Another comeback win
Doug Thennis hit a towering two-run home run to power the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox to a key 6-5 victory over the Santa Maria Indians at All Seasons RV Stadium on Friday.
With two outs and Jonny Norfolk on first in the seventh, Thennis unloaded on a 1-0 fastball, sending it soaring over the net in left-center to give the Gold Sox a 6-4 lead.
Santa Maria pushed across one in the eighth, but reliever Marquis Fleming came on to contain the damage, and Alberto Rolon pitched a perfect ninth to close out the game.
The Gold Sox (32-7, 26-6) are now three games clear of the Indians (32-13, 26-12) in the Horizon Air Summer Series Standings.
Rolon, who began the year as a starter on the club, earned his seventh save. He had two strikeouts.
“It's different,” Rolon said of the closer's role. “It's not something I've ever done before. ล You don't have to prepare as much, but you have to be in the game the whole nine innings so you're ready to come on for those three or six outs at the end.”
Santa Maria scored the first three runs, plating two in the third and one in the fifth.
The Gold Sox finally broke through in the fifth, taking advan-
tage of four walks to plate four in the bottom half to take a 4-3 lead.
The fifth was the only inning in which the Gold Sox got their leadoff man on base, something manager Brad Peek said is always key.
“It sets up the rest of the inning,” he said. “It gets the pitcher in the stretch, it allows you to do some other things in situations, hit and run, steal. Mostly it gets the pitcher in the stretch early, forcing him to make a lot of stressful pitches.”
Santa Maria's Aaron McGuinness broke from third in the seventh and stole home when Gold Sox reliever Michael Hall threw the ball over the head of catcher Jonny Norfolk.
Hall only faced three batters before being relieved by Fleming, a junior who plays with A.J. Valentine at Stanislaus State.
Fleming (2-0) allowed no hits and one unearned run in 11/3 innings of work to earn his second win in as many days.
He allowed no runs on one hit in an inning of work on Thursday against the Solano Thunderbirds.
Fleming hit McGuinness with two outs in the eighth, and McGuinness later tied the game on a two-error play when he stole second, advanced to third when Norfolk's throw went into center field and came home when center fielder Etienne Materre overthrew third base.
Santa Maria's Tyler Backus took the loss.
Yuba-Sutter starter Tyler Pearson allowed three earned runs in six innings of work. He had two strikeouts and one walk.
Notes: Given Kutz is scheduled to start for the Gold Sox tonight against the Indians.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Nathan D. Collier can be reached at 749-4714. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.