Gold Sox face tough schedule in 2007
Jan. 20, 2007 - Eclipsing last summer's record-setting win total may be a bit more challenging for the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox when the season kicks off on May 24 at All Seasons RV Stadium.
Manager Brad Peek, returning for a fifth season, said he has pieced together the most difficult schedule the summer collegiate league team has played during its four years.
“By far this is the overall toughest schedule yet,” Peek said. “We scheduled three or four teams that went to the National Baseball Congress World Series last year.”
Yuba-Sutter will play a 48-game schedule, down from 50 last season. Only four games are away from All Seasons.
The Gold Sox finished last summer with a 41-9 overall record and their first Horizon Air Summer Series McCullough Division championship. They finished 32-8 in the division.
Four of those losses came to the rival Solano Thunderbirds, which are nearly void from this summer's slate. The Gold Sox host Solano once and travel to Vacaville once. Peek said the Thunderbirds have joined the California Collegiate League, which made scheduling difficult.
“We did not have many opportunities to play them,” Peek said. “We would like to play them more because they're pretty handy and competitive.”
Instead of traveling to Vacaville's Travis Credit Union Park, the Gold Sox will make a two-day trip to play the famed Humboldt Crabs in Arcata on July 17-18. It's part of a home-and-home series, which concludes with the Crabs visiting Marysville on July 19-20.
“We're really excited about that,” Peek said. “We'll be going into a tough situation with a very partisan home crowd and it's a neat rivalry. It's going to be a very fair series with the travel back and fourth.”
The Gold Sox forced a split with the Crabs in a two-game series last summer.
Yuba-Sutter gets an opportunity to avenge its only series loss from last summer when the Monterey Bay Sox visit for three games beginning June 22.
The Bay Sox are one of four teams the Gold Sox will host from the California Collegiate League. Also visiting from the CCL are the Salinas Valley Packers, the Surf City Hammerheads and the Santa Maria Indians.
The San Diego Stars, defending Engelken Division champions, visit for a three-game series as well.
Five teams will make their first visits to Marysville - the Hammerheads, the Chico Colts, the Middle Fork River Ratz and the Southern California Fire from Orange.
“We want to play teams that are capable of beating us,” Peek said. “I want to win every game, but what it boils down to is developing players. The more tough teams we schedule, the better it is for the development of the players.”
“I invited the toughest teams on the West Coast and I think I got the toughest teams on the West Coast,” Peek added.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Justin Miller can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org