Grounds Crew’s Efforts Pay Off, Allow CWL to Inaugurate 2017 Season at Palm Springs Stadium
By Geoff Safford
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. –– For the first time in 2017, all twelve teams we able to take the field at Palm Springs Stadium thanks to a fabulous effort by the California Winter League grounds crew. The play on the field did not disappoint as both games featured competitive action.
The Washington Blue Sox trailed the Manitoba NorthStars by a score of 8-3 heading into the top of the seventh inning, at which point the Sox offense erupted for the largest offensive output in an inning so far during the young season, putting nine runs on the board to turn the tables on the NorthStars. They would go on to secure the win by a final score of 12-8.
The second tilt of of the day on the main diamond at Palms Springs Stadium featured the Palm Springs Power and the Toronto Rush. After a back and forth affair, no clear victor could be found in the ballgame, as both pitching staffs were able to stymie their opposing lineups, resulting in a close finish. The Power were able to earn a late-inning win to move to 1-0 on the season.
The Power pitching staff combined to strike out fourteen batters over the seven innings of regulation. Starter Payton Lobdell set the tone in three innings by striking out seven batters in those innings. Tyler Hunt also impressed for Toronto by finishing with five punch-outs in only two innings of work.
The first game over at the Auxiliary Field saw a matchup between the Canada A’s and the British Columbia Bombers. The A’s offense started quickly on a triple from William Krug, who later scurried home on an error for the ballgames first run. The A’s would add two more runs in the third thanks in part to a two run double off the bat of Michael McClellan.
The Bombers would cut into the A’s 3-0 lead in the fifth with an RBI single by Joshua Knorr, but that would be all their offense could muster on the day.
Canada starter Adam Prashad hurled four innings and struck out six Bomber batters to earn the win.
Hit King and the Palm Springs Chill also saw game action over on the Auxiliary Field, with Hit King taking an early 1-0 in the ballgame on an RBI double by Dylan Hatch.
That score held until the bottom of the 5th when the Chill struck for four runs in the frame. Christopher Chambers had the key hit, as he delivered an RBI single to give his team the lead.
Joe Mello picked up the win in relief, helping the Chill ride their late offensive burst to 6-1 victory.
The matchup between the Coachella Valley Snowbirds and New York Colonials proved to be quite the pitchers duel in the early innings as both offenses were held scoreless through the first four innings, before Nick Jewett got the Snowbird offense in gear in the top of the fifth with a 2 run single.
The Snowbirds pushed two more runs across in the inning to take a 4-0 advantage. The Colonials trailed 5-1 heading into their final at-bat in the seventh and mounted a four run rally of their own highlighted by an RBI triple from Averlo to cut the deficit to only one. An RBI single by Demko tied the game at five later in the inning. The score remained 5-5 at the end of regulation, resulting in a tie.
In the final game of the day on the Auxiliary field The Oregon Lumberjacks defeated the Alberta Grizzlies 6-0. Brent Gillespie got the offense going for the Lumberjacks in the first with an RBI single. Gillespie added a second RBI in the sixth with another single, and finished the game with two hits in four at bats while driving in two.
There are five scheduled games on the slate for tomorrow, including on the main diamond inside Palm Springs Stadium, with the first pitting the Manitoba North Stars against the New York Colonials. First pitch is at 8:00 a.m..The second game will feature the Oregon Lumberjacks and the Coachella Valley Snowbirds at 10:30 a.m.
Over on the Auxiliary Field three games will be played. The first will be the Palm Springs Chill versus the Toronto Rush at 8:30 a.m. The second game will be a matchup between the Washington Blue Sox and the British Columbia Bombers and will start at 11 a.m. First pitch for the final game will be at 1:30 p.m. and the Palm Springs Power will be taking on the Hit King.
Reminder for fans that tomorrow is Super Lotto Sunday. The first 100 fans who purchase tickets will receive a free California Super Lotto ticket at the gate.