Winter Is Here…

It is now nearly a month into winter (by the calendar’s definition, anyway) and Falcon Park is now buried under a thick coating of lake effect snow. After a warm December, it seemed as if we had lucked out however, the weather definitely turned for the worst since the start of the New Year.

Now that I have vented about the weather, I can continue on with this blog post. First off sorry about being a couple days behind on this. If you are mad at me read the first paragraph, again I blame the weather.

Continuing with the theme of winter, I will share my favorite parts of the season. First of all the Super Bowl takes place in the winter and watching  football with family and friends is always a highlight of January and February.

My pick for the Superbowl, Cardinals and Patriots (score prediction coming in two weeks)

Leave a comment with your pick!

The Academy Awards also take place in February. The Oscars are one of my favorite things to watch on TV (in college I spent four years working for an agency that promotes movies).

My picks for the Oscars: 
Best Picture: THE BIG SHORT (The Revenant will win)
Actor in a Leading Role: Leonardo Dicaprio (Finally)
Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson (my new celebrity crush behind Jennifer Aniston of course)
Actor in a Supporting Role: Christian Bale (The Big Short is my favorite if you could not tell)
Actress in a Supporting Role: Kate Winslet (Rachel McAdams was a close second)

Feel free to comment your favorites in these categories!

Nothing ends winter better than baseball! That is right, in just a few weeks, 30 days to be exact the Nationals pitchers and catchers will report to Spring Training! The Nationals and the rest of the Grapefruit League will start their spring training games on March 2.

Best,

Paul

 

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The Off Season Explained

Over the holidays I spent most of my time with family and there was a common theme present in every conversation. It went something like this, “Paul now that baseball season is over what do you do?” To me this question didn’t make much sense, so at first I would respond with something like, “Well I am working at the Doubledays still.”

After debating a topic for the weekly blog post I decided, why not take the time to explain what an “off season” is actually like in our front office.

First off, yes we are here and yes we are working, this may sound sarcastic but believe it or not I had to convince my own parents about how much work I actually do during the off season. The off season is just as important to the success of the franchise as the actual season.

Personally I spend the off season working on sponsorship sales and marketing. Sponsorship Sales are an important aspect of baseball in Auburn. Our sponsors help us to put on amazing fireworks shows throughout the season along with other fun and creative promotions. The Doubledays are a community baseball team and having a strong connection to the community is something we take pride in.  The marketing side of my job is the most exciting to me, as an Integrated Marketing and Public Relations graduate from John Carroll University, I enjoy helping fans interact with the team in new ways each day!   We are so excited about the 2016 season, coming off of an extremely successful 2015 season where our attendance increased by 14 percent!

The off season is also a great time to purchase your Doubledays tickets! Full and half season ticket plans as well flex plans are on sale now. Catching the Doubledays for a great price has never been easier. This time of year is also the best time to schedule your group outings with the Doubledays. Our first base deck and third base picnic area are the perfect location for groups to get together and enjoy the action!

Do you have any questions for our staff? Leave a comment below!

As always check back each week for our next blog post!

Best,

Paul Mullin

 

 

Welcome to 2016

Happy New Year!

It is now 2016 and the Doubledays season is right around the corner! (163 Days 12 hours and 11 minutes from the moment I write this to be exact but who is counting?)

As the winter begins to hit full stride and the temperature drops below freezing things are beginning to heat up here at Falcon Park.

Recently the staff and myself wrapped up a busy December with a trip to the Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville. The trip was both educational and entertaining as the staff was able to learn more about best practices from other clubs as well as promotions that we cannot wait to share in the upcoming season. Downtown Nashville was filled with the excitement of country music and southern hospitality.

After the trip down south the staff enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with their families across the country. Derek our Accounting Manager returned home to spend the time with his family and was even able to attend a UFC Championship Fight, Andrew our Operations Manager returned home to spend time with his family, but I hope his trip home was not spoiled when his New York Jets football team was defeated by my Buffalo Bills eliminating them from the playoffs.  Mike successfully binged four seasons of my personal favorite television show “Entourage.” While I spent the time with family from across the country celebrating the new year with my sister’s wedding!

