Palm Springs, CA-January 23, 2011-Day two of California Winter League action did not disappoint in terms of excitement Sunday afternoon. A day that began with 21 total runs in game one, ended with a game winning, walk-off double.
The action started with a first inning, six run barrage by the Palm Desert Coyotes in game one against the Canada A’s. The ‘Yotes sent nine to the plate in that first inning, making use of four singles including a two RBI base hit from Wesley Hoskins off of Canada starter Kevin Pigott.
The Canada bats made a late charge in the top of the fifth inning, plating three runs thanks to RBI singles from Brian Bistagne and J.T. Putt. However, the momentum did not stay in red and white long. In the very next inning the Coyotes sent 14 batters to the plate and scored nine runs, capped by a two RBI double off the bat of Jordan Drake. From there it became a matter of counting down outs as the Coyotes cruised to a 16-5 final.
Drama became the theme late in game two between the Coachella Valley Snowbirds and the Palm Springs Chill. After holding a 7-1 lead early in the game, the Snowbirds found themselves trailing 9-8 entering the bottom of the ninth.
A lead-off single to start the ninth from Walter-John McGowan gave the ‘Birds life. After a strike out for the first out, the winning run reached on an error by the short-stop, bringing Tyler Liffrig to the plