Sox flex big in rout of Salinas
Salinas County Packers manager Tim Gower had seen enough.
Staring at a nine-run deficit with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Gower went to the mound and turned to his only logical choice - himself.
Gower actually pitched out of the one-out jam and was one of Salinas' bright spots in a 12-3 rout by the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox Friday night. Yuba-Sutter has taken the first two games in the California Collegiate League series in Marysville.
“It was a bad night for the pitchers,” said Gower, who has pitched professionally but would prefer to leave the throwing to his college players. “(The Gold Sox) just looked really confident at the plate. They were just aggressive with the bats.”
The Gold Sox pounded out 16 hits against six Salinas pitchers, including starting and losing pitcher Grant Hufford (1-1), who lasted only 11/3 innings.
Yuba-Sutter manager Brad Peek acknowledged that the Packers didn't seem to pick up too many breaks either.
“Everything went right for us, and everything went wrong for them,” Peek said. “I've been on the other side of these quite a few times too. It's no fun.”
There were plenty of hitting stars for Yuba-Sutter. Leadoff hitter R.C. Dickerson was 2-for-4, scored three runs and reached base four times. First baseman A.J. Valentine was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
“I know R.C. and A.J. were out here early and worked with (assistant coach) Ryan Tash on hitting the ball up the middle more,” Peek said.
Dickerson said things are starting to click for him.
“I'm the leadoff hitter, so it's my job to gets things started,” he said. “If I can get on, steal a base and get the fans into it, I'm doing my job.”
The Gold Sox chased Hufford (1-1) early, pounding out seven hits against the right-hander and taking a 6-0 lead. Huffard actually threw 62/3 innings of no-hit ball in his first start of the year.
Dickerson singled to start the first, stole second and scored when Frank Jeney slapped a single to left. Yuba-Sutter then picked up its final three runs after two were out.
Valentine lined an RBI single to right, and Ryan Angel knocked in two more when he doubled past third baseman Jaime Hesslegesser, who might have lost the ball in the sun.
Dickerson reached on a infield single in the second, and scored on Jeney's booming double to center. Cameron Shick singled home Jeney for the sixth run.
Tom Everidge, returning after a workout with the San Francisco Giants, doubled home two in the third and singled home another in a three-run seventh.
Gold Sox starting pitcher Jason Searle (2-0) tossed five shutout innings and picked up the win. Searle allowed four singles, fanned two, walked one and hit a batter.
The Packers finally broke up the shutout with two in the sixth against reliever Gary Simmons.
Notes: The Gold Sox are 10-for-10 in stolen bases ... Jeney has reached base in all six games.