This time Yuba-Sutter finds late gold
Saturday, June 4, 2005 - It wasn't a pretty win, but the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox will take it anyway.
The Gold Sox scored twice in the bottom of the eighth for a two-run lead on consecutive errors by the Salinas Valley Packers and held off a Salinas rally in the top of the ninth, for a much-needed 6-5 victory on Saturday, ending a three-game losing streak.
The Gold Sox committed a season-high four errors but managed to stave off a possible sweep by the Packers (5-2) and their worst start in collegiate team history, taking one of the three-game set. The Gold Sox (4-3) have never slipped below .500 as a collegiate team.
“We needed this win bad,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said. “This was a good team win.”
The eighth inning was an error-filled stanza with five mistakes committed between the teams.
The Gold Sox committed three in the top half of the eighth with two outs, allowing the Packers to tie it at 4-all. Salinas then had two straight miscues with two outs in the bottom half, allowing Billy Sinacori to plate the go-ahead run, 5-4, and Ricky Bambino came across for the 6-5 advantage.
Sinacori drew a two-out walk from losing pitcher Paige Dumont, who came on in the seventh, and Bambino squibbed a to shallow right. Zach Weidenaar came up and hit a high chopper to first, that Pat Burgess couldn't handle, and the ball rolled into right as Sinacori rounded third and scored, giving the Gold Sox the lead.
Right fielder Jordan Ballard picked up the lose ball and attempted to throw out Bambino at third, but his throw was low and scooted by Justin Baker, allowing Bambino to cross home safely.
Peek was confused by his defense's errors but was glad to see his club wasn't the only one booting balls.
“Fortunately for us, they also made errors and we capitalized on them,” Peek said.
Gold Sox pitcher Jason Peters notched the win despite giving up an unearned run in the eighth for the 4-4 tie and an earned run with two outs in the ninth. He allowed three hits, fanned out four - including Jose Valerio to end the game - and walked no one.
Matt Huff started the game, lasting four innings, giving up six hits two runs while fanning five and walking one. Gary Simmons pitched two innings, allowing a hit, and Kody Keroher worked a three-hit seventh, allowing one run.
“Huff was not bad but not great, and Simmons gave us two solid innings to get us back into it,” Peek said. “I had Wes (Porter) on reserve if needed, but (Peters) was closing games on his college team. It was just a matter of getting balls down and making his pitches.”
Huff gave up his two runs in the third on consecutive doubles from Burgess and John Allman, who had three in the game. The Gold Sox then came back to tag Salinas starter Matt Wickswatt for two runs, knotting it at two in the bottom half.
Sinacori ripped a triple to the wall in left-center, knocking home Junior Contreras. Weidenaar singled back up the middle to plate Contreras.
The Gold Sox broke the tie with a pair in the sixth off reliever Josh Bryant, who hit two and walked two in the inning. Jordan Prado scored to make it 3-2 after being hit and knocked home on Contreras' RBI-single into shallow center. John Norfolk then walked, moved to second on Contreras' hit, went to third after Sinacori was hit by Bryant and came home when Bambino was hit with two strikes on him.
Salinas cut it two 4-3 in the top of the seventh with two outs after Jason Searle botched a routine fly out that led to a run.
A trio of errors in the eighth allowed the Packers to tie it when Baker came home. Baker reached on an error by Sinacori, moved to second after Peters committed a throwing error, went to third on Ballard's single and came home on another error by Sinacori after a rundown between home and third.
“I don't know what happened. We have been playing exceptional, until today,” Peek said. “We just butchered some plays.”
Appeal-Democrat reporter Justin Miller can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org