Gold Sox still perfect vs. Mudcats
Sunday, August 7, 2005 - The Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox hitting barrage against the Solano Mudcats continued Saturday night.
Junior Contreras had a team-leading three hits, and A.J. Valentine ripped a pair of doubles as the Gold Sox blasted the Mudcats pitching staff for 15 hits in a 8-1 victory at All Seasons RV Stadium.
Matt Vance, Cole Koester and Jason Searle added two hits each for the Gold Sox.
Yuba-Sutter opened the three-game nonseries set with 15 hits and six runs in a 6-1 victory on Friday. The series and summer season finale is today. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
“(The Mudcats) haven't really thrown an overpowering pitcher, and we have made contact more often than not,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said. “A lot of guys are staying back on the ball and trying to hit it up the middle or the other way instead of pulling it.”
The Gold Sox (37-14) have a 9-0 record all time against the Mudcats (24-31).
Gold Sox starter Kody Keroher, who pitched at Solano College this spring, was solid against many of his old mates in five scoreless innings. Keroher (6-2) picked up his sixth win eight starts, scattering four hits, striking out three and walking none.
“It's different pitching against your former teammates. I had an advantage over them because I've seen what they can do and some had an advantage over me because they have seen me so many times,” said Keroher, who is headed to the University of Nevada in the fall.
Keroher, who was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 2004, is coming off an injury and admitted he hasn't been at top form this summer. But he has found other ways to get around the problem.
“I was spotting up pretty well,” Keroher said. “I didn't have my best stuff, but I hit my spots and got some confidence. I needed that. Our defense was amazing and that helped a lot, too. They made some wild plays and have been incredible all year.”
The Gold Sox gave Keroher a boost with a 5-0 lead after two innings and a 8-0 advantage after five. Gary Simmons relieved Keroher in the sixth and pitched two innings, allowing one earned run on no hits while walking four, hitting two and fanning two. Jake McKinley pitched a two-hit eighth and Alberto Rolon worked a perfect 1-2-3 ninth.
Searle's two-RBI single to center field highlighted the Gold Sox three-run fifth inning for the 8-0 lead. Jonny Norfolk's ground out scored Koester. Thennis and Contreras each singled before scoring on Searle's hit. Koester reached on a beautiful bunt down the third-base line.
Searle, a second-year player, has been hampered by numerous injures and made his first appearance in a week.
“Nobody has meant more to the team the last two years than Searle,” Peek said. “Not only is he a good baseball player, he is an outstanding man. Unfortunately for him, his body has been pretty beat up from head to toe. It was great to see him come through tonight.”
The Gold Sox broke the game open with a four-run second inning off Solano starter and losing pitcher Jason Conrad, who allowed 13 hits and eight earned runs.
Thennis drilled a hanging breaking pitch down the line in left for a two-RBI double and a 4-1 Gold Sox lead. Valentine preceded Thennis' double with one of his own, a run-scoring poke into the right-field corner. Valentine has a team-leading 41 RBIs and 15 doubles.
Vance's ground ball through the infield into left scored Norfolk, who singled.
“Both of those (Thennis' and Valentine's doubles) were big hits,” Peek said. “It was early in the game and we got a cushion. That gives us a lot of confidence. We can take a few more chances with our pitching and offensively we can try a few different things.”
The Gold Sox parlayed a three-hit first inning into a 1-0 lead after Jesse Rodgers' bloop-single to shallow left scored Vance.
Notes: Yuba College product and current San Jose State senior Wes Porter (1-2) will start the season finale ... Rodgers extended his hitting streak to 10 games, tying the longest stretch for the team this season.