Sox returning to Horizon Series competition
June 29, 2006 - Dig out the tye-dyed shirts and the bellbottoms, the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox want you to wear them to All Seasons RV Stadium.
The Novato Knicks will be on hand tonight for the start of a four-game weekend series with the Gold Sox (18-4, 14-4), including Friday's “That 70s Night” game, in which Gold Sox players and coaches will don tye-dyed jerseys for the game.
“The special days are fun for the guys, and hopefully they're fun for the fans too,” said Yuba-Sutter manager Brad Peek. “Hopefully some of them will come dressed up too. Any time we can include the spirit of the fans in a promotion, it makes it even more fun for the players.”
All four games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
The Gold Sox are now 21 games into their 50 game schedule and will reach the halfway point of the season after Sunday's game is complete.
Three starters - Given Kutz, Matt Collins and Alberto Rolon - already have three wins each, and fellow starters Ryan Zaft (2-1, 0.00 ERA) and Tyler Pearson (2-1, 3.52) have also pitched well.
“Our pitching has been great,” Peek said. “Both our starters and our relievers.”
Reliever Josh Roberts has seven saves and Chris Chavez has four.
The strong staff has been especially important on days - and they're been a few of them - when the Gold Sox hitters have struggled to produce runs.
“We still have to be more consistent offensively,” Peek said. “There have been times when we've gotten a lot of hits but were not necessarily able to turn them into runs.”
The team is averaging 5.4 runs per game and carrying a .277 batting average, roughly in line with the 2005 Gold Sox team, which averaged 5.3 runs per game and finished the season with a team batting average of .278.
Doug Thennis is hitting .388 to lead all Yuba-Sutter hitters. Fan-favorite A.J. Valentine is hitting .262 and leads the team in RBIs with 15.
It will be the first time the Gold Sox have faced the Knicks since the opening weekend of 2005. Novato is a Marin County-based team that is celebrating its 50th season. The Gold Sox won 3-of-4 against the Knicks last year.
“They're always a really tough team,” Peek said. “They're a good mix of college and former-college guys, and they usually have one or two ex-pro guys as well.”
Given Kutz will start tonight, Pearson is scheduled for Friday, and either Zaft of Collins will start on Saturday.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Nathan D. Collier can be reached at 749-4714. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.