Jeney snug at top of order
Gold Sox second baseman Frank Jeney doesn't have the speed of teammates Ryan Angel, R.C. Dickerson or Mark Steinbeck.
However, he does have a knack for reaching base, something that can be equally dangerous at the top of the order.
Led by Jeney's four-hit night, Yuba-Sutter blasted the last-place San Francisco Seals 8-1 in a California Collegiate League game in Marysville on Saturday.
The Gold Sox (18-4, 8-3) moved back into a first-place tie with the idle Santa Barbara Foresters in the CCL.
Jeney has found himself in the leadoff spot the last two nights. For now, manager Brad Peek will likely leave him there until he cools off.
Jeney, a soon-to-be senior at Wayne State in Michigan, was 4-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. He reached base five times. He appears to be out of his slump of a week ago.
“Balls are just dropping in for me,” said Jeney, who has reached base in 20 of 21 games. “It seemed like I was hitting the ball hard before, but I was lining out a lot. This is a funny game.”
Angel, who had been hitting leadoff, actually looked more like a power hitter on Saturday. Angel connected against Greg McElroy for a shot over the left-field wall to lead off the sixth. It was the Gold Sox' fourth homer of the year and first for Angel.
Catcher Buddy Morales actually just missed a grand slam in the eighth when his ball was tracked down at the fence by left fielder Chris Williamee. Right fielder Cameron Shick was even closer. His double in the third hit the top of the white Comcast sign in right field, only a few feet from going out.
“I think those guys got good pitches to hit,” Peek said. “Shick and Angel came for early batting practice. You never know if that's the reason, but both of those had good days.”
Gold Sox starting pitcher Vince DeCoito had a good day as well. DeCoito (1-1) fired seven shutout innings, allowing five hits while striking out four and walking no one.
“The first two or three innings, (the Seals) actually hit him pretty hard,” Peek said. “He's a strike thrower, and they were jumping on his first pitch. He mixed it up really well after that.”
The Gold Sox scored single runs in the first and third innings and then broke the game open with a five-run fourth against San Jose State's Chris Bodishbaugh (0-2).
Morales singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Angel's single to center. After one out, Steinbeck's RBI single drove in Angel.
Jeney followed with a fly ball that right fielder Aaron Hanke turned into an adventure, eventually letting the ball drop. Hanke then made a poor throw to third, allowing Steinbeck to score.
Jeney eventually scored on a wild pitch, and Shick singled in Dickerson for the final run of the inning.
Yuba-Sutter took a 1-0 lead in the first when Dickerson reached on a fielder's choice and scored on Brennan Garr's two-out RBI single. Garr extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
San Francisco's misadventures extended to the base paths as well.
Designated hitter Greg Fife lined a DeCoito pitch to left in the with two outs in the sixth. Fife ran hard and beat a close throw at second for an apparent double. However, the Gold Sox appealed at first and base umpire Bryan Rose ruled that Fife out because he had not touched first base.
The Seals broke up the shutout in the ninth against reliever Jason Maes after consecutive doubles from Stefan Gartrell and Williamee.
Notes: The Gold Sox are now 5-0 against the Seals in two years ... Lukas Kirby, who played for the Gold Sox last year, started at first base for San Francisco and was 0-for-4 ... Jeney extended his hitting streak to nine games ... Peek said Craig Ayers (2-1, 2.19) and Nic Waechter (2-0, 4.09) will start Tuesday and Wednesday's road dates against the Seals. Those games will be played at Los Medanos College in Pittburg.
Appeal-Democrat assistant sports editor Matt O'Donnell can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.