Sox rally from 2 back in 10th
Saturday, June 11, 2005 - Matt Vance's speed and bat is already paying dividends for the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox.
The sophomore outfielder from Harvard University slapped an two-RBI single into right in the 10th to tie the game and then scored the winning run from second base with two outs, giving the Gold Sox a wild 9-8 victory over the Sacramento Scorch on Saturday in the first of a two-game Horizon Air Summer Series set.
The win was the Gold Sox (8-3, 6-2) fourth straight.
“Tonight we got it done. We went through the door instead of just knocking on it,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said.
The Scorch took a gamble by leaving 31-year old starting pitcher Brad Gunter in the game to start the 10th. The big right-handed thrower had given up 14 hits and six runs - three earned - through nine. He allowed Johnny Norfolk to reach on a single to start the 10th and walked Cole Koester before being pulled for reliever Dave Fuqua, who took the loss in 2/3 of an inning pitched.
Vance came up with no outs and attempted to advance Norfolk and Koester with a sacrifice-bunt. Vance's bunt attempts were not successful, so he drove a 3-1 pitch off Fuqua down the line in right, scoring Norfolk and Koester to tie it at 8-all.
“(Vance) failed to get the bunt down but then he got a base hit,” Peek said. “You can't worry about failing, you just have to be ready the next pitch. He had good contact and a big hit to tie it up.”
Billy Sinacori sacrificed Vance to third with a bunt for the first out, and Matt Suleski - who was 2-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored - flew out to center for the second. Zach Weidenaar walked to give Jason Searle, who was 3-for-5 with two RBIs, a chance to end things with Vance in scoring position.
Searle hit a ground ball to Chris Rinaudo at shortstop, but he misplayed the ball when trying to force Weidenaar at second, and in the process, Searle was safe at first, which allowed Vance to motor all the way around and score to end the game.
“Searle hit it hard, making it a tough play, and Weidenaar did a good job of not getting forced out,” Peek said. “With Vance's speed, I was just wheeling him around and hoping we could catch them off guard.”
Steve Alverson got the win despite allowing the Scorch to take a 8-6 lead in the top of the 10th after Zeb Becker's two-RBI single down the line in right. Starter Kyle Hill allowed seven hits and two runs in five innings before being relieved by Gary Simmons, who struggled badly in just 2/3 of an inning.
Simmons allowed four runs in the sixth on four hits, and the Scorch tied it up at 6. Jason Peters came on with two outs and was effective through 31/3 innings, allowing just a hit while fanning three.
Junior Contreras was solid on his birthday, going 3-for-5 at the plate, including an RBI-triple in the fifth to give the Gold Sox a 6-2 lead and a RBI-infield single in the second to tie in at 2-all.
Valentine scored two runs and added three hits, while Jesse Rodgers was 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Tyler Sabatke had a two-run single in the Scorch's four-run sixth and finished the game 3-for-6 with two RBIs. Ryan Wulfert was 3-for-6, including a double with two RBIs.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Justin Miller can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org