Thunderbirds end Gold Sox road streak at 1
July 6, 2006 - Things got a little heated for the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox on Wednesday, but nothing came of a seventh-inning dispute and the Gold Sox fell to the Solano Thunderbirds, 3-0, at Travis Credit Union Park in Vacaville.
Four Yuba-Sutter hitters were hit by pitches in the game, including two in a row in the seventh inning by Solano reliever Mitch Lively.
Jonny Norfolk got plunked twice - first by Solano starter Jason Zinzer in the fourth and then by Lively in the sixth - before things boiled over in the top of the seventh.
With two outs Lively drilled No. 9 hitter Alex Zanini, brining B.J. Collom to the plate, and Lively hit him, twice.
Collom called for time out and stepped out of the batter's box the first time, but Lively, already in his motion, followed through with the pitch and pegged Collom after time had been granted.
Both benches were warned at that point, but on the very next pitch Lively hit Collom again, this time on the lower leg.
Lively was not thrown out of the game though, because plate umpire Jim Richins determined Lively did not intend to hit Collom with the second pitch.
Gold Sox pitching coach Jack Johnson came out to argue that Lively should be thrown out of the game, a discussion that quickly resulted in Johnson himself getting tossed.
Johnson continued the argument for another minute or two, but to no avail, and when play resumed Jeff Horn flied out to left and the inning was over.
No players were involved in any of the arguing, and both teams remained in their dugouts throughout the discussion.
Gold Sox reliever Ryan Zaft hit Solano's Patrick Cummins with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, but Richins did not throw him out of the game either, and the rest of the game was played without incident.
The game, the fifth of 10 scheduled meetings between the Gold Sox (22-5) and the Thunderbirds (11-12), did not count toward the Horizon Air Summer Series standings.
Starter Brett Nightingale (0-1) was charged with the loss.
He pitched well, but Eli Rimes took advantage of his one mistake, lifting a ball over the right-field wall for a two-run home run in the first inning.
Mike Hernandez also scored on the play, the only batter Nightingale walked in five innings of work. He allowed three hits and struck out seven.
Zaft pitched a perfect sixth inning, but after Cummins was hit by the pitch, the Thunderbirds hit back-to-back singles to score the final run of the game.
Josh Roberts came on for the eighth, allowing no runs and one hit.
Three of the Gold Sox five hits came with two outs. Matt Suleski had the only extra-base hit for Yuba-Sutter, a double to lead off the ninth.
Zanini came into the game without a hit since June 16, but in the fifth he knocked a single into left-center to break out of an 0-for-22 skid.
Zinzer was the winning pitcher. Lively worked the final four innings to earn the save. Solano finished the game with six hits.
The Gold Sox will play the Sacramento Scorch tonight at All Seasons RV Stadium before opening a three-game series with the San Jose Seals on Friday.
Appeal-Democrat reporterNathan D. Collier can be reached at 749-4714. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.