Pilots keep the fans coming back

"The cavalry," Morgan called them.

Even now there are intriguing talents such as center fielder Ty Rivers, a graduate of Suffolk's Nansemond River High. He stole 19 bases in 22 attempts for Radford this season, and in the first inning Thursday manufactured a run by swiping second and third.

There's also first baseman Michael Mergenthaler, who led the University of Richmond with 40 RBI while hitting .301.

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"Once everybody gets here, we're good," McAloose said. "We'll get back to the bonding we had last summer."

McAloose hit .413 for ODU, and Morgan is shifting him to shortstop for the summer. Sure enough, McAloose produced a defensive gem, lunging to his right to snare a ball deflected by pitcher Kevin Crimmel and tossing to second baseman Chris Joyce for a force out.

Apparently Morgan knows baseball better than he does pipes.

He and his father, team owner Henry Morgan, also know something about the common touch. Just ask season-ticket holder Bill Strickland, who was back at the park along with a group from Harbor Pointe Community Church in Hampton.

"I love the crack of the wooden bats, the snap of the ball hitting leather gloves, the smell of the foods, the warm summer breezes, snagging some autographs," Strickland said. "Perfect place to bring the entire family."

Tonight's game

WHO: Pilots

at Daredevils.

WHEN: 7:05.

David Teel can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at dteel@dailypress.com. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/teeltime.