Gold Sox open final series with blowout
You couldn't tell from Thursday night's game at All Seasons RV Stadium that the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox had already clinched their Horizon Air Summer Series division championship and are just playing out the remainder of the home schedule.
Led by the bats of Matt Suleski and Johnathan Dees, the Gold Sox knocked out 17 hits against five Suisun City pitchers on the way to a 15-1 rout in the first of four games with the Sultans.
Brett Nightingale hit a two-run home run to get the scoring started for the Gold Sox while Jeff Horn and Matt Edgecombe each collected two hits.
Joél Torres also pounded out two hits to move his hitting streak to a team-high 12 games. He registered his 16th multi-hit game of the season, one behind team leader Doug Thennis.
“We have a goal to get to 40 wins this season,” said manager Brad Peek, whose team improved to 38-9. “Not many collegiate teams reach that many wins, and no one has in this league.”
Ryan Zaft started and went five-plus innings to earn his seventh win of the season in his final start for the Gold Sox. Zaft (7-1) was lifted with one out in the sixth to a standing ovation. The Azusa Pacific-bound right-hander finished his first year on the Gold Sox with some impressive numbers. He allowed just 36 hits in 64 innings in racking up an unbelievable 0.42 ERA.
“Ryan had another great outing,” Peek said. “We wanted to let him get an out before we pulled him, and let the fans recognize him for the job he did.”
Josh Roberts pitched two-thirds of an inning followed by Alberto Rolon, who pitched the final three innings to get his ninth save of the year. It was also Rolon's last appearance this year as he goes off on a family vacation before returning to Sonoma State.
“Rolon got another save, be it a three-inning save,” said Peek. “He's had a great year for us, so we wanted to get him in before he leaves us.”
Rolon and Zaft are Yuba City High products, along with Suleski. Zaft and Suleski also played for Yuba College. Rolon pitched for Butte College.
The Sultans actually scored first in the second inning on an unearned run. Then it was all Gold Sox from then on. A four-run second inning was highlighted by Nightingale's second home run of the season down the left-field line. Edgecombe and Torres each had doubles to drive in runs.
After runs in the fourth and sixth innings, the Gold Sox broke things wide open in the seventh. Suleski led off with a double. Edgecombe drove him in with a single, followed later by Torres' two-run single to cap the scoring in the inning.
Another eighth-inning outburst produced five runs paced by RBI-singles by Dees and Torres.
Then Peek had three of his pitchers pinch-hit in the innings. Tyler Pearson, Michael Hall and Matt Collins each got their first at-bats. Collins got the only hit of the group with an RBI-single to wrap up the scoring for the Gold Sox.
“The three of them have been shagging balls in batting practice all season, so it was nice to get them all an at-bat in a game, and Matt got a run-scoring hit for us,” said Peek.