The Dust Devils kicked off their 120 game season as the "High A" affiliate with the LA Angels on Tuesday night.
Affiliate baseball made it's long awaited return the Tri-Cities after last year's MiLB season was canceled due to pandemic. The Vancouver Canadians are in town for a six game series, and the Dust Devils took game one 4-0 in the season opener.
Good pitching helped the cause -- Tri-Cities mound men keeping the Canadians at bay. Aaron Hernandez, Cristopher Molina, Tyler Smith and Zac Kristofak combined in the shut out. Molina earned the win after tossing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief including three strikeouts. The pitching core combined for 12 Ks, starter Hernandez pitched for 3.2 innings and put up 4 strikeouts.
"We were great on the mound," said Manager Andy Schatzley. "Anytime you throw a shutout, it makes it easy to manage."
On the offensive side, third baseman Brendon Davis started out the season red hot. Davis went 4/5 in his at bats -- Recording 2 RBIs and 2 runs, including a two-run home-run in the fifth.
"It felt good," said Davis. "I hadn't hit one in a long time."
Prior to him in the batting order is Livan Soto. Soto hit a two RBI single in the fourth at a full count and kept the visiting pitcher working hard. Davis credited his teammate for part of his success at the plate.
"Soto just kept having long at bats," said Davis. "That kind of helped me out because pitchers don't want to throw all those pitches so it set me up."
The six-game series at Gesa Stadium will continue on Wednesday night at 6:30. Right-handed pitcher Dylan King is on the mound for the Dust Devils.