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Dodgers burn Rockies on sizzling hot 'SCV Dodger Day'

Local fans watch Rockies go down in flames 14-2

Posted: April 19, 2009 5:17 p.m.
Updated: April 19, 2009 5:30 p.m.

Pitcher Devin Sifers (left), catcher Tyler Hodge (center) and umpire Riley Witt (right) from the William S. Hart baseball program throw out the ceremonial first pitch during SCV Dodger Day ceremonies at Dodger Stadium before Sunday's game between the Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies.

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Under a blazing sun and temperatures in the low 90s, Santa Clarita Valley Dodgers fans turned out in force for the 32nd annual SCV Dodger Day celebration Sunday to participate in pre-game ceremonies on the field, where the boys in blue later scorched the Colorado Rockies 14-2 in front of a crowd numbering more than 40,000 people.

Also the Dodgers' "Kids Opening Weekend," the festivities featured Little League teams from the greater Los Angeles area, plus representatives from youth-oriented SCV nonprofit groups, players from the William S. Hart Baseball & Softball League, city of Santa Clarita officials, and local media including College of the Canyons, KHTS radio and The Signal.

Singer/actress Camille Gray, a Rancho Pico Junior High School seventh-grader, sang "The Star Spangled Banner" in pre-game ceremonies, backed by color guardsmen Chris Slater, Daniel Martinez and Jack Brouillette from local Boy Scout Troop 2222.

Gray also sang "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch, and earned a robust round of applause for both her performances.

"I thought it went pretty well," Gray said, hanging out with her father Jeff Gray behind home plate after singing the National Anthem. "I've never sung in front of so many people before! This was definitely the largest audience (so far)."

The pre-game ceremonies included a T-ball home-run derby, when nine players ages 9 to 14 from the Hart Pony Baseball League had the chance to hit a ball out of the park from a tee set up in deep center field.

The Dodgers saluted SCV schools and nonprofit organizations with shout-outs to the local Boys & Girls Club, the city of Santa Clarita's Youth Sports program, Helmers Elementary School, LETMESAIL, Santa Clarita Elementary School and the Hart Baseball & Softball League.

As the crowd applauded Gray's rendition of the National Anthem, three young players from the Hart baseball program took the infield to throw out the first pitch. Devin Sifers wound up and threw to catcher Tyler Hodge, as Riley Witt, the umpire, called the inside pitch a ball.

When the Dodgers took their positions to start the game, local kids Ryan Downing, Cayla Kessinger, Kyle Goodnight and Joseph Anthony Lillio ran out onto the diamond with the infielders, who signed autographs before the excited youngsters headed off the field.

The Dodgers host almost 400 community salutes during the season, "but only the big ones get all the on-the-field stuff like today," said Afton Kurth, Dodgers group sales representative, who added that SCV fans bought about 1,000 tickets to this year's event.

Sunday's was final game of the Dodgers' six-game inaugural homestand, and the team won them all, sweeping the San Francisco Giants and the Rockies three games each. The Dodgers extended their winning streak to eight, and took over solo possession of first place in the National League West with San Diego's 4-3 loss at Philadelphia.

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