Sox bats remain hot
Like last year's Gold Sox pitcher Fred Carney, Eric Thompson is learning that throwing at regular altitude against wood bats is a whole different ballgame.
Thompson combined with two relievers to five-hit the Folsom Pioneers 10-0 in a single game in Marysville Friday night.
The 6-foot-5 Thompson saw his ERA balloon to 7.66 for Regis University in Denver, Colo. during the spring. That's not uncommon for pitchers who throw in the high altitude of Colorado.
Carney, now pitching in the Anaheim Angels' system, saw similar differences between Regis and the Gold Sox last year.
“It's nice pitching against wood bats,” said Thompson, who allowed two hits over five innings. “The elevation is a big change too. I talk a lot with Craig Ayers (of Northern Colorado), and we always see a ball that's an out here and we say, ‘That's a home run in Colorado.' ”
Several Gold Sox like Cameron Shick, Frank Jeney and Kyle Maunus were in hitting funks coming into Friday night. Each had hits in Yuba's Sutter's 10-hit attack. The Pioneers are a somewhat reconstructed version to last year's Sacramento Athletics, who the Gold Sox outscored 49-9 in four wins last year.
Yuba-Sutter manager Brad Peek wasn't sure if any of the three was fully out of their slumps but saw some encouraging signs.
“One of the things we were talking about in our postgame was doing things to help the team even if you're not hot,” Peek said. “Jeney did that with that sacrifice bunt in the sixth. It was only 4-0 at the time, but he gets us to second and third and we score six runs.”
Yuba-Sutter delivered the six-run knockout blow against relievers David Martin and Jed Leake. Three of those runs were unearned.
The Gold Sox actually only had two hits in the inning, one of those a two-run double from Jason Searle. Folsom walked three batters (one intentional), hit a batter and an error by third baseman Armando Sanchez were the real killers.
Sanchez's error actually followed an intentional walk to Ricky Bambino to load the bases.
The Gold Sox scored twice in the first inning against Folsom starting and losing pitcher Randy Waite (1-2). With one out, R.C. Dickerson singled and stole second and trotted home on Shick's triple to dead center.
Jeney singled in A.J. Valentine, who had doubled, to lead off the second.
Dickerson, moved from leadoff in the No. 2 hole this week, cracked an opposite-field double in the fifth to score Ryan Angel for the 4-0 lead. The center fielder was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
“Dickerson came back (from a hamstring injury), and I stuck him in the 2-hole on Tuesday and had three hits,” Peek said. “He told me last night that he likes the 2-hole, so he's going to stay there.”
Dickerson's steal keeps him perfect in 10 attempts. Angel, now the team's leadoff batter, has not been thrown out in eight attempts.
Tony Biale relieved Thompson in the sixth and pitched the next three, striking out five. Maes fanned two in the ninth and now has 11 in nine innings. He still hasn't allowed a run in seven appearances.
Notes: Shick's triple was the first of the year for the Gold Sox ... Third baseman Brennan Garr made the play of the game in the second inning when he lunged over the opponents' dugout railing and snagged Robert Gabriele's foul ball to end a 12-pitch at-bat ... Garr extended his hitting streak to seven games ... Searle had three more RBIs and has a team-leading 13 ... Nick Waechter (2-0, 4.91) and Vince DeCoito (0-1, 4.91) are expected to pitch the next two home games against the Bend (Ore.) Elks.