By Jack Coppinger – @JHCoppinger
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. –– The eighth season of the California Winter League continued on Thursday, another beautiful winter day in the desert, with a series of exciting ballgames.
The main diamond’s 10:00 a.m. ballgame, featured a matchup of two teams battling near the top of the standings as the Oregon Lumberjacks (6–5) took on the Toronto Rush (8–4), with the Rush emerging victorious by a final score of 4-2.
Starting Pitcher Andrew Morales led the way for the Tom Vaeth and the Rush, as he scattered seven hits across six innings while allowing just one run and striking out six Oregon batters.
Jabari Brown tripled and scored in the first inning for Toronto, while Ozzy Braff, Thomas Roulis, Nathan Suyematsu, Brent Gillespie, and Joe Daru each contributed extra-base hits for the Lumberjacks.
In the day’s second action on the main diamond inside Palm Springs Stadium, the New York Colonials outlasted the Washington Blue Sox (2–9) to win by a score of 5-2.
The game was a back and forth affair, that featured each team taking the lead at different points in the ballgame.
However the big hits in the game were provided by Lance Montano and John Giakas of the Colonials. Montano tied the ballgame at two runs a piece with a solo inside-the-park home run to centerfield with out in the fourth, while Giakas singled home a run in the fifth to give his team the lead for good, 3-2.
Blue Sox starter Yujo Kitagata proved to be the game’s hard luck loser, as he hurled five excellent innings while striking out ten Colonial batters.
Atlantic League signee Kyano Cummings worked the game’s final three innings to earn his second save of the season
In the morning game on the Auxiliary Field, the Coachella Valley Snowbirds (3–7–1) secured a 3-1 victory over the British Columbia Bombers (5–5).
Snowbird starter Dakota Freese was the star of the ballgame, as he hurled a complete game masterpiece while allowing just three hits and recording eleven strikeouts to earn the win.
John Menken was the standout offensive player for Coachella Valley, contributing two hits, including a double, over three at bats; he also scored a run.
Bradley McQuinn finished the day two-for-two with a walk in three plate appearances for British Columbia.
In the Aux Field’s second matchup, the first place Palm Springs Power (9–1–1) won a slugfest against the Manitoba North Stars (3–9) by a score of 16-6.
Nicholas Buckner went two-for-two on the day with a pair of walks and towering two-run home run to lead the way for Manager Casey Dill’s Power offense, which also benefitted from an additional home run by Nicholas Willoughby.
Joshua McAdams provided much of the offense for the NorthStars, as he connected for a two-run homer in the third, before adding an run-scoring triple later in the ballgame.
In the day’s final action, the Canada A’s (6–5) defeated the Alberta Grizzly (3–9) by a final score of 9-1 thanks in part to a five-run explosion in the first inning.
Schaumburg Boomers signee Mike McClellan led the way from the cleanup position for the A’s, as he collected a pair of RBI singles and was hit by a pitch over four plate appearances. Catcher Scott Morton, himself a signee of the Windy City Thunderbolts, also contributed a hit and a pair of runs batted in for Pat O’Sullivan’s A’s.
Ross LaMarca picked up the win for Canada after hurling four innings while allowing just a earned run while striking out two Grizzly batters.
California Winter League baseball continues tomorrow with another five games taking place at the Palm Springs Stadium facilities:
- Oregon Lumberjacks @ Manitoba North Stars [AUX Field – 8:30 a.m.]
- Toronto Rush @ Hit King [PS Stadium – 10:00 a.m.]
- Coachella Valley Snowbirds @ New York Colonials [AUX Field – 11:00 a.m.]
- Palm Springs Chill @ British Columbia Bomber [PS Stadium – 12:30 p.m.]
- Washington Blue Sox @ Palm Springs Power [AUX Field – 1:30 p.m.]
Fridays are Canada Day at the ballpark, so bring your valid Canadian ID to the ballpark to receive discounted tickets for just $2 apiece.
Tomorrow’s 12:30 p.m. will also be broadcast live across the Coachella Valley on KXPS Team 1010 AM, so tune in to catch all of the excitement from Palm Springs Stadium.