Gold Sox prevail as time runs out
Ryan Angel sliced a single past a drawn-in infield to drive Jason Searle home with the winning run in the ninth, handing the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox a 4-3 victory over the Maxim Yankees as time ran out Sunday night at All Seasons RV Stadium.
Yes, baseball was on the clock in Marysville.
Because of the annual Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza around Ellis Lake, it was decided that the game would not extend after 9:35.
But as the clock struck the bewitching moment, the game was tied at 3, and the Gold Sox had the bases loaded with Angel coming to the plate.
“We had a gentleman's agreement (with Maxim) that this would be the last batter no matter what,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said.
Angel then poked a 1-1 pitch from Tom Van Buskirk between third baseman Jordan Bergstrom and a diving Anthony Contreras at short for the apparent win.
But it wasn't really official until Peek met with Maxim officials after the game.
“To be fair with (the Yankees), because we were over the time limit, I gave them the option to take the tie,” Peek said.
“But they said take the win, we had earned it,” the skipper added. “And the bottom line, we did win it in regulation.”
The Yankees put themselves in position for the tie with two unearned runs in the eighth inning, spoiling a terrific performance by Gold Sox starter Vince DeCoito.
The right-hander from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, worked 72/3 innings, allowing three runs - one earned - on just 78 pitches. He surrendered five hits, walked one, hit a batter and struck out four.
Peek said he knew DeCoito could handle the extra pressure of working in front of a big crowd, which was reported at 2,827 by Gold Sox officials.
“Vince was great. ... He works fast and he keeps the defense in the game,” Peek said.
Blake Knabenshue (4-1) replaced DeCoito with runners on first and third. Bergstrom greeted the new hurler with a looping single to center to make it 3-2, and Scott Niahue followed that with a flare to right to knock in the tying score.
Two Yuba-Sutter errors helped the Maxim rally, including a bobbled back-handed try by second baseman Frank Jeney that should have ended the inning.
Maxim took a 1-0 lead in the first as former Gold Sox Archie Gilbert was hit by a pitch on an 0-2 count to open the game. He stole second, moved to third on a single by Contreras, and scored on a Gold Sox double play started by shortstop Mark Steinbeck.
Gilbert added a fifth-inning double and scored the first of Maxim's two runs in the eighth.
The Gold Sox knotted the game at 1 in the third inning. A.J. Valentine rapped the first of his two hits, a double down the right-field line, to open the frame. A sacrifice by Angel moved him to third, and Valentine scored on an error by Bergstrom.
Jason Searle blasted his first home run of the season into the netting over the left-field wall to make it a 2-1 game in the third, and Jeney doubled home Steinbeck in the fifth to make it 3-1.
Van Buskirk, the third Yankee pitcher, took the loss.
Starter Anthony Rea was tagged with the other three Gold Sox runs, but only one was earned. He allowed three hits and struck out five in five innings. He gave way to Brad Kilby, who worked two scoreless innings.
Maxim took two of the three games in the series.