Sox wear division crown
A successful Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox 2006 season got even sweeter Saturday night at All-Seasons RV Park.
The Gold Sox pounded the Nor-Cal Longhorns for the third straight game 14-3; and in the process, clinched their first McCullough Division championship in the second year of the Horizon Air Summer Series.
“This is a great accomplishment for the whole team,” said a water-drenched Brad Peek after taking the traditional Gatarade bath from his coaches. “We went wire-to-wire and stayed in first place all season. It's a tribute to the players and coaches and even our trainer Erik Lambert, who has kept us all together. Everyone has done a fantastic job to get us to where we're at right now.”
In what has become an all-too familiar pattern all season, the Gold Sox combined solid pitching with timely hits while taking advantage of other team's mistakes. The Longhorns committed five errors in giving the Gold Sox the opportunity to run away with their 17th home win in the last 18 home games.
“Alot of people contributed to this win,” Peek said.
The hitting stars included Doug Thennis with three hits, including a double, and two runs. Jonny Norfolk and Johnathan Dees each ripped two hits with Dees driving in three runs. Matt Suleski had just one hit, but tied Dees in RBI with three, two coming on bases-loaded walks. Etienne Materre had the big hit of the night with a bases-loaded single in a four-run third inning that gave the Gold Sox the lead to stay.
“We had some good at-bats, especially in the middle of the game,” said Peek. “And we were able to take advantage of their mistakes.”
Over the course of the four-game series which began Thursday, the Gold Sox (31-7) have outscored the Longhorns 34-4 in taking the first three games. The finale is tonight at 7:00.
The Longhorns started Saturday's game with three hits in the first inning and appeared to be on a roll. But a great throw by Materre in centerfield to nail a runner at the plate kept the Longhorns scoreless and gave an indication it would be the Gold Sox night.
“That was a great play and a great throw,” Peek said.
The Longhorns did get to start Given Kutz in the second with three runs to take a 3-1 lead. It wasn't one of Kutz's best games, but he did continue to battle, and made to the fifth inning allowing just two hits after the third to get his sixth win of the season, tying Ryan Zaft for most on the staff.
Four runs in the third, one each in the fourth and fifth gave the Gold Sox a 7-3 lead which they expanded in the eighth inning to 14 with seven runs scored.
Marquis Fleming made his fourth appearance of the season in relief in the sixth and continues to look impressive. He pitched three innings of near-perfect baseball. He struck out six while allowing just one hit.
“He has a nasty change-up,” said Peek.
Alberto Rolon worked the ninth to wrap things up.