Lehigh Valley Native Matt McBride On Returning Home to Play at Citizens Bank Park

Lehigh Valley Native Matt McBride On Returning Home to Play at Citizens Bank Park

Lehigh Valley Native Matt McBride was called up to the big leagues for the first time by the Colorado Rockies a few weeks ago on August 4th, becoming just the third Lehigh Mountain Hawk to play in the Majors. McBride grew up a Phillies fan and returned to Philadelphia over the weekend to play his first MLB game at Citizens Bank Park.

We had the chance to talk to him this afternoon about what the experience of returning home to play in front of so many friends and family was like and what he thought of Cole Hamels' stuff.

McBride told us that he went to a decent amount of Phillies games at Veterans Stadium growing up, a big fan of the entire 1993 team led by Dutch Daulton, but he actually spent quite a bit more time at Reading Phillies games as a youngster because they were much closer to his childhood home.

McBride had a rough go of it at the dish when he got the start at first base in the first game of yesterday's double header. Lots of rookies will tend to have that problem when facing Cole Hamels.

"He's got a very good change up," McBride said of Hamels. "He was using both sides of the plate with his cutter. I was trying to stay balanced."

The biggest difference for McBride playing in Philly was all the familiar faces who hadn't had a chance to see him play in the bigs yet. He said he was super excited to get called up again in time to play at CBP.

"It was a lot of fun getting to play at Citizens Bank Park. Most of the games I've played with the Rockies this season have been on the West Coast, so friends and family never really got a chance to see me play out there. It was nice being able to play close to home where all my friends and family could come out and watch the games."

So with so many friends and family in town for the game, McBride must have had to leave a ton of tickets at will-call?

"Not as many as I thought, actually," he said. "A ton of people bought their own tickets when they found out I was coming back to play in Philadelphia."

Tickets are a little easier to come by this season at Citizens Bank Park.

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Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Pete Mackanin is still searching for answers to the Phillies' offensive woes following Sunday afternoon's disheartening 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh during which the Phils could only muster three hits.

The latest lineup twist as the search for an answer continues will see Michael Saunders bat in the eight-hole tonight as the Phils open a four-game series with the surging Rockies tonight at Citizens Bank Park (see game notes).

When he has started this season, Saunders has been a fixture within the middle of the Phillies' order. After all, the offseason free-agent signing was an All-Star last season for Toronto when he hit 24 homers and drove in 57 runs.

But this season hasn't gone as planned as Saunders is hitting just .232 with four homers and 15 RBI in 41 games with the Phils this season.

With Saunders' drop down the lineup, Tommy Joseph will bat fourth, Maikel Franco fifth and Odubel Herrera sixth against Rockies spot starter Jeff Hoffman.

Tonight's full lineup can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Aaron Altherr LF
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Maikel Franco 3B
6. Odubel Herrera CF
7. Cameron Rupp C
8. Michael Saunders RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff SP

St. Joe's to meet St. John's in 2017 Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase

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USA Today Images

St. Joe's to meet St. John's in 2017 Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase

With the matchups for Saint Joseph's men's basketball's conference slate already set, the Hawks have now added an old northeast corridor rival to the nonconference portion of their schedule.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Monday afternoon that St. Joe's and St. John's will meet on Dec. 20 during of the seventh annual Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Providence and Houston will play in the other contest of the two-game event.

“We are honored to be associated with the Basketball Hall of Fame, an organization that promotes all levels of the game," Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli said in a statement released Monday. "We're delighted for our players to have the opportunity to compete against the legendary St. John's program and are looking forward to an old-fashioned Philly vs. New York matchup.” 

The two schools have played just once in the past 37 years—when the sides met at Hagan Arena in 2013, the Red Storm pulled out a narrow victory to advance to the second round of the NIT. But December's matchup will be the 58th all-time meeting between the programs.

Saint Joseph's last played at the Mohegan Sun Arena back in the 2015 Hall of Fame Showcase, losing to Florida before knocking off Old Dominion in the consolation game. The Hawks return nearly their entire roster for the 2017-18 season, including all five starters, led by the backcourt duo of Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble.