Back-to-back losses twice as tough
Friday, June 3, 2005 - Twice in two nights against Salinas Valley the Gold Sox jumped ahead first, only to watch the Packers come back and tie the game.
Twice the Gold Sox bullpen entered the game relieving a starter who was silencing the Packers' bats and both times Salinas took the lead.
Twice the Gold Sox rallied in the bottom of the ninth, bringing the winning run to the plate, with their strongest offensive effort of the game and both times the comeback fell short, with the final score 7-6 in favor of Salinas Friday night at All Seasons RV Stadium.
“The spirit is great to comeback and threaten,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said after his team lost their third straight to drop to 3-3. “But you got to get it done, whether you comeback all the way or not is how you will be gauged. You have to go through the door not just stop at it.”
The Gold Sox started pounding on the comeback door in the ninth, after Salinas took a 7-3 lead in the top of the inning. Zach Weidenaar lead off with an infield single and Jonny Norfolk followed with a single down the first base line. Jordan Prado's ground out gave Yuba-Sutter second and third. Ricky Bambino, he was forced to play after second baseman Cole Koester felt lightheaded, walked to load the bases.
Jason Searle drew a two-out walk, Jesse Rodgers struck out ahead of him, to drive in a run and cut the lead to 7-4. A.J. Valentine broke out of an 0-for-8 slump with a single up the middle, driving in two runs and putting the tying run in scoring position, as was the case the night before. But Billy Sinacori grounded out to end the game.
“We just have to do it for all nine innings,” said Rodgers, who was 3-for-5. “We need to take our approach we had in the ninth and start using it in the first. We need to stay focused and not be content with a rally at the end and finish it.”
Tyler Pearson started what looked to be a pitchers duel, going 6 1/3 innings. Three of the four runs Salinas scored in the seventh were created to him after he walked, his first of the game, hit a batter, his second of the game, and gave up a single, before being pulled with one out. For the previous six innings Pearson allowed one unearned run and struck out seven without allowing an extra-base hit.
“I got in trouble in the seventh and you can't do that,” Pearson said.
At one point, between the third and fourth innings Pearson struck out five in a row.
“It just happens,” Pearson said. “Sometimes you go on streaks where your pitches are working.”
Steve Alverson in his first Gold Sox action since coming over from Louisiana Tech gave up a double on his first pitch, then an RBI ground out and a run scoring single before Searle gunned down Pat Burgess at home to end the inning.
“When you've got a lead you have to pitch aggressively,” Peek said.
Salinas tacked on two runs in the top of the ninth against the Gold Sox second reliever of the night Jake McKinley.
Notes: The Gold Sox pitching staff's favorite music must be chin music, or back music or elbow music because they have plunked seven batters in the previous two games.
“Part of it is the attempt to pitch inside,” Peek said. “Against wooden bats you have to pitch inside. In college against aluminum bats you pitch outside.”