[Via email from the Montgomery Biscuits' broadcaster Jon Laaser.]
The Biscuits were handled, 10-3, by the Birmingham Barons on Independence Day Saturday in front of 7,560 fans, the largest crowd to ever witness a game at Riverwalk Stadium.
The previous venue-record was set on April 18, 2008, when the Biscuits hosted the Jacksonville Suns in front of 7,518.
"We would like to say a heart-felt thank you to our great fans," said Biscuits' General Manager Greg Rauch. "Just an absolutely tremendous environment, and we couldn't be happier that we were able to supply outstanding Independence Day memories for so many in the community."
Barons' starter Justin Cassel handed the Biscuits a rally in the second inning, and they capitalized for a 1-0 lead. Cassel walked both Matt Fields and Nevin Ashley to put two aboard with nobody out. Drew Anderson followed with a single to load the bases. When Cassel hit J.T. Hall with a pitch, the Biscuits led for the first time. However, Montgomery did no further damage and settled for a 1-0 advantage.
The Biscuits added a run in the third as Brandon Chaves opened the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second by Rashad Eldridge. A batter later, Fields ripped a single to center field to give the Biscuits a 2-0 lead.
C.J. Retherford nearly tied the game for Birmingham in the fourth inning. With Javier Colina aboard, Retherford launched a high-drive off Biscuits' starter Brandon Mann that clanked off the top of the railing in left-center field. The ball stayed in the park, but was good for a triple for Retherford, plating Colina and trimming the Biscuits' lead to 2-1.
The Barons forged ahead in the fifth. Mann walked the leadoff man, Jordan Danks, and a batter later, David Cook belted his 17th home run of the season well over the wall in left field for a 3-2 Birmingham lead. Mann departed after the home run, having turned in 4 1/3 innings. Mann (4-5) took the loss for the Biscuits, permitting three earned runs.
The Barons broke the game open with a five-run seventh inning off of reliever Eddie Morlan. Danks led of the inning with an opposite-field solo-home runs and things went downhill from there. Morlan walked John Shelby and Cook quickly doubled him home for a 5-2 lead. Dayan Viciedo was walked intentionally to put two aboard and Colina cracked a three-run home run to left field for an 8-2 advantage. Morlan was charged with all five runs, which were all earned.
Mike Wlodarczyk conceded two runs in relief over the eighth and ninth innings, while a misjudged ball in left field allowed the Biscuits to cap the scoring at 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth.
Cassel (1-0) recovered from early wildness to earn the win over seven innings. He allowed two earned runs on six hits, walked five and struck out four as the Barons took a 1-0 edge in the series.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 6:05 PM on Sunday night at Riverwalk Stadium. RHP Heath Rollins (7-6, 3.66) will make the start against RHP John Ely (6-1, 3.44) for Birmingham.
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