Gold Sox finish off Packers
June 4, 2006 - Etienne Materre had three of the Gold Sox's six hits but it was his bunt in the seventh inning Saturday night that made the difference.
With runners on first and second, no outs and the score tied 1-1 against the Salinas Valley Packers, Materre dropped a bunt toward third base. Pitcher Skyler Crawford, who had just entered the game, fired a wild throw to first that got by Justin Baker and skipped near the Gold Sox dugout, allowing Jeff Horn to score.
The one-run lead would be enough as the Gold Sox were strong in relief once again, and Yuba-Sutter swept the three-game Horizon Air Summer Series set with the Packers after the 2-1 victory.
Materre's second single, a sharply hit ball into right, scored Joél Torres to tie the game at 1-all in the third.
“I was seeing a lot of fastballs, and I was trying to work the other way and let the ball get deep,” Materre said.
It was the second straight one-run victory for the Gold Sox and their third of the season.
“I told the guys last week when we beat Seaside (1-0) that I love one-run games because they are exciting with every pitch, just as long as we're the ones winning,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said. “I think the players get better when performing in tight situations.”
The Gold Sox's pitching staff certainly hasn't wavered in tight situations.
Starter Given Kutz gave way to Tyler Pearson in the fifth, and he absolutely shut down Salinas to earn his first victory.
Pearson, who had six wins as a starter last season with the Gold Sox, pitched three innings, allowing a harmless infield single in the sixth, while striking out five, including the side in the fifth.
“He's just a bulldog out there,” Peek said. “He throws in the low-90s and has a nasty slider. He places the ball well and has command of all his pitches.”
Kutz threw four innings, allowing four hits, one run, while fanning five and walking one.
Yuba City and Yuba College product Ryan Zaft pitched a solid eighth, and Josh Roberts notched his second save with a strong ninth, allowing one hit and striking out one.
But Peek said the Gold Sox's offense will have to improve as the season progresses. Yuba-Sutter left the bases loaded in the fifth inning and stranded nine total.
“We have to do a better job of executing with runners on and less than two outs. We get a little anxious with runners on base and we'll address that (today),” Peek said. “We can't rely on our pitching every game. We have the ability to be a great hitting team, maybe the best we've ever had, and it will come.”
Salinas starter Chris Carma took the tough-luck loss. He kept the Gold Sox off balance through six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out four, walking three and hitting two batters.
Torres was hit by Carma with two outs in the third inning. He stole second base and came home on Materre's single to right.
Notes: B.J. Collom continued to hit the ball well, going 2-for-3, giving him eight hits in four games with the Gold Sox ... Brett Nightingale upped his team-lead in hits to 11 after his single to left in the fourth inning ... Northern Colorado junior right-handed pitcher Matt Collins will start tonight's game against the Sacramento Scorch.