Yuba-Sutter uses cruise control in win over San Jose
Stuart Kitchen/For the Appeal-Democrat
For the first five innings of Saturday night's Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox contest with the San Jose Seals at All-Seasons RV Stadium, the Gold Sox had all cylinders going in building a commanding 13-2 lead.
The last four innings were a different story as the Gold Sox painfully played out the string to hold on to a 13-7 victory and their second straight win over the Seals.
“This game started out a lot better than it ended up,” said Gold Sox manager Brad Peek afterwards. “But a win is a win and we'll take it.”
The Gold Sox go for the series sweep tonight at 7 o'clock.
The Horizon Air Summer Series victory keeps the Gold Sox atop the Don McCullough Division with a 21-4 record. The have a two-game lead over the second-place Santa Maria Indians.
“We played better in the first half and just didn't keep our focus over the entire game,” Peek said. “When you get up by a lot, the tempo slows down and you lose some intensity.”
Five errors, several wild pitches and only two hits over the course of the final four innings marred what had been a stellar all-around performance by the Gold Sox. They had 10 hits, including five extra-base hits, over the first five innings. They were stealing bases and taking advantage of four San Jose errors in racking up 13 runs.
“The bats were fine tonight,” said Peek, “We got our share of hits. But later, we threw away a lot of at-bats by swinging at bad pitches in certain situations.”
After being shut out the night before, the Seals scored in the top of the first off starter Ryan Zaft to jump out to a quick 1-0 lead. The Gold Sox answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half.
Matt Kavanaugh and Joél Torres each walked and stole a base setting up Doug Thennis' ground-ball double down the third-base line, scoring both runners. Thennis later scored on a passed ball.
The Gold Sox erupted for six runs in the third. Torres and A.J. Valentine each ripped doubles to the wall in the inning. Two errors and a wild pitch aided in the Gold Sox's scoring barrage. Alex Zanini doubled several batters later to drive in another run. Johnathan Dees hit a bloop single and raced to second when no one covered for a double that drove in the sixth run.
Three more runs in the fifth made the score 13-2. Dees had the big hit with a triple to the wall in left-center scoring two runs. Kavanaugh singled in another run.
Zaft went the first six innings to notch the win and move to 4-1 on the season. He gave up three runs on six hits as he saw his ERA go from 0.28 to 0.48.
The Seals managed to make some noise in the eighth with four runs off reliever Matt Edgecombe. Edgecombe came on to relieve Brett Nightingale, who pitched a one-two-three seventh inning. The defense betrayed Edgecombe as two throwing errors led to two unearned runs. Both throws may not have been made if the score was much closer.
“We had guys in different situations toward the end that aren't use to being in there,” said Peek. “It was tough for Matt, who doesn't pitch much, to warm up for five minutes and then send him out there. But we wanted to see him pitch, and this was a good chance to put him in.”
Alberto Rolon finished the game in the ninth with no runs and no hits after the leadoff hitter got on by another error.
Dees reached base four times and scored twice while driving in three runs. Thennis and Zanini each had two hits to pace the 12-hit Gold Sox attack.