Gold Sox hit road to play rival Blues
The Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox and the San Luis Obispo Blues have been California Collegiate League partners for less than two full seasons.
However, a healthy rivalry has already been brewing between the two collegiate wood bat league teams.
The Gold Sox and Blues will continue that grudge match today and Wednesday when the Gold Sox travel to San Luis Obispo for the first time.
Yuba-Sutter is tied with the Santa Barbara Foresters for first place. San Luis Obispo is only 21/2 games back of first.
The organizations have split their six games over the last two seasons. Five of the six games have been decided by two runs or less.
One of those was a 5-4, 14-inning marathon won by the Gold Sox on June 10. Catcher Buddy Morales and center fielder R.C. Dickerson cracked extra-inning home runs to punctuate the win.
The Blues were one of the more vocal teams about Yuba-Sutter's lack of road games last year. The Gold Sox increased those road dates from six to 10 this year but still play 83 percent of their games in Marysville.
The Gold Sox (14-3, 6-2) would like a road win of any kind. Yuba-Sutter is 1-6 away from Marysville the last two years.
Craig Ayers (2-0, 1.35) and Nick Waechter (2-0, 2.70) are expected to start on the mound for Yuba-Sutter.
The Blues, 14-7 overall, 3-4 in the CCL heading into Monday night, are led by University of Tennessee's David Lamar (.484, HR, 13 RBIs) and Oklahoma State's Brian Conradi (.383, 10 RBIs).
The Gold Sox' leading hitter is still Morales (.319), even though Dickerson (.298) is closing the gap. Outfielder Jason Searle is Yuba-Sutter's leading RBI man with 13, and second baseman Frank Jeney is the leading run scorer with 17.
The Gold Sox return home to play the Sacramento Legends Thursday and Friday in a nonleague series and then the San Francisco Seals Saturday and Sunday in a CCL set. The Seals are last in the league with an 0-5 mark.
Appeal-Democrat assistant sports editor Matt O'Donnell can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.