Gold Sox win in 9-1 rout
It's been some time since Tony Biale stepped onto a mound to face live hitting - February of 2003 to be exact.
Biale's college career has been beset by two shoulder operations and one elbow surgery.
Despite not feeling quite right, Biale threw three spotless innings as the Gold Sox claimed the third game of the nonleague wood bat series on Sunday, pounding the Cenco Sultans 9-1. Yuba-Sutter tries for the sweep today.
“It felt good,” said Biale, who was granted a second redshirt year at USF this season by the NCAA, even though he was on the roster. “It just felt good to get going again. The big thing will be how I feel tomorrow.”
Biale (1-0) said his velocity and command were off, even though he threw in the 80s and didn't walk a batter. He allowed two harmless singles and hit one batter.
“He threw fine, considering it was his first time out,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said. “His velocity wasn't there, but hopefully that will come as we go along. He threw some good change-ups, and that's his bread-and-butter pitch.”
Biale certainly has a past history of success, blazing his way to a 12-0 record with Feather River College in Quincy his sophomore year.
The Gold Sox provided Biale and relievers Gary Simmons and Kyle Maunus plenty of support, picking up 12 hits and taking a 6-0 lead after three innings.
The catalyst was center fielder and leadoff hitter R.C. Dickeron (Western Michigan), who was hitless in the first two games and struck out three times on Saturday. Dickeron bunted for a base hit in the first and finished 4-for-5 with two runs scored and reached base five times.
About the bunt, Peek said, “That was all his idea. He tried that in the first game and popped it up, and he tried one in the intrasquad game on Thursday too. It's kind of amazing how he gets that first hit and then he gets three more after that.”
Second baseman and No. 2 hitter Frank Jeney (Wayne State) was productive as well, going 3-for-5, scoring three times and driving in one.
“He's a strong kid,” Peek said. “He doesn't really have the desired stance with the way he holds the bat that coaches necessarily like, but it works.”
Cenco's four pitchers combined for eight walks and four hit batters.
Yuba-Sutter took advantage of starting pitcher Morgan Weiper's wildness to score three times in the first inning. Weiper (0-1) only lasted two-thirds of an inning and was tagged with the loss.
Jeney singled and scored on a passed ball, Cameron Shick walked and came home on a wild pitch and Jason Searle was hit with a pitch and scored when Ricky Bambino walked with the bases loaded.
Jeney singled and scored on Searle's single in the second and then knocked in Dickeron with a double off the wall in left.
The Gold Sox added three more in the seventh, two of those on RBI singles from Tom Everidge and Searle. Valentine was also hit with a pitch to force in another run. Everidge and Searle each had two hits and two RBIs.
Cenco broke up the shutout when Vic Ferrante doubled in Kevin Peterson against Simmons in the sixth. Maunus worked three shutout innings and picked up the save.
Notes: The Gold Sox have won 21 straight nonleague games and 11 straight overall going back to last year ... Regis' Eric Thompson, who picked up the save in the opener of the series, will pitch today's series finale ... Yuba-Sutter has hit into five double plays in three games ... Bambino, a catcher from Sierra College, made his first start and was 0-for-3 but reached base twice.
Appeal-Democrat assistant sports editor Matt O'Donnell can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.