Sox sweep the Knicks
B.J. Collom hit three doubles and collected two RBIs, and the Gold Sox used a five-run fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and cruise to a 7-2 victory over the Novato Knicks Sunday night at All Seasons RV Stadium.
Yuba-Sutter (22-4, 18-4) swept the four-game Horizon Air Summer Series set, playing flawless, fundamental baseball. The Gold Sox are 10-2 all-time against the Knicks (23-14, 7-6), and this series was an absolute domination.
Yuba-Sutter outscored Novato 24-4 and outhit the visitors 42-20. Novato committed seven errors, including four on Sunday. The Gold Sox did not have any.
“It was a good sweep all-in-all,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said. “We played very well and didn't commit an error, and that's almost unheard of.”
A combined 11 pitchers were used Sunday, and Michael Hall earned his first victory with the Gold Sox after coming on in relief of starter Matt Collins, who left in the fourth inning with one out due to tenderness in his shoulder.
Hall rebounded from a tough start last Sunday when he gave up five runs and six hits with a strikeout in just two innings.
Against the Knicks, Hall looked much more comfortable, allowing two hits and a run while fanning three and walking a batter in 31/3 innings.
“He's a young kid with a whole bunch of talent,” Peek said about Hall, a recent graduate from Red Bluff High who will be attending Shasta College next fall. “It was a great learning experience for him and a good opportunity in that situation with the game on the line.”
Hall entered with the score tied at 1-1 and a runner on second, but he induced a line-drive out and struck out the next batter to end the threat.
The Gold Sox pitching staff did a good job all night getting out of tight situations. The staff allowed eight hits, but the Knicks stranded 12 runners.
“The guys were able to bare down when there were runners on late in the inning and when they needed to make good pitches,” Peek said. “And the defense made plays with runners on. We were able to perform, whether it was with the bat, or in the field, in pressure situations.”
Knicks starting pitcher Paige Dumont couldn't perform in pressure situations, taking the loss and allowing all five runs in the fourth inning and one in the sixth in 31/3 innings pitched.
He walked Doug Thennis to start
the fourth, and A.J. Valentine hit a fly ball to left that looked to have been caught by Matt Wilhite on a diving attempt. However, umpire Jay Brownfield ruled that Wilhite did not make the catch, giving Valentine a single.
It all fell apart for the Knicks from there.
Novato committed three errors and Dumont allowed four straight singles, including RBI knocks by Jonny Norfolk, Matt Suleski and Etienne Materre. Thennis and Suleski each scored on errors, giving the Gold Sox a 6-1 advantage.
“That fly ball controversy really upset their pitcher and we just didn't stop hitting the ball,” Collom said. “We got base knock after base knock and (Dumont) couldn't get a rhythm. He was groovin' a little bit before that, but that fly ball got him out of it.”
Dumont pitched consecutive 1-2-3 innings to start the game and retired seven straight into the third before allowing a Jeff Horn single and Collom's RBI double to the wall in right-center field.
Collom's third double was dropped down the left-field line in the eighth, scoring Horn, who doubled down the left-field line, as well.
“(Collom's) a good hitter with a little pop and I suspect he'll hit one out before the end of the season,” Peek said. “He's a little bit of a free swinger, and he's going to strike out his fair share because he's very aggressive.”
Alberto Rolon earned his second save.
Notes: Suleski has drove in 12 runs in his last five starts ... Catcher Chris Brown, who was a temporary player during the first three weeks, has left the team because he could not get any playing time as a third catcher.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Justin Miller can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at email@example.com