for the game, but Ashley’s favorite was by George Mason’s new basketball coach – Paul Hewitt. Hewitt coached at Georgia Tech while Ashley was a student there and took the team to the Final Four. Hopefully Mason will have as much success!

Because of the rain delay, Ashley, Drew, and Sarah had lots of time to relax and watch the players warm up. As always, they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Above, Higley shows his friends a little dance.

These two played catch in the outfield to limber up. They seemed a bit more focused than their teammates.

The pitcher warmed up while ignoring the hijinks around him.

Like this! (Although you have to admit, that takes talent).

The boys in the bullpen drew pictures in the dirt.

Finally, we all stood for the National Anthem and the game got underway.

The first several innings went by quickly (the entire game was about 2.5 hours) with both teams evenly matched. The light faded pretty quickly by the time the action started to heat up, so there aren’t as many pictures of the game as normal. However, in the bottom of the 6th, the P-Nats scored on an error and took the lead. In the 7th, they scored again on a sac bunt and kept the momentum to win the game.

It’s a bit blurry, but here you see the start of a double play in the 8th. The P-Nats tagged a runner out at third and the batter (#10) decided to try to make it to second base. Right about now, #10 is realizing that he can’t get to 2nd, so he decided to turn back to 1st…

And was rewarded for his judgement with a tag out at the base. Great job P-Nats!

The night ended with a refreshing chill and a fabulous fireworks show. On our way out, Chairman/CEO/First Base Coach Art Silber was at the gate to shake hands with the fans. It was a small gesture that meant a lot – it’s great to see how invested he is with the team. We can’t wait to get back down to Pfitzner Stadium again soon!

(full album from this game can be seen here)

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