Our staff is beyond excited to share in 2016 with you! Be sure to check our blog in the weeks to come as we continue to share our experiences throughout the winter as we prepare for the 2016 season of Doubledays baseball.

Best,

Paul Mullin

 

2015 Draft Recap and Season Preview

In the past week we not only hit single digits on the Opening Day countdown, but the Nationals also wrapped up the 2015 MLB Draft. In today’s post, we’ll take a look back at the draft and forward at the 2015 season.

MLB DRAFT:

Last Monday through Wednesday, the Nationals took part in the annual MLB Draft and made 40 selections. Because Washington signed Type-A free agent Max Scherzer over the offseason, they forfeited their first round pick. As a result, Washington only made two selections on day one and both came in the second round.

With the 58th overall pick, the Nats drafted Andrew Stevenson, a junior outfielder from Louisiana State University. Steven was ranked #168 by Baseball America and #79 by MLB.com in their pre-draft rankings. The junior has never been drafted before, but scouts are big fans of his defense. Some scouts give him a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale for his defense with a 65 running. Last summer, I saw him in the Cape Cod Baseball League and described him as a vacuum cleaner in center field because he caught everything hit his way.

11 picks later, Washington drafted Blake Perkins with the 69th overall pick. Perkins is currently a senior outfielder at Verrado High School in Arizona and is committed to Arizona State University. MLB Network analysts during the draft said scouts believe he could be a 5-tool player one day.

On day two, the Nationals started where they left off and drafted another outfielder in Rhett Wiseman, a junior at Vanderbilt University. Wiseman was a key to the Commodores’ 2014 NCAA Baseball Title. One round later, Washington drafted Mariano Rivera Jr., a starting pitcher at Iona and the son of the former Yankees’ great closer. The Nationals ended day two by taking pitchers with six of their final seven picks that day. The only other selection was David Kerian, a senior first baseman at the University of Illinois who was named Big 10 Player of the Year this year.

Washington made 30 selection on the third and final day of the draft. The final numbers for the Nationals draft were: 40 picks, 31 college players, 9 high school players, 21 pitchers (13 RHP and 8 LHP), and 19 position players (7 SS, 4 OF, 4 2B, 2 1B, 1 3B, 1 C.). The first three picks were outfielders and the final six were all infielders.

For a complete list of the Nationals 2015 draft picks, click here.

BRIEF SEASON PREVIEW:

The Doubledays open up on the road this year with 3 games in Batavia followed up by 3 at State College. Auburn then follows that up with its first six-game home stand with 3 against West Virginia and 3 against Brooklyn.

The Doubledays haven’t won the New York-Penn League title since 2007, but won a division title more recently in 2011. Washington announced earlier this offseason the entire coaching staff would return from last year.

For the complete schedule, click here.

Nationals Minor League Affiliates Update:

Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs: The Chiefs finished this week with a 2-5 record over its last seven games. The weather wasn’t friendly to Syracuse who played two doubleheaders this week. Ironically, the only two games the Chiefs won this past week were the second games of the two doubleheaders.

Double-A Harrisburg Senators: The Senators were the complete opposite and went 5-2 this week. Harrisburg dropped its first two games of the week against the New Britain Rock Cats (Colorado Rockies Double-A Affiliate), but then won their next five in a row.

High-A Potomac Nationals: Potomac went 3-4 over the last seven days. The Nationals split a four game series with the Carolina Mudcats (Atlanta Braves High-A Affiliate) before dropping two of three to the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles High-A Affiliate).

Low-A Hagerstown Suns: The Suns only played five games this past week due to a day off Monday and rain later in the week. Hagerstown dropped two of three to the Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles Low-A Affiliate) before losing two straight against the Lakewood Blue Claws (Philadelphia Phillies Low-A Affiliate).

And last but not least…

Washington Nationals: The big league club went 3-3 this week, but ended on a high note. Max Scherzer flirted with perfection yesterday against the Brewers. It ended up being arguably one of the most dominant performances in Nationals history.

That’s it for this week and thanks for reading. If you’d like to get in touch with me you can find me on twitter at @LauterbachDavid or by email at dlauterbach@auburndoubledays.com. Have a great week!

