PHOENIX -- Derek Stepan pitched and Lawson Crouse homered to highlight "Coyotes Night" at Chase Field on Friday.
Stepan delivered the ceremonial first pitch - albeit a little high - before the Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres MLB game. The D-backs invited members of the Coyotes to attend as special guests, much like the Coyotes did for the D-backs last season at Gila River Arena.
"It was a terrible pitch, but it was a lot of fun," Stepan said with a smile. "It was cool to be here on the field, and I got to bring my family. I really enjoyed it. I wish the pitch was a little bit better but I enjoyed it. I'm going to blame (the high pitch) on no warm-up. I didn't really get to warm up the arm. I'm going to blame it on all the things I can. Like I said, I had a lot of fun, but I wish I would have been able to throw a strike."
Crouse, Louis Domingue, Jordan Martinook and Brad Richardson all took swings in the batting cage before the game. Crouse stole the show by launching a home run into the right-field seats, winning a friendly wager with Domingue, who laced some line drives into the outfield gaps but not over the fence. Because he lost the wager, Domingue must send an autographed jersey to a randomly selected Twitter follower who picked him to lose to Crouse in the home run hitting contest.
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"It was just a good way to kind of engage the fans and have some fun with it," said Crouse, who also took batting practice at Miami's MLB park as part of the 2016 NHL Draft. He hit a homer there, too.
The foursome also shagged fly balls and fielded grounders in the outfield as the D-backs took batting practice.
"Coming out here, seeing this facility and meeting some of the players, and then getting the chance to take some batting practice and get a few cuts in, it was a lot of fun," Crouse said. " ... I played baseball a lot growing up and had a lot of fun, but when hockey started to become a little bit more serious you have to pick a lane and for me, I was much better at hockey. So I went that route, but I always enjoy coming out here and watching games."
Martinook later appeared as a guest on FOX Sports Arizona's pre-game show. Stepan and Oliver Ekman-Larsson also were on-air guests during the broadcast. So, too, were General Manager John Chayka and President/CEO Steve Patterson.