HWB: Two Jays Go Hitless in Opening Game

Nielsen drew a walk Sunday

Honolulu, Hawaii- The Hawaii Winter Baseball League had its first game in nine years last night. Ryan Patterson and Eric Nielsen were both in the starting lineup and figure to be key players for the Honolulu Sharks. InsideTheDome has the recap from last night, and will be covering the league for the next month.

Although Patterson is expected to be one of the biggest power threats in the Sharks lineup, he was batting sixth in the lineup, with fellow Blue Jays Eric Nielsen occupying the cleanup hole. Nielsen was playing in right field, while Patterson was roaming left field.

Nielsen got his first at bat in the bottom of the first inning, facing Atsushi Nohmi, a southpaw from the Hanshin Tigers in Japan. With a runner on second base and two outs, Nielsen popped a 2-1 pitch to second base to end the inning.

Ryan Patterson saw his first at bat off Nohmi in the second inning, but went down swinging on a 1-2 pitch from the left-hander. In the fourth inning, Nielsen, facing a 1-2 count, grounded out to shortstop, while Patterson lined out in his in second at bat to center field on a 2-0 pitch by Rick Vanden Hurk.

Nielsen came up for the third time in the game in the bottom seventh, and faced another left-hander of the Hanshin Tigers in Kazuya Tsutsui. Nielsen kept the bat on his shoulder the entire plate appearance, drawing a four-pitch walk.

Patterson was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, while Nielsen played the entire game.

Honolulu is off on Monday before resuming their season schedule on Tuesday.

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