South Atlantic League baseball
Greenville Drive at Lexington Legends
What: Four-game series
Where: Applebee’s Park
When: Friday through Monday (7:05 Friday, Saturday and Monday nights; 2:05 p.m. Sunday)
Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867
Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Friday, RH Jose Cisnero (0-0, 1.93) vs. RH Roman Mendez (0-1, 21.60); Saturday, RH Brandt Walker (1-0, 1.80) vs. RH Ryan Pressly (0-0, 6.00); Sunday, RH Tanner Bushue (0-0, 4.15) vs. RH Yeiper Castillo (1-0, 2.53); Monday, RH Juan Minaya (0-1, 7.50) vs. LH Drake Britton (0-1, 2.00).
Drive to watch: 2B Derrik Gibson (6-foot-1, 170 pounds, from Seaford, Del.), a 2008 second-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, turned down a scholarship to North Carolina and turned pro. A senior at Seaford (Del.) High School, he hit .636 with five HR and 29 RBI. He also pitched, winning 15 games over his junior and season seasons. Gibson broke in to pro ball with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, batting .309 with nine RBI and 15 runs over 27 games. Called up to the Lowell Spinners of the New York-Penn League, he hit .086 over 14 games. For the season, he finished 16-for-16 in stolen-base attempts (14 in the GCL, two in the NYPL). Last year, spending a full season with Lowell, Gibson batted .290, with 25 RBI and a league-leading 54 runs. He was named a league all-star, as well Red Sox minor-league baserunner of the year (28-for-33 steals). Baseball America rates him the 10th-best prospect in the Boston system and describes him as “a classic leadoff hitter” with “plus-plus speed and supreme control of the strike zone.” Gibson is off to a strong start in 2010, opening with a five-game hitting streak. Through Wednesday, he leads the Drive with a .348 average (8-for-23).
Legend to watch: C Rene Garcia (6-1, 172, from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico) was selected by the Houston Astros in the 35th round of the June 2008 draft, when he was 18. He hit .295 for Greeneville of the Appalachian League in 2008, .202 for Tri-City of the NYPL last year. In his first four games as a Legend (through Wednesday), Garcia is second on the team with a .389 average (7-for-18). He also has three RBI and has scored five times. He shares backstop duties with veteran Jonathan Fixler.
Opening night – Friday: Poster Giveaway, Little Legend of 2010, ADI Fireworks. … Throwing ceremonial pre-game pitches will be J.J. Cannon and Charley Taylor. Cannon managed the Legends in 2001 and ’02, guiding the initial club to the best record in the minors, winning 96 games and a South Atlantic League championship. Taylor, pitching coach in each of the Legends’ first eight seasons and a fellow Legends Hall of Famer, continues to recover from bladder cancer. … Legends players will be in “formal” attire, clad in specially designed “tuxedo” jerseys. … Team president and CEO Alan Stein has a pair of opening night guarantees. First, he guarantees that game-time temperature will be 60 degrees or warmer and, second, that the Legends will win. If the temperature is below 60, fans in attendance will receive a voucher for a ticket to a later Legends game. If the Legends lose, Stein will shave off his mustache for the first time in 40 years. … Friday is “Dollar Day,” featuring Pepsi, beer and hot dogs for $1 each.
Other series promotions — Saturday: Magnet Giveaway (first 1,000 fans); Dave The Horn Guy. Sunday: Kids Club Day, presented by JIF; Monday: Kids Eat Free, presented by Member’s Heritage.
Radio: WLXG AM-1300