82 F
Huntsville
79 F
Muscle Shoals
77.5 F
Albertville
75.7 F
Fort Payne

Making their pitch: Trash Pandas back at the ol’ ballpark

MADISON – With a pair of series wins under their belts, the Rocket City Trash Pandas return for a six-game home series starting tonight.

The Trash Pandas come into the series with Knoxville on a modest roll. After dropping two-of-three games at Knoxville to open the 2024 season, Huntsville has gone 8-4 in series’ wins against Birmingham at home and at Pensacola, the latter marking the first series triumph over the Blue Wahoos in the club’s four-year history. The Trash Pandas have won 9-of-13 since losing twice to open their schedule.

Pitching has highlighted Rocket City’s early season, notably a trio of right-handers in starters Caden Dana (1-1, 1.47 ERA, 18.1 IP, 3 BB, 19 SO) and Alan Rangel (2-0, 2.70 ERA, 16.2 IP, 3 BB, 20 SO) along with reliever Mason Erla (3/3 saves, 0.00 ERA, 2 BB, 14 SO).

The trio was a quartet before last Friday when Brett Kerry (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 BB, 14 SO) was promoted to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees. Kerry, the only player on the season-opening roster who has played for Rocket City in each of its four years of existence, finished last year with the Bees.

“I think we’ve seen growth in the last month, that’s the first word that comes to mind,” said Trash Pandas manager Andy Schatzley. “Growth on the starters side, of being able to pitch deeper into games which takes the pressure off your bullpen and allows those guys to be fresher.

“The bullpen has been solid really the whole year and picking us up early and now the rotation has really picked us up last week, so they’ve done a good job complementing each other.”

As for the overall performance, Schatzley said, “From a group standpoint, we’ve done a really good job of playing complementary baseball. Done an outstanding job on the mound, the bullpen and we’ve been pretty efficient on the position player side of things. Done a good job especially situationally, offensively and on the bases.

“We understand that it’s still extremely early and we have a lot of baseball ahead of us but we are looking forward to trying to improve.”

As a special extra, fans with tickets to a Trash Pandas game Thursday to Sunday will also receive free admission to the fair on that same day. However, guests at the fair do not automatically have admission into the baseball games. Trash Pandas tickets can be purchased at tptix.com.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PARKING MAP FOR APRIL 25-28. 

TRASH PANDAS HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tuesday
    Gates Open: All gates will open at 5 p.m. VIP Gates open at 4:30. First pitch is 6:05 p.m.
    Reeds Jewelers Ladies Night: Ladies have the chance to win great prizes throughout the game and all fans can enjoy $5 wine specials.
    Reading Program Redemption Day: This is the first of three games where fans who have completed the Reading with Sprocket program can earn a free ticket to the game.
  • Wednesday
    Gates Open: All gates will open at 9:30 a.m. First pitch is 11:05 a.m.
    Education Day: This will be the first of two Education Days throughout the season. ○ Award Presentation: Trash Pandas outfielder Nelson Rada will be presented with his 2023 Rawlings Gold Glove Award before the game.
  • Thursday
    Gates Open: All gates will open at 5 p.m. VIP Gates open 4:30 p.m. First pitch is 6:35 p.m.
    Dance Night: Pregame performances from local groups on the field
    Big ‘Ol Ballpark Fair: This will be the first night of the Big ‘Ol Ballpark Fair. All fans with tickets to a Trash Pandas game will be given free entry to the fair.
    Extended Happy Hour: Fans 21 and older can get $3 domestic drafts from 5-7 p.m., available at the Inline Electric Rock Porch and the Fueling Station next to Bandito’s in the Bill Penney Plaza.
    T-Shirt Giveaway: The first 1,500 adults (18+) will be given a free “Raise The Roof” T-Shirt presented by Storm Guard Roofing.
  • Friday
    Gates Open: All gates will open at 5:30 p.m. VIP Gates open at 5 p.m. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.
    Friday Night Fireworks: Stick around after the game for a fireworks show that will light up the night, presented by Huntsville Utilities
    ’80s Night: Get a blast from the past as all fans are encouraged to dress in ’80s attire. A group of Ghostbusters will be in the stadium that night for photo opportunities and more
    Utility Worker Appreciation Night: Utility workers from five different companies will be honored prior to the game.
    Big ‘Ol Ballpark Fair: All fans with tickets to a Trash Pandas game will be given free entry to the fair.
  • Saturday
    Gates Open: All gates will open at 5:30 p.m. VIP Gates open at 5 p.m. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.
    Saturday Night Fireworks: Fans of all ages can enjoy a post-game fireworks show, presented by Booz Allen Hamilton
    Meridianville Athletic Association Parade: A parade featuring over 130 players will take place before the game.
    Big ‘Ol Ballpark Fair: All fans with tickets to a Trash Pandas game will be given free entry to the fair.
  • Sunday
    Gates Open: All gates will open at 1:30 p.m. VIP Gates open at 1 p.m. First pitch is at 2:35 p.m.
    Big ‘Ol Ballpark Fair: All fans with tickets to a Trash Pandas game will be given free entry to the fair.
    Kids Run the Bases: All kids are invited to run the bases after the game, presented by Listerhill Credit Union.

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