Sox finish with win
Tyler Pearson closed out his emotional season with an outstanding effort on the mound, and the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox remained perfect on the final day of the season after routing the Suisun City Sultans, 12-4, on Sunday.
Pearson became the second player in collegiate Gold Sox history to record eight wins, and A.J. Valentine wrapped up his fourth and final season in a big way, recording three hits and driving in two runs in the season finale.
After the final out was recorded, fans rose to their feet, applauded for several minutes and chanted “Gold Sox!” “Gold Sox!” as the team jogged to right field for their post-game meeting.
It was a dominating finish to a dominating season in which the team won its first Horizon Air Summer Series McCullough Division championship and collected 41 victories for the first time.
“It was a pretty awesome group of guys,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said. “They were a real solid group of individuals and they were able to mold together as a team. If there were any differences among them, I never saw it. They came to the park and they came to play.”
Doug Thennis, who was named the team's MVP in a pre-game ceremony, had three hits, including his team-leading 16th double. Etienne Materre, who struggled at the plate early in the year, added three hits, including a double, and an RBI, finishing the series 8-for-13 with three RBIs and five runs scored.
“This summer for me was about learning and I went through a lot of changes with my swing and struggled to get hits when I was working on things,” Materre said. “But it's always how you finish ... I wanted to finish strong and go out with a bang and get a lot of confidence for my college season.”
The Gold Sox swept the Sultans in the four-game non-Horizon Air Summer Series set, their third sweep during the final weekend in four seasons. Yuba-Sutter is 15-1 on the final weekend of the year.
The Gold Sox (41-9) absolutely dominated the Sultans in the series, outscoring them 67-7.
Pearson, who will be a senior at Northern Colorado this fall and was 6-3 last summer, returned for a second season and was expected to have another outstanding year. The right-handed pitcher didn't disappoint, overpowering hitters early, drawing the interest of Major League organizations.
Pearson was drafted by the Kansas City Royals during June's amateur draft, but scouts visited Marysville in late June and told him he needed to return to college and polish his already solid game.
Pearson (8-3) was obviously disappointed, but he continued to pitch well, and ended the season in 51/3 innings, allowing two hits and striking out five.
“It feels good, and I'm ready to go back and play at Northern Colorado again,” Pearson said.
Given Kutz pitched three innings, allowing five hits and all four of the Sultans' runs. Josh Roberts pitched two-third of an inning, allowing a hit.
With a 2-0 lead, the Gold Sox broke the game wide open with a four-run fourth inning, highlighted by Jonathan Dees' three-run double down the line in left field.