Tougher stretch for Gold Sox is here
The Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox better appreciate their days off. There won't be many of them coming up.
Today's game in Vacaville begins a stretch of 23 games in 27 days for the collegiate wood bat team.
Fortunately for manager Brad Peek, it comes at a good time with pitchers Logan Ardis from Stanford and Vince DeCoito from UC Davis available for the first time today. Hurlers Nick Waechter and Blake Knabenshue pitched in their first games over the weekend.
“We have a stretch coming up where we play six games in a week,” said Peek, whose team is 9-2 overall, 5-1 in the California Collegiate League. “We have a lot of games, and we'll see a lot of opponents.”
Peek rested outfielders R.C. Dickerson and Jason Searle in last weekend's series with the Oakland Expos due to hamstring pulls. Each should be available this week.
Ardis will start today's game against the Solano Thunderbirds with DeCoito in relief. Ardis, who did not pitch for the Cardinal this year, will be on a short pitch count.
The Gold Sox' four-game homestand, beginning Thursday, features three different opponents, the Solano Thunderbirds, the Folsom Pioneers and Bend (Ore.) Elks.
Similar to the San Luis Obispo, the Thunderbirds (4-1, 1-0) feature several Division I players, including first baseman Brett McMillan (UCLA), catcher/outfielder Steve Andres (Notre Dame) and pitcher Richard Aguilar (USC).
“I expect some close games with them,” Peek said. “I figure whoever plays the best fundamental baseball and makes the least amount of mistakes will win.”
Solano has only played one league game so far, a 1-0 shutout of San Luis Obispo. The Thunderbirds are managed by ex-UC Davis coach Phil Swimley.
The Elks feature ex-Gold Sox players, catcher Tyler LaTorre and pitcher Andy Kloos.
Peek said he wouldn't have minded having either player back but understand that they wanted to try something new.
Peek was pleased to see the Gold Sox rebound from a four-error night on Saturday to play miscue-free on Sunday.
“I think as we've gone along, we've gotten better,” Peek said. “Most of our pitchers are not strikeout pitchers with (Darren) Sack gone now. That means more defensive plays. I hope that trend continues.”
Notes: Peek learned Monday that former Gold Sox catcher Jon Shehan (Millersville) will sign a free agent contract with the Atlanta Braves. Shehan will report to the Braves' rookie-league affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.
Appeal-Democrat assistant sports editor Matt O'Donnell can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.