By: Joey Grundl & Geoff Safford
Day eight of the California Winter League season featured a premier pitching performance and multiple highly contested games that came down to the final out.
The first game of the day took place over on the Palm Springs Auxiliary Field and featured the Hit King (3‒2) and the Manitoba NorthStars (1‒5).
The Hit King were leading 3-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth when the NorthStars scored three on a Bobby Dragon RBI double, an RBI single by Dylan Sprague, and Brad Dennis’ RBI groundout.
The Hit King came right back to take the lead on a Brandon Smalling RBI single. Katie Griffith went three-up, three-down in the bottom of the fifth, striking out one and earning the victory. Jarret Martin got the two-inning save, striking out five and securing the 4-3 win for Hit King.
The second game at the Auxiliary Field was between the Palm Springs Power (4‒1) and the Alberta Grizzly (1‒5) and featured one of the best pitching performances the CWL has seen this season by the recent Southern Illinois Miners signee Peyton Lobdell.
Lobdell did not allow a hit, and struck out 10 batters in five innings to earn the victory for the Power. The only hit the Power allowed in seven innings came off of Adam Falcon. Falcon did not allow a run, however, and earned the six-out save to preserve a 1-0 victory.
James Ball threw his second consecutive complete game allowing only one run and five hits in a losing effort for the Grizzly.
The Toronto Rush (4‒2) scored four runs in the fourth and fifth innings to overcome an early two-run deficit to defeat the Palm Springs Chill (3‒2) by a score of 4-2 in the final game at the Auxiliary Field.
The Rush broke through in the fifth with a three-run rally to take the lead for the first time in the game. Ian Soignier broke the tie with an RBI single to put Toronto out in front for good.
Tyler Hunt was fabulous in relief for the Rush in four shutout innings to earn the win. The right hander did not allow a hit, and struck out five.
The first game at Palm Springs Stadium featured a tightly contested contest between the Washington Blue Sox (1‒3), and the Canada A’s (1‒2).
The A’s jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth thanks to a two-run rally highlighted by an RBI double by first baseman Justin Anderson. Catcher Scott Morton followed with an RBI single to knock in Anderson.
The Blue Sox answered back in the bottom of the sixth with a three run rally of their own to tie the score at 3. Short stop Kyle Reese delivered the big blow in the inning with a double that knocked in a pair of runs.
The tie did not last long however as the A’s regained the lead in the top of the seventh when Andersen knocked in his second run of the game to give the A’s the lead for good at 4-3.
The second game on the main field matched up the Coachella Valley Snowbirds (2–3) with the British Columbia Bombers (3‒1).
In the bottom of the 1st, the Bombers took an early 2-0 lead on Thomas McGuckin’s RBI single and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jaron Dorchinez and British Columbia would never relinquish the lead. The Bombers batters were extremely patient in the fourth, walking four times and scoring five runs.
Cameron MacKenzie went two strong innings as the starter, striking out four and allowing just one hit as the winning pitcher of record in his team’s 8-4 win.
The early game over at the Palm Springs Auxiliary Field will pit the Coachella Valley Snowbirds against the Oregon Lumberjacks. First pitch is 8:30 a.m. The second game will feature the British Columbia Bombers and the Palm Springs Power at 11 a.m. First pitch for the final game will be at 1:30 and will have a face-off between the Alberta Grizzly and the Washington Blue Sox.
Game one at Palm Springs stadium is scheduled for 10 a.m. and the Toronto Rush will be taking on the New York Colonials. The second game will be the Canada A’s taking on the Manitoba NorthStars. First pitch for the final game is at 12:30 p.m.
Tomorrow is Canada Day! Any fan with a Canadian ID can purchase tickets for just $2.