2015 MLB Draft Preview

Opening Day is less than two weeks away, but the 2015 MLB Draft starts in is less than 7 hours from now! Today’s post focuses on the draft by looking at when other NYPL affiliate parent clubs pick not only today, but over the next two days of the draft as well.

As I talked about a couple weeks ago on this blog, New York-Penn League parent clubs make 34 picks on the first day. This includes four picks in the top ten. The Astros (parent club of the Tri-City Valley Cats), own the 2nd and 5th overall picks, the Red Sox (parent club of the Lowell Spinners), own the 7th overall pick, and the Phillies (parent club of the Williamsport Crosscutters), own the 10th overall pick.

The other 30 New York-Penn League related picks on the first day are as follows:

Miami Marlins (Batavia Muckdogs): #12, #50

Tampa Bay Rays (Hudson Valley Renegades): #13, #52

New York Yankees (Staten Island Yankees): #16, #30, #57

Cleveland Indians (Mahoning Valley Scrappers): #17, #42, #59

Pittsburgh Pirates (West Virginia Black Bears): #19, #32, #62

Oakland Athletics (Vermont Lake Monsters): #20, #63

Detroit Tigers (Connecticut Tigers): #22, #34, #65

St. Louis Cardinals (State College Spikes): #23, #39, #66

Baltimore Orioles (Aberdeen Ironbirds): #25, #36, #68

Houston Astros (Tri-City ValleyCats): #37, #46

Philadelphia Phillies (Williamsport Crosscutters): #48

New York Mets (Brooklyn Cyclones): #53

Washington Nationals (Auburn Doubledays): #58, #69

Here is the full schedule for the 2015 MLB Draft:

Monday (on MLB Network and streamed online at MLB.com):

6:00 PM EST: Preview Show

7:00 PM EST: Rounds one and two plus the competitive balance rounds (the first 75 picks)

Tuesday (streamed online at MLB.com):

12:30 PM EST: Preview Show

1:00 PM EST: Rounds 3-10

***29 teams will have 8 picks on the second day, while the St. Louis Cardinals will have 9 picks and will select at #105 between rounds 3 and 4 for not signing last year’s #104 pick Trevor Megill***

Wednesday (streamed online at MLB.com):

12:00 PM EST: Rounds 11-40

***All 30 teams will pick once per round on the final day***

When round 3 starts, the teams will pick in reverse order of the final 2014 standings. For the first two rounds, plus the competitive balance rounds, this isn’t the case due to free agent signings from the previous offseason.

For rounds 3-40, the New York-Penn League parent clubs will select in the follow spots each round according to how they finished at the end of the 2014 season:

4th – Houston Astros (Tri City ValleyCats)

6th – Boston Red Sox (Lowell Spinners)

9th – Philadelphia Phillies (Williamsport Crosscutters)

11th – Miami Marlins (Batavia Muckdogs)

13th – Tampa Bay Rays (Hudson Valley Renegades)

14th – New York Mets (Brooklyn Cyclones)

18th – New York Yankees (Staten Island Yankees)

19th – Cleveland Indians (Mahoning Valley Scrappers)

22nd – Pittsburgh Pirates (West Virginia Black Bears)

23rd – Oakland Athletics (Vermont Lake Monsters)

25th – Detroit Tigers (Connecticut Tigers)

26th – St. Louis Cardinals (State College Spikes)

28th – Baltimore Orioles (Aberdeen Ironbirds)

29th – Washington Nationals (Auburn Doubledays)

If you’re interested in reading a couple mock drafts, I have linked a couple below from respected MLB draft analysts:

Baseball America

ESPN (Insider Required)

MLB Pipeline (MLB.com)

Sports Illustrated

Scout.com 

Minor League Ball (SB Nation)

Baseball Prospectus

Be sure to follow us on twitter @Doubledays for constant coverage of the draft once it begins tonight.

Nationals Minor League Affiliates Update:

Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs: The Triple-A club went 1-5 this week, but did have a special visitor. Doug Fister made a rehab start with Syracuse yesterday against the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox Triple-A Affiliate). Fister went 3.2 innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits. The righty struck out six and walked none.

