Plenty of offense to support Rolon win
June 10, 2006 - The bats came alive for the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox Friday night at All Seasons RV Stadium against none other than their Horizon Air Summer Series rivals the Solano Thunderbirds.
In the second of a short two-game series, Jonathan Dees led the Gold Sox attack with two hits and three RBIs, including the go-ahead hit in the sixth inning as Yuba-Sutter beat the T-Birds 8-3 to sweep the series.
The win improves the Gold Sox to 10-1. The win also counts in the Summer Series standings, where Yuba Sutter leads with a 6-1 mark. The T-Birds fall to 0-2.
With the Gold Sox pitching staff getting all the accolades during the first two weeks of the season, it was the hitting of Dees, along with big hits from Brett Nightingale and Joél Torres that turned a potentially low-scoring affair into an eight-run offensive outbrust.
“We had runners in scoring position all night but weren't getting that one hit to drive them in,” said Gold Sox manager Brad Peek. “Dees had two on and two outs when he got the hit that helped break the game open. That would have been a backbreaker if he doesn't get the hit. That definitely was the hit of the game.”
Dees scored the Gold Sox first run in daring fashion in the fifth after a leadoff double over the head of the leftfielder. He was at third and Torres at first following a groundball single.
With Etienne Materre at bat, Peek sent Torres to second on a steal attempt. Solano catcher Richard Flores threw down to get Torres, who slid past the tag into second safely. Meanwhile, Dees raced home. The return throw was offline and the Gold Sox tied the game at 1-1.
They had been trailing 1-0 after a two-out T-Bird rally in the first.
Gold Sox starter Alberto Rolon worked his way out of a few jams set up by Gold Sox errors. He worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the second and survived the third thanks in part to a great defensive play by right fielder B.J. Collom.
With runners on second and third, Solano batter Eli Rimes hit a flyball to right. Collom caught it and gunned down Aaron Tripp trying to score from third. The throw came up the line, but in plenty of time to get Tripp, who was ejected by the home plate umpire for intentionally trying bull over catcher Matt Kavanaugh.
“That was a great decoy by Collom,” Peek said. “He faked like he caught the ball quicker than he did, holding up the runner just enough. Then Matt caught the throw on a hop and made the play. It saved a run.”
Solano took the lead back with two runs off Rolon in the sixth. They put together four singles and looked to get more, but a great throw by Dees to third baseman Doug Thennis to get a runner trying for the extra bases ended the threat. It would be the last one of the night for the T-Birds.
Dees' heroics in the sixth was set up by a walk to Collom and a error by Solano putting Thennis at first. Nightingale then ripped a double off the wall scoring Collom. After Dees two-out hit scored Thennis and Nightingale, the Gold Sox had their first lead of the game at 4-3.
The wildness of Solano reliver Nick Lott helped the Gold Sox bring home four runs in the bottom of the eighth to seal the win. One walk was intentional to A.J. Valentine to load the bases with one out. Solano was hoping for the double-play grounder to end the inning. Instead, Lott walked Dees and Jeff Horn to force in two runs. Then Torres lashed a first-pitch grounder past third, driving in the game's final two runs.
Rolon gave way to Josh Roberts in the seventh. Roberts only allowed an infield single in three innings of work. He struck out two in earning his third save in three chances.
“Rolon deserved better tonight, but he got the win,” said Peek. “We didn't make a play or two for him early on and forced him to make more pitches than he needed to. Roberts was lights out again.”