Sinacori breaks through with 3 hits
Sunday, June 19, 2005 - Billy Sinacori has made a slow transition from using an aluminum bat with Sacramento State in the spring and lumber with the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox this summer.
The third baseman entered Sunday's non-series game against the Sacramento Legends with just a .120 batting average (9-of-54) but finally looked comfortable with the wood bat in his hands, recording a season-high 3-for-4 night at the plate as the Gold Sox picked up a 2-1 victory.
“I think it (hitting with wood) has affected me more than it has others because they've made adjustments and have pretty good averages,” Sinacori said. “I just have to keep doing what I can do and I'll be all right.”
Sinacori struggled through an 0-for-10 slide before breaking the slump with two hits in a loss to Solano on Tuesday. He then went hitless in his next five at-bats before Sunday.
“It's great to see him get three hits,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said. “He has hit into some bad luck. He's had line drive outs to left and another to third that ended up being a double play. He's hit others hard but just hasn't got anything to show for it ... I just hope he can be more consistent.”
The Gold Sox were a little sloppy on the base paths and in the field against the Legends after winning a hard-fought three game series against the defending National Baseball Congress champion Aloha Knights to begin the weekend.
The Gold Sox committed three errors and were thrown out at the plate twice.
“We talked about not playing down to (the Legends) in pre-game, but we did have some at-bats that we threw away,” Peek said. “I also made a coaching mistake sending the runner home early with no outs. I shouldn't have sent that guy, but I was trying to get us in the game early.”
Matt Huff (2-1) pitched five solid innings for the victory, allowing just two hits and no runs, while striking out three and walking two. Jason Peters picked up his second save with two scoreless innings, fanning three and dropping his team-leading ERA to 0.75.
Omar Aguilar of Merced College made his first appearance for the Gold Sox and lit up the radar-gun display in right field with a fastball in the mid-90s. Aguilar, who has a scholarship offer from the University of Oklahoma, relieved Huff for a perfect sixth.
Gary Simmons then came on for Aguilar, who is recovering from an arm injury and is not 100 percent, in the seventh and struggled badly as the Legends cut the Gold Sox lead to 2-1.
Simmons allowed a lead-off single to Ed Gill on a controversial play. Shortstop Matt Vance went deep in the hole to field Gill's ground ball and threw to Valentine at first, who was pulled off the bag but looked to have tagged Gill in the air. Gill was called safe and Peek came out to argue, but the call would stand.
Gill went to third on a passed ball, and scored on Dan Gill's double to the wall in left. Simmons hit three batters in the inning and received harsh words from Peek after hitting his second of the inning.
“I challenged him a little,” Peek said. “I want to see him do well and unfortunately, he struggled. The ability is there and he's a great young man.”
An error led to the Gold Sox first run in the third inning when Zach Weidenaar's ground-out off losing pitcher Mike Kaufman scored Matt Vance.
Vance reached on an error after his bunt attempt was thrown into right field by third baseman Kevin Magill. Cole Koester attempted to score from first on the play but was thrown out at the plate by Paul Paletta.
Junior Contreras' RBI-fielder's choice in the fifth put the Gold Sox up 2-0. Weidenaar singled to center, was moved to third on A.J. Valentine's double to the wall in left and scored after Contreras' ground ball to shortstop.
Valentine improved his average to .413 after going 3-for-3.
Notes: The Gold Sox will travel for the second time this season, making a single-game road trip on Tuesday to face the Oakland Eagles in a Horizon Air Summer Series game. Eagles pitcher Loren Moneypenny pitched a no-hitter Friday to defeat the Salinas Valley Packers, 1-0. The Eagles trail Yuba-Sutter and Salinas by a half game in the McCullough Division of the Summer Series.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Justin Miller can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.