Double-A Harrisburg Senators: Harrisburg went 1-5 this week and saw back-t0-back days off on Monday and Tuesday due to rain. The Senators visited the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees Double-A Affiliate over the week), but were swept.

High-A Potomac Nationals: The High-A club went 4-2 this past week. Oddly enough, three of Potomac’s four wins were by a score of 4-3. The Nationals only other win was by a score of 10-6.

Low-A Hagerstown Suns: Hagerstown went 4-2 as well this week. The Suns visited the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Miami Marlins Low-A Affiliate) over the weekend and split a four-game series.

And last but not least…

Washington Nationals: The big league club went 2-5 this past week against the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago Cubs. Washington hosted Toronto, but was swept. Chicago then came in to town and took three of four over the weekend.

That’s it for this week and thanks for reading. If you’d like to get in touch with me you can find me on twitter at @LauterbachDavid or by email at dlauterbach@auburndoubledays.com. Have a great week!

New York-Penn League Preview

It’s finally June, which means Doubledays baseball begins THIS MONTH! After a long offseason, the 2015 campaign is here and with it comes various changes throughout the league. So let’s take a look at what happened with the other 13 teams over the past couple months.

Aberdeen Ironbirds: Not much happened with the team farthest South. The Baltimore Orioles affiliate announced their coaches would be coming back shortly after renewing their PDC agreement through 2016, just like us. A former Ironbird also made headlines around the country, but it wasn’t for his baseball skills. Aberdeen also announced a naming rights agreement for the stadium for the first time in team history. The stadium will now be called Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. While Auburn doesn’t travel to Aberdeen for a regular season games, some Doubledays will go there for the 2015 New York-Penn League All-Star game on August 18th. The Ironbirds will visit the Doubledays July 28-30.

Batavia Muckdogs: The Miami Marlins’ affiliate had a fairly quiet offseason. The Muckdogs renewed their PDC as well with their parent club through 2016. Auburn will visit Batavia June 19-21, July 8, July 10, and September 5. The Doubledays will host the Muckdogs July 9, August 15-16, and September 6-7.

Brooklyn Cyclones: After hosting last year’s All-Star Game, Brooklyn didn’t have as busy of an offseason. The Mets affiliate did announce various jersey nights including “Back to the Future” and “Seinfeld” night, but won’t host the Doubledays this year. Instead, Brooklyn will visit Auburn June 28-30.

Connecticut Tigers: Just like us, the Tigers’ affiliate and namesake was busy hosting multiple college baseball games at their home field. Dodd Stadium hosted the ECC and NEC Baseball Tournaments over the past month. For the second straight season, Auburn won’t host Connecticut at Falcon Park, instead, the Doubledays will visit the Tigers August 9-11.

Hudson Valley Renegades: The Rays affiliate had a great feature written about two of its loyal fans for MiLB.com. The Hanson Sisters are two dedicated Renegades fans who have been to nearly every Hudson Valley home game since 2000. They’re fairly easy to spot as they wave their dancing stuffed animal raccoons throughout the game. For the second straight year however, they won’t be able to distract Doubledays players. The only regular season series between Auburn and Hudson Valley is July 31-August 2 at Falcon Park.

Lowell Spinners: Just like the Doubledays, the Spinners announced their manager Joe Oliver would be returning to the team. Other than that, it was a quiet offseason for the Red Sox affiliate. The Spinners did announce one great promotion that will take place when the Doubledays visit Lelacheur Park from July 24-26. Lowell will be giving away Frates Ice Bucket Bobbleheads to honor Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball summer suffering from ALS who started the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last year. You can purchase the bobblehead as well right here with all the proceeds going to the Pete Frates #3 Fund for ALS research.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers: The Indians affiliate hosted a couple Youngstown State Baseball games this past offseason at Eastwood Field this offseason. Continuing with the Youngstown State theme, the Scrappers also announced they are giving away a Jim Tressel Bobblehead this season. Tressel was the Youngstown State Head Football Coach from 1986-2000 before leaving for Ohio State. Auburn will visit Mahoning Valley July 15-17. The Doubledays will host the Scrappers August 25-26 and September 2-4.

