Thompson three-hits Scorch
Having used his bullpen for eight innings a day earlier, Gold Sox manager Brad Peek mentioned that he needed to have Eric Thompson pitch deep into Friday's game.
Thompson took that literally.
The right-hander hurled Yuba-Sutter's second complete game of the year, a 3-0 masterpiece against the Sacramento Scorch in a nonleague outing in Marysville.
“He did a great job. He gave us just what we needed,” Peek said. “I'm not sure what he finished with, but he was at 108 pitches going into that last inning. He was one tired puppy by the end.”
The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Thompson struck out five and walked three.
The Scorch did muster a two-out, bases-loaded threat in the fifth. However, the right-hander quickly defused that, retiring 14 of the next 15 batters to finish the game.
Thompson (7-1) struck out fellow pitcher Matt Long for the final out of the game and pumped his fist in one of his few signs of emotion.
Long, a 19-year-old right-hander headed to American River College next year, was sharp as well in a game that buzzed by in 2 hours, 4 minutes. Long went the distance too, striking out nine and allowing seven hits, two of those infield singles.
“He throws a really nice split,” said Sacramento manager Mike Girard Jr. “That's his get-out pitch or go-to pitch with two strikes.”
Peek mentioned that his team couldn't lay off the split-fingered fastball for a while.
“Early in the game, he was getting a lot of hitters out with that,” Peek said. “We were being a little too aggressive trying to hit that pitch. I think the three strikeouts in the first inning all came with splits.”
The Gold Sox (31-11) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after consecutive doubles from Cameron Shick and Jason Searle. Shick, who was 2-for-3, sliced his double the opposite way, and Searle pulled his just past third baseman Matt Augustine.
Yuba-Sutter scratched home its second run in the sixth. Frank Jeney reached on an infield single and was sacrificed to second by an R.C. Dickerson bunt. Long walked Brennan Garr, and Shick singled sharply to right to load the bases.
Long then hit Searle on the shoulder to force in Jeney from third.
The Gold Sox could not cash in on a big inning though. Long struck A.J. Valentine out looking and induced a ground ball from Ricky Bambino to end the threat.
“We've been leaving a lot of guys on base, even the games we've won,” Peek said.
Valentine did redeem himself with an RBI single off the right field wall in the eighth, which scored Garr for the final run of the game.
“A.J. has been scuffling. We're trying to get him to make better adjustments the last couple of days,” Peek said. “He needs to go up there with a little bit better plan, but he came up big in the eighth.”
Sacramento's three hits were all singles to center - one from Ross Elmendorf in the third, another from Ryan Wulfert in the fifth and then Tyler Sabatke in the sixth.
Notes: The shutout was the sixth of the year for the Gold Sox ... Nic Waechter, who pitches on Sunday, has the team's only other complete game ... Peek said with Vince DeCoito's back still a concern, Tony Biale (0-0, 0.63) will start today's game against Sacramento's Brad Gunter ... Ryan Angel, who is in an 0-for-17 slide, was given the night off ... Searle extended his hitting streak to seven games ... Former Sutter High and Yuba College standout Zack Zwissig started at catcher for the Scorch. He was 0-for-3, reaching once on a fielder's choice. ... Jeney only Gold to appear in all 42 games.