Sox open weekend against Solano
Wednesday, June 8, 2005 - The Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox are having an easier time preparing for the sporadic weather than they are for this weekend's opponents.
Tarps cover the mound and home plate, while solution to help the field dry quickly is on hand, in order to prevent any chance of Brad Peek seeing his first rain out in three seasons as manager of the Gold Sox.
There was one first for Peek this week though, he had to cancel Wednesday's work outs due to rain.
“It's unfortunate. We don't have many practices,” Peek said.
The missed practice will make it all the more difficult to prepare for the Solano Thunderbirds who have yet to play a game this season and visit All Seasons RV Stadium today and Friday. The Sacramento Scorch visit for a two-game set on Saturday and Sunday to finish out the weekend.
The Gold Sox were 3-5 against Solano last season, 3-1 at home and 0-4 at Solano. Only one of the two games against the Thunderbirds will count against the Gold Sox McCullough Division standings in the Horizon Air Summer Series. Both games against the Scorch are series games.
Despite not having seen the Thunderbirds this season, there will be some familiarity with Solano's top pitcher, David Hernandez. Hernandez, the Bay Valley East MVP for Cosumnes River and a 16th round selection by Baltimore, struck out 11 in six innings against Yuba, Matt Suleski's former team.
Thunderbirds coach Phil Swimley plans on starting Hernandez Friday if he doesn't sign with the Baltimore Orioles. Thursday's pitching duties will be split between Fresno State freshmen Kris Tomlinson, the starter, and Kris Jason Breckley, the second half.
Suleski, however, is recovering from a hamstring injury and probably will only be available for pinch hitting duties. Outfielder Billy Krause is out of the line up due to injury.
“They always have a very competitive team,” Peek said. “They are coached well. They have physical kids, big on the mound and physical hitters.”
Of the 24 players on Solano's roster, 21 are either playing for or headed to Div. I colleges, while the Gold Sox are made up of mostly smaller division and junior college players.
“Were not an overly physical group of guys. There are no power pitchers like in the past,” Peek said. “We have strong infield defense and strong team camaraderie.”
The Gold Sox will receive a boost to their offense and defense when Matt Vance arrives today from Harvard, although he won't immediately start. The center fielder batted .275 for Harvard in 45 games, but went 3-for-5 in Harvard's NCAA Tournament eliminating loss to Missouri Saturday. The lead-off hitter's 15 steals, which led the Crimson, will provide a boost on the basepaths.
“We don't have great team speed, but we'll be able to bunt and hit-and-run,” Peek said.
The glaring weakness so far has been the bullpen.
“Obviously our relief pitching was not as effective last week as it will be,” Peek said. “I'm very confident in the bullpen.”
The Gold Sox will start Kody Keroher of Solano College today, Tyler Pearson Friday, Kyle Hill Saturday and a yet-to-be-determined starter Sunday.
Notes: Three former Gold Sox were drafted Wednesday by Major League teams. Jacob Myking, who caught for Yuba-Sutter this year, was drafted in the 38th round by the Kansas City Royals. Warren Rosebrock, a right-handed pitcher in 2003, was drafted in the 41st round by Texas and Anthony Manuel, who played a limited role at second base last season, was drafted in the 45th round by the Mets.