State College Spikes: The 2014 New York-Penn League Champions had a big change in the dugout this season. Their parent club, the St. Louis Cardinals, promoted the Spikes’ 2014 manager, Oliver Marmol, to be the manager of the Palm Beach Cardinals, the team’s Advanced-A Affiliate in the Florida State League. That led to another promotion as Johnny Rodriguez, the former manager at the rookie level Johnson City Cardinals, was announced as the new State College skipper. Rodriguez previously managed at Palm Beach before he took over in Johnson City and ultimately won the Appalachian League title last season. Auburn will travel to State College June 22-24 and August 27-29. The Doubledays will host the Spikes July 4-6.

Staten Island Yankees: The Baby Bombers pranked their fans on April 1st. The Yankees’ affiliate announced they would be changing their name to the “Staten Island Wise Guys.” In the press release, it was announced Vincent Pastore, an actor on the HBO series The Sopranos, was the new owner and would be changing the team name. Other than that, the only other big news was the announcement of a new naming rights extension through 2019. The Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George will keep its name for another five years, but won’t host the Doubledays this year. Instead the Yankees will visit Falcon Park July 11-13.

Tri-City ValleyCats: With their parent club the Houston Astros falling out of contention early last year, a handful of ValleyCats made their MLB debuts late in 2014 and in early 2015. Tri-City also announced Ed Romero would be returning as their manager for his third straight season after leading the ValleyCats to the championship series last year before they lost to the Spikes in three games. Auburn visits Tri-City August 12-14, but does not host the ValleyCats in 2015.

Vermont Lake Monsters: This offseason, the Lake Monsters lost their 2014 manager David Newhan to the Detroit Tigers who hired him as an Assistant Hitting Coach. Shortly after, Vermont’s parent club the Oakland Athletics announced Aaron Nieckula would be the team’s new manager. Nieckula led the Midland RockHounds, Oakland’s Double-A affiliate, to the Texas League Championship in 2014. The Lake Monsters were also recognized by the New York-Penn League as the winner of the 2014 Leo Pickney Promotional Award for outstanding promotional work during the 2014 season. Auburn will travel to Vermont July 21-23, but won’t host the Lake Monsters this season.

West Virginia Black Bears: Just those last four words are the biggest changes from this past offseason for any team in the New York-Penn League. Last year, that would have read Jamestown Jammers. Over the last couple months, the Jammers have not only changed team names, but also states and stadiums! The Jammers are now the Black Bears and are located in Morgantown, West Virginia. They are still the Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate and now play at the brand new Monongalia County Ballpark, which they share with the West Virginia University Baseball team. It’s a gorgeous 2,500 seat stadium built over the past year that has synthetic turf. You can check out the team’s new uniforms as well right here. The Doubledays will visit the Black Bears August 3-5 and 19-20. West Virginia will travel to Auburn June 25-27 and July 18-20.

Williamsport Crosscutters: The Crosscutters hopped on the special jersey bandwagon this offseason with an odd twist. The Phillies’ affiliate asked for fans to submit pictures of their pets to be on the special jerseys as par of a Pet Friendly Weekend at the ballpark. The Doubledays visit the Crosscutters July 1-3, August 21, August 31, and September 1. Williamsport travels to Auburn August 6-8, August 22-August 23, August 30.

Next week we’ll take a look at the 2015 draft and where the New York-Penn League’s Parent Clubs will draft on the draft’s first day a week from today.

Nationals Minor League Affiliates Update:

Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs: It wasn’t an easy week for Syracuse who went 0-7 on its seven game road trip. The Chiefs visited the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles Triple-A Affiliate) and Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays Triple-A Affiliate) and were outscored 29 to 11. The Chiefs scored more than two runs once and were shutout twice.

Double-A Harrisburg Senators: The Double-A club went 2-5 this past week. The Senators visited the Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants Double-A Affiliate) and were swept. Richmond outscored Harrisburg 21 to 5 in that series.

