Sox take it for a win
Friday, July 15, 2005 - The Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox fell behind early Thursday night to the visiting Folsom Pioneers at All-Seasons RV Stadium, then made a remarkable comeback not by hitting the ball but by getting hit.
Three Gold Sox batters were plucked by pitches from Pioneers reliever Will Mosley in the seventh inning that led to three runs as the home team came back from a 4-2 deficit to pull out a 5-4 win.
It was the fifth straight victory for the Gold Sox, who beat the Pioneers for the seventh time in seven meetings over a three-year period. This was the only game of the year between the two teams.
While not a Horizon Air Summer Series game, the win was important because it keeps the momentum going heading into a big three-game weekend matchup with the NorCal Longhorns from San Mateo beginning tonight.
“A win is a win,” said Gold Sox manager Brad Peek. “This game counts in the guys' stats. Plus, it was a good comeback and a close game that the fans here got really excited about.”
Matt Vance opened the comeback inning with a single and a stolen base. He finished with three hits and three stolen bases from the leadoff spot in the batting order. He's a perfect 12-for-12 in steals this season.
“Matt is a threat every time he comes to the plate,” Peek said. “He really makes us good.”
Jesse Rodgers followed Vance with a solid double down the right-field line, scoring Vance to cut the Pioneer lead to 4-3.
“Rodgers had a good game tonight,” Peek added. “That was a big hit for us in that inning.” Rodgers had two hits on the night.
A.J. Valentine was the first Gold Sox player hit by the pitch, putting runners at first and second. A flyout to center by Jason Searle and a bobbled exchange between center fielder and second baseman moved Rodgers to third. Then Matt Suleski was hit loading up the bases with one out.
Doug Thennis, one of the newest members to the Gold Sox and starting his second game at third base, hit a slow chopper that the shortstop couldn't make a play on for his first hit of the season and first RBI as Rodgers raced home from third to tie the game at 4-4. The bases remained loaded.
Cole Koester brought home Valentine with the eventual winning run by being hit on the next pitch. A double play ended the inning, but the Gold Sox had taken the lead to stay.
The Pioneers scored twice in the first inning off Gold Sox starter Gary Simmons. It was the first start for Simmons this season after making several relief appearances. The visitors added one more run in the second on a walk, stolen base, wild pitch and groundout to jump out to a 3-0 advantage. Simmons went the first three innings before being lifted for Wes Porter.
“Gary been working real hard for us,” said Peek. “He hasn't been as productive as he had hoped. We thought this was a good opportunity for him to get a start. His best inning was his last inning as he stranded a runner at third.”
Porter went one scoreless inning followed by Kody Keroher. Keroher (4-1) gave up back-to-back singles in his first inning of work that led to a run. After that, he allowed just two hits over the next four innings to earn the victory.
Jason Peters pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save of the season.
The Gold Sox scored their other two runs in the second inning. A strikeout and wild pitch sent Koester to first base. A soft line-drive single by Jonny Norfolk put runners at first and second. Billy Sinacori lined out to center, but the throw to third to prevent Koester from advancing bounced in front of third and landed in the stands behind the Pioneers' dugout. Koester was awarded two bases and scored while Norfolk went to third. Vance drove Norfolk home with a single for the other run.
Valentine finished with two hits to maintain his team-high .357 batting average.