Patience paying gold for Sox hitters
Saturday, July 2, 2005 - The Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox are becoming increasingly more patient at the plate, and it's beginning to pay dividends.
The Gold Sox (18-8, 15-5) drew eight walks on Sunday, four of which scored, and won the second of a four-game series against the Maxim Yankees, 8-3. It was the sixth straight win.
The Gold Sox, coming off a 16-3 victory over the Yankees (9-9, 2-8) to open the series, are in the middle of a stretch of playing nine games in 10 days.
Gold Sox manager Brad Peek acknowledged his team's patience at the dish was a big difference.
“Without a doubt,” Peek said. “We didn't get many hits, and I hate to say a walk is as good as a hit, but it is.”
Matt Suleski was the only Gold Sox player with multiple hits, singling in the first and knocking home a run with a double in the sixth. He also walked twice and scored a run in the fifth after reaching on the Yankees' third error of the night. The Gold Sox finished with seven hits.
It was Suleski's second game back after a hamstring injury kept him out since June 18.
“It was good to have Matt back in the lineup,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said. “He adds another dimension to the middle of our order. He's not 100 percent with his running, but he is getting closer.”
Kyle Hill (3-0) remains the only Gold Sox starting pitcher without a loss, throwing 61/3 strong innings. He allowed three runs on five hits while fanning four, walking three and hitting consecutive batters in the sixth.
Wes Porter threw 12/3 innings of relief, allowing two hits, while Jason Peters continued his dominance in short relief, pitching a perfect ninth.
“Hill just keeps improving, and he had another good outing tonight,” Peek said. “Anytime you can get six innings out of your starter, that's big. That's all we ask for, and they've been doing that lately.”
Yankees' starter Erik Davis (3-1) pitched three innings before leaving with an apparent arm injury and took his first loss. He allowed four runs - three earned - on six hits and entered the game with an impressive 0.53 ERA.
“That first pitcher was pretty good,” Peek said. “If he doesn't get hurt, it could be a different game.
Reliever Steve Johnson struggled badly, and the Gold Sox extended their lead to five, 7-2, in the fifth inning. The Gold Sox scored two runs on no hits in consecutive innings off Johnson.
Suleski scored from third on a fielder's choice ground ball to second by Billy Sinacori in the fifth. Matt Vance's sacrifice fly scored Contreras for the seventh run.
Jesse Rodgers and Jonny Norfolk each walked and then went on to score on consecutive errors in the fourth inning for a 5-2 Gold Sox advantage. Rodgers leads the team with 24 walks.
Norfolk scored from second when A.J. Valentine's ground-ball was bobbled for an error on the throw to first. Rodgers also scored from second when Jason Searle's ground ball skipped off Dave Ericson at third base and went into left. Norfolk walked twice but was 0-for-2 and is 0-for-his-last-12.
Rodgers and Sinacori each picked up RBI-singles in the second inning for a 3-1 lead.
Vance doubled to lead-off the bottom of the first, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rodgers and scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch.
Vance leads the team with a .530 on base percentage, while Rodgers is second at .472. Those numbers brought praise from Peek.
“Vance and Rodgers get the table set whether they walk, get a hit or are hit by a pitch,” Peek said.
Suleski then doubled to right-center in the sixth, bringing Searle home for the Gold Sox final run. Searle walked and stole second before scoring.
Jordan Prado extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the first inning, his only hit of the game.
Notes: Outfielder Zach Wiedenaar has left the team. He has returned to Colorado to attend summer school. He was hitting .297 with eight RBIs, four doubles a triple and 16 runs scored. Pitcher Will Krout is now pitching for the Novato Knicks while he tries to latch on with an Independent team. All Seasons RV Stadium is now a “Wi-Fi Hotspot.” The high speed Internet access will be free to all fans attending Gold Sox games.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Justin Miller can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.