Advanced-A Potomac Nationals: Potomac went 2-5 over the past week. The Nationals struggled once again against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs High-A Affiliate) the last two days and were outscored 18-3.

Single-A Hagerstown Suns: The Suns went 3-4 this past week and have now played 20 games in 19 days and don’t have a day off until a week from today. Hagerstown hosted the Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox Low-A Affiliate) for a four game series to end the week, but lost three of four.

And last but not least…

Washington Nationals: The big league club also went under .500 this past week and 2-4 in their six games. The Nationals took two of three against the Cubs on the road before an off day Thursday. Washington then visited Cincinnati and was swept by the Reds.

That’s it for this week and thanks for reading. If you’d like to get in touch with me you can find me on twitter at @LauterbachDavid or by email at dlauterbach@auburndoubledays.com. Have a great week!

What to Expect

First off, Happy Memorial Day to all the men and women who served and continue to serve our country. Connecting Memorial Day to baseball, one of the most unique aspects of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY is that under the plaques of Hall of Famers who served in a branch of the military is a medal/emblem commemorating their service. It’s a very unique way of thanking some of the best baseball players ever for serving their country.

Moving on to the Doubledays, seeing as it’s May 25th, that means exactly one month from today we will host the West Virginia Black Bears at 7:05 PM for our home opener. You can buy various ticket packages right now on our website to secure your seat for the home opener. Which brings us to the topic of this post…

With one month to go until our home opener, and 25 days until the season opener at Batavia on June 19th, there is still a lot we haven’t announced yet about the upcoming season. Here’s are three big things you can expect to see announced over the next month:

Single Game Tickets – Right now, as I mentioned above, only ticket packages like season tickets, tent/deck parties, and group outings tickets can be purchased. But in the near future, expect to see an announcement about single game ticket sales.

Promotions – Last year we had a wealth of different promotions throughout the season. Expect to see another list of promotions in the coming weeks.

Team Roster – Two weeks from tonight, our parent club, the Washington Nationals, will take place in the annual MLB Draft. The draft takes place from June 8-10. During the draft, many 2015 Doubledays will be drafted by the Nationals while their New York-Penn League opponents will be drafted by their parent clubs as well. After the draft, we will have a better idea of who our fans can expect to see wearing a Doubledays uniform this season. We will be covering the draft in detail on our Twitter and Facebook pages during all three draft days.

Nationals Minor League Affiliates Update:

Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs: Syracuse faced off against Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A Affiliate) and Indianapolis (Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A Affiliate) and went 1-5 this past week. The Chiefs hosted the Ironpigs the first four games of the week due to multiple rainouts earlier this month and Lehigh Valley swept Syracuse. The Chiefs then hosted the Indians and won game three after Indianapolis took the first two.

Double-A Harrisburg Senators: The Double-A club did well and went 4-2. Harrisburg had Monday off before hosting Binghamton (New York Mets Double-A Affiliate) for a three game set. The Senators took two of three from the B-Mets before taking two of three from the New Britain Rock Cats (Colorado Rockies Double-A Affiliate).

High-A Potomac Nationals: It was a similar week for Potomac, who went 4-2 over the last seven days. The Nationals hosted the Carolina Mudcats (Atlanta Braves High-A Affiliate) and swept them out of Potomac. The Nats then visited the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs High-A Affiliate) and lost twice before winning last night. Potomac and Myrtle Beach square off again today at 6:05 PM EST.

Low-A Hagerstown Suns: The Suns didn’t have a day off, but that didn’t affect them as they went 5-2. Hagerstown hosted the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Miami Marlins Low-A Affiliate) and swept them out of Virginia. The Suns then visited the Lexington Legends (Kansas City Royals Low-A Affiliate) and split the four game series.

And last but not least…

Washington Nationals: It was a slow week in the Nation’s Capital as the Nationals only played five games. But Washington did well and went 4-1. The Nationals swept a two-game series with the Yankees before hosting the Phillies and winning two of three.

That’s it for this week and thanks for reading. If you’d like to get in touch with me you can find me on twitter at @LauterbachDavid or by email at dlauterbach@auburndoubledays.com. Have a great week!