Hit King’s Maddern Shines on Sun-Soaked Day at Palm Springs Stadium
By: Joey Grundl & Geoff Safford
With the rain storms that swept across the Coachella Valley for the first few weeks behind us, the California Winter League was finally able to resume inside Palm Springs Stadium on Tuesday.
Under the shining desert sun, the Washington Blue Sox (1–3) and Hit King (1–2) began the day with a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel.
Both teams starters –Brandon Maddern of Hit King and Nigel Nootbaar of the Blue Sox– had their best stuff on the day.
After allowing a leadoff double in the first, Maddern settled in to retire 15 of the 17 batters he faced, striking out seven and keeping the Sox off the board.
Nootbaar pitched four solid innings, allowing two hits and striking out five batters. The only run he allowed came off a Dylan Hatch single in the third.
This however would prove to be all Hit King would need, as the Blue Sox offense was not able to scrap a single run against either Maddern or reliever Jarrett Martin, and fell by a final score of 4-0.
In the day’s second matchup, between the Oregon Lumberjacks (1–2) and the New York Colonials (3–1), New York starter CJ Bahn hurled four shutout innings, while striking out four batters to earn the win.
On the offensive side for the Colonials, Jack Kraft was the player of the day, finishing 1-for-1 with a double, two walks, a sacrifice fly, and a run scored. The Colonials were very patient in the game, working 11 walks against Oregon pitching.
The Lumberjacks made some noise in the game’s final frame by plating two runs against Colonial closer Kyano Cummings; but it wouldn’t be enough as Cummings shut the door to earn his third save, securing his team a 4-2 victory.
On the Palm Springs Stadium Auxiliary Field, the Manitoba North Stars (1–3) rode a three-run third inning to a 5-0 victory over the Alberta Grizzly (1–3). Kenneth Finzel delivered the big blow for Manager Boots Day’s club, delivering a two-run double.
The Grizzly offense struggled on the day, mustering three hits in the ballgame against Manitoba pitching, led by starter Joe Webb was credited for the win after striking out five Grizzly batters four stellar innings of work.
In the day’s next game, The Coachella Valley Snowbirds (2–2) and the Toronto Rush (2–2) faced off on the Auxiliary Field.
Manager Gabe Suarez’s Snowbirds took the lead in the top of the third thanks to Jonathan Crank’s second home run of the year, a two run shot to make the score 2-0.
However, the Coachella Valley’s lead was short lived as the Rush erupted for seven runs in the fifth, capped off by Scott Carcaise’s grand slam.
Toronto never looked back, as reliever Norman “Goose” Coleman-Goodwin went three strong innings, striking out four and earning the victory in Rush’s 7-2 win.
In the day’s final action, the Canada A’s (2–2) managed to score in four straight innings en route 5-2 victory over the Palm Springs Chill (2–1).
The biggest hit of the game for the A’s came in the third with the score knotted at 1-1, when catcher Scott Morton singled to knock in a pair of runs to break the tie.
The Chill responded in the next frame on a Jake Luce sacrifice fly, cutting the deficit to 3-2, but that would be the closest they would get as the A’s tacked on insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings to pull away.
Over on the Palm Springs Auxiliary Field the Toronto Rush and the Palm Springs Power have the early game with first pitch scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Game two will feature the New York Colonials and the Alberta Grizzly and first pitch for that game will be at 11 a.m. The final game at the Auxiliary Field will put the British Columbia Bombers against the Canada A’s. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Meanwhile at Palm Springs Stadium the Palm Springs Chill will take on the Oregon Lumberjacks at 10 a.m. The second game will be at 12:30 p.m. and will be a matchup between the Manitoba North Stars and the Hit King.
Don’t forget fans that tomorrow is $1 admission Wednesday, brought to you by Jack in the Box. Come out and enjoy a day full of baseball for just $1 per person.