Rush Edge Chill in 7-5 Thriller

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – For the second time in four days on the auxiliary field, a team combined to pitch a no-hitter. Scott Harkin got the call for the Canada A’s and struck out seven over four scoreless innings of work.

Thomas Goodyear finished the day with three strikeouts over three shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the Manitoba Northstars.

The first game of Monday’s double-header at Palm Springs Stadium featured the Oregon Lumberjacks and the Coachella Valley Snowbirds, with the Lumberjacks taking home a 6-1 win. The game was dominated by the Lumberjacks, who scored all six of their runs in the first three innings, scoring two in each of those frames.

First baseman Jacob Wark made his presence known early on with a two-out two-run home run to right field in the top of the first inning. Jacks’ starter Sam Burton followed that up with a shutdown one-two-three bottom of the first, striking out the side.

In the second, the Jacks added two runs. Brett Smith drove in Wark on an RBI triple to right-center field, and Smith later scored on a wild pitch, to make it 4-0. Oregon put up two more runs in the third on Ryan Dickt’s RBI single and Brandon Moss’ RBI fielder’s choice.

Snowbirds’ starter Fu-Yuan Chang worked three innings and allowed all six of the Jacks’ runs, taking the loss. Offensively, Coachella Valley had plenty of opportunities, but couldn’t crack the scoreboard against Burton, who fired four shutout innings with seven strikeouts and got the win.

The Snowbirds’ lone run came in the bottom of the seventh inning on Ryuji Sugimoto’s RBI triple to right field.

A scary moment occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning when Snowbirds’ catcher Takahio Homma was hit in the face with a fastball. Homma was eventually helped onto a stretcher, and was responding to medical personnel, trainers and coaches after exiting the game.

The Toronto Rush held off the Palm Springs Chill in a competitive 7-5 affair on Monday afternoon at Palm Springs Stadium. The Chill erased a three-run deficit on two separate occasions, but could not hold off the hot-hitting Rush late.

Left-hander Tyler Matzek started on the mound for the Chill (2-2) and allowed a first inning run to score on a Robert de Angelis groundout. Matzek would allow just the one tally on two hits and four strikeouts in two innings of work.

The Rush (3-1) would add to their lead in the fourth. With two outs and nobody on base, three straight Toronto hitters reached on base hits.

Tanner Klein doubled in Shah who singled, and Cameron Franklin followed with an RBI single to score Klein. The 3-0 lead would not last, as Palm Springs capitalized with runners in scoring position for the first time in four tries.

Ryan Smith started the fourth inning by reaching on an error and would eventually come around to score on a Cody Castro single. Castro and Will Decker sprinted around the base paths on a Zach Nehrir 2 RBI triple that tied the ballgame at three.

The Rush answered with a three-run sixth inning. With Toronto leading 5-3, Hector Marmol ripped an RBI double to right-centerfield to increase the advantage to 6-3.

The Chill made it interesting in their half of the frame, as Rakim Smith and Castro each scored on a two-RBI double by pinch-hitter Sean Harris.

In the Rush seventh, Connor Hoffman singled home catcher Jon Bannister to increase their lead to 7-5. Cody Pamperin came on in the seventh and set down the side in order for the save.

Chris Amato was credited with the win, while Logan Campbell took the loss for Palm Springs.

Tuesday, January 31, is “2-for-Tuesday” at Palm Springs Stadium. Hot dogs and sodas are just $2 at the concessions and the purchase of one ticket will allow two to be admitted.

Tuesday will feature the Alberta Grizzly taking on the Toronto Rush beginning at 10:00am and the British Columbia Bombers against the Canada A’s at 12:30. Those who cannot make it to the ballpark can listen to the broadcasts live on CaliforniaWinterLeague.com.