Nichols, Gold Sox cruise past Solano
With the final four games of the season in front of them, the Marysville Gold Sox took to the diamond on Thursday night looking to make the most of their final weekend together.
Though they've played together for only 10 weeks, the club has become a tight-nit group over a short period of time with many forging friendships that will last a lifetime.
"It's tough. Baseball is a sport where you meet people and we've built such good relationships," Gold Sox catcher Victor Romero said. "There's no cliques with this group — we're all one. We're just trying to take it all in and have fun."
And led by a strong pitching performance from Ty Nichols and another big night from their offense, the Gold Sox had a lot of fun on Thursday night by opening the final weekend of the summer with an easy 8-4 victory over the Solano Mudcats at Appeal-Democrat Park.
The Gold Sox went on to tally 11 hits, including three doubles and a triple on the evening, good enough to capture their 11th victory in their last 13 games.
"We competed at a high level tonight, and when they do that, good things happen," Marysville skipper Jack Johnson said. "When we compete at the plate, we're a dangerous ball club, and we had some good at-bats."
Marysville (33-11) took the lead for good in the third inning when Brooke Brooks reached on a fielder's choice and took second on a throwing error with one down. Justin Charles followed with a single before Mitchell Wilhite drove in the game's first two runs with a knock back up the middle.
Romero lined the team's third straight base hit and Tommy Lininger added an RBI single one batter latter to put Marysville up 3-0.
The early run support proved to be more than enough for Nichols, who tossed three perfect innings to start the game before having a slight hiccup in the fourth when a walk, a hit batsman and a single allowed the Mudcats to scrape together a pair of runs.
Nichols quickly settled down after that, and went on to toss seven strong innings to pick up his fifth win of the season. He allowed four hits, struck out five and walked one, impressing his coach in the process.
"Ty Nichols was a stud tonight," Johnson said. "He was great, and that's a credit to him and his work ethic. His composure and the way he approached the games improved as the season went on and that shows he's matured."
Brooks ripped an RBI-triple into the left-center field gap and Charles added a run-scoring double in the bottom of the fourth stretch Marysville's lead back to three runs.
Wilhite came through with a sacrifice fly and Romero clubbed an RBI double in the sixth to up the score to 7-2, and Marysville added an unearned run in the seventh to complete the scoring.
The game could have been a blowout early, but the Gold Sox grounded into four inning-ending double plays over the first five frames to keep the score somewhat close.
Wilhite finished with three RBIs and Romero, Charles and Tommy Lininger had two hits each to lead the offensive charge for Marysville, which will look to continue its winning ways tonight against Solano before ending the season with two games against the Sacramento Legends.
"It's always hard to say goodbye, and that will give them motivation for tomorrow and throughout the weekend," Johnson said. "They want to stretch the season out as long as they can. The season is coming to an end and they want to keep playing."