The San Diego Chicken. The Phillie Phanatic, Mr. Met. The Mariner Moose. All would agree – these are pretty good baseball mascots. But none compare to Walla Walla’s onion with an attitude, Sweet Lou.
Best. Mascot. Ever.
Sweet Lou is all at once a lovable children’s entertainer, a symbol for the community, and with his one eye clenched tightly and his bat held firm, a warning to visiting teams everywhere that he don’t take no crap from the likes of you! Like a bearded and leather clad biker, he’s just as likely to help your mom across the street as he is to mess you up with a bat, as he defies the laws of depth perception with surgical strikes to your head. Don’t talk to him about his woman’s fastball-style visor, he just doesn’t want to ruin his ‘do - those floppy green locks that are yet another show of his defiance to fathers with daughters everywhere.
Yeah, Sweet Lou is the real thing. You wanna hang with him, but you know he’s gonna make you cry at some point.
Of course we could talk about the Sweets coming to town. How this is the team that Victoria will likely battle with for a playoff spot to the end of the season. How these three games may prove pivotal in that quest to make the post season, and how the 'Cats need to go into this series thinking bigger picture than just another three game set.
We could talk about how Victoria, coming off offensive brilliance over the last 2.1 games needs to continue that torrid pace if they have any chance of besting a Walla Walla team that has won 3 of their last 4 in impressive fashion, holding their opponents to just over 2 runs a game.
We could talk about Sweets catcher Renae Martinez who is batting a Gehrig-like .400 over the first 11 games of the season, or outfielder Kramer Lindell who has driven in 15 runs with power numbers, just 3 shy of Alex the Real Deal’s league leading 18 RBI.
On the mound, we could talk of pitcher Bret Helton’s 0.81 ERA in 22 innings of work so far, or closer Sean-Luke Brija who in 11 appearances this season hasn’t allowed a single earned run, striking out 16 while recording 7 saves in the process. In fact Victoria will see the heart of Walla Walla’s pitching rotation this week with Sean Silva, Matt Hall, and Helton all getting starts. Combined, the three are 6-1 this season with an ERA of just over 2. Victoria counters with ace Ty Provencher, Scott Kuzminsky, and newcomer Tanner Kiest who sport a combined 5-1 record with an ERA just over 2.50. Should lead to some low-scoring pitching duels.
But let’s be serious folks, it’s all about Sweet Lou this week. Why mascots don’t make roadtrips I’ll never know…