Who says Gold Sox short of arms?
June 9, 2006 - Yuba-Sutter manager Brad Peek may still be looking for another pitcher or two to add to his Gold Sox roster this summer, but even short-handed, the Sox staff has still been impressive in the early part of the season.
Brett Nightingale, Matt Collins and Chris Chavez combined to three-hit the Solano Thunderbirds (0-1) Thursday at All Seasons RV Stadium, and the Gold Sox (8-1, 6-1) won 2-1 in the first of 10 meetings between the teams this summer.
“Apparently we like the 2-1 games,” Peek said. “We've had three of them.”
Solano's only run was unearned and came against Nightingale in the first inning. Collins (2-0) came on in the fourth and pitched three hitless innings to earn the win. Chavez allowed one hit over the final three innings to earn his first save of the season.
Solano starter Curts Pasma (0-1) took the loss.
The Gold Sox have allowed just eight earned runs in nine games and have a team ERA of 0.89. Four unearned runs have been scored for a total of 12 runs scored against the Gold Sox.
Yuba-Sutter's 5-4 win over the Seaside Wildcats on May 28 was the only game in which an opponent has scored more than one run against the Gold Sox. Yuba-Sutter's only loss was a 1-0 affair a day later, also against the Wildcats. The Gold Sox have also won two shutouts.
Jonathan Dees went 3-for-4 to lead the Gold Sox hitters, but it was Doug Thennis and Joél Torres who got Yuba-Sutter on the board.
Torres reached on an error to open the first inning, promptly stole second, then advanced to third when Etienne Materre grounded out to second.
“I have to highlight what Materre did,” Peek said. “There's a lot of value in hitting the ball the other way, even when they're outs.”
Thennis drove Torres home with a single to tie the game at one.
Torres again reached base to open the fifth, this time on a walk, and two batters later, Thennis came through again, ripping a double over third base to score Torres and put Yuba-Sutter up, 2-1.
Thennis went 2-for-3 and now leads the team with a .625 batting average. It's a quick turnaround for Thennis, who was drafted but not signed by the Washington Nationals in 2005, but struggled this spring at Sacramento City College, finishing his sophomore season with a .238 batting average.
“I'm just getting back to the basics,” Thennis said. “Staying inside the ball, not trying to do too much with it. ... I just want to have a confident approach at the plate.”
For the first time this summer, first-baseman A.J. Valentine was not in the Gold Sox's starting lineup. According to Peek, Valentine has had soreness in his wrist since injuring it on opening weekend. X-rays were negative, but he may miss another game or two before returning to the starting lineup.
“We're not going to take any chances with him,” Peek said.
Jonny Norfolk, the only signed player not with the Gold Sox last weekend, joined the team Wednesday and went 0-for-4 in his first start. His college team, the University of San Francisco, lost to Miami in the opening round of the NCAA tournament last Friday.
Yuba-Sutter finished second behind Solano in the McCullough Division of the Horizon Air Summer Series standings last year. Thursday's game did not count toward this year's standings.
Yuba City High product Alberto Rolon is scheduled to start tonight, and Given Kutz is scheduled for Saturday's game against Athletes in Action of Alaska.