vs. Rome Braves
What: Final four games of the 2010 season
When: Friday through Monday (7:05 each night, except Sunday at 2:05 p.m.)
Where: Applebee’s Park
Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867
Major League affiliates: Houston Astros (Legends), Atlanta Braves
Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Friday, RH Juan Minaya (4-11, 5.04) vs. LH Steven Kent (1-0, 0.79); Saturday, RH Jose Cisnero (7-6, 3.83) vs. RH Arodys Vizcaino (9-3, 2.30); Sunday, RH Zach Grimmett (5-3, 4.61) vs. RH Aaron Northcraft (1-2, 6.17); Monday, LH Luis Cruz (7-5, 3.56) vs. LH Chris Masters (3-10, 4.26).
Brave to watch: OF Todd Cunningham (6-foot-1, 205 pounds, from Jacksonville, Ala.) was selected by the Braves in the second round of last June’s draft, out of Jacksonville State University. Through 61 games, the swtitch-hitter is batting .265 with a homer, 19 RBI, 32 runs, nine doubles and seven stolen bases. Cunningham was a first-team all-Ohio Valley Conference pick last spring, when he hit .359 with 11 homers, 43 RBI, 17 doubles and four triples and led the Gamecocks to the OVC Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth. A pre-season first-team All-America selection by Baseball America, he led JSU with a .465 on-base percentage and scored 61 times. As a freshman in 2008, he was second-team all-OVC and OVC Freshman of the Year. Last summer, he won the Thurman Munson Batting Award by leading the Cape Cod League with a .378 average for the Falmouth Commodores. He also led the Cape Cod League with 59 hits and a .458 on-base percentage. At Jacksonville, Cunningham was used primarily as a shortstop and outfielder, but was projected in the draft as a third baseman. With Rome, though, he has been used in center field about three-quarters of the time, and right field on occasion.
Legend to watch: C Roberto Pena (6-0, 180 pounds, from Caguas, Puerto Rico) joins the Legends for the final weekend of the season. Selected by the Astros in the seventh round of last June’s draft, out of Eloisa Pascual High School, he takes the place of another 2010 draft-pick catcher, fifth-rounder Ben Heath, who has been promoted to the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. Upon signing, Pena was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Astros. Over 23 games, he batted .256 with 11 RBI and five runs scored. He spent much of last month with the Greeneville Astros of the Appalachian League, batting .191 with five RBI and four runs scored over 12 games.
Promotions: Friday: Fan Appreciation Night and Legends Hall of Fame Night, with post-game concert by GodCry. This year’s Hall of Fame inductee is J.R. Towles, a catcher for the Legends during the 2005 and ’06 seasons. Towles reached the major leagues in 2007 with the Astros. With the Legends, Towles hit .346 with five homers, 23 RBI and 11 stolen bases over 45 games in 2005. The next season, he batted .317 with 12 homers, 55 RBI and 13 stolen bases over 81 games. The latter season, he also won the Home Run Derby at the SAL All-Star Game. Towles was elected in an online vote of fans, who chose from a list of 12 nominees. Saturday: “Jersey Off Our Back” Night (silent auction of game-worn jersies to benefit St. Joseph Hospital nursing scholarship program), with entertainment by Myron Noodleman and a post-game fireworks show. Sunday: JIF Kids Club Sunday. Monday: Kids Eat Free Night and post-game fireworks.
Radio: WLXG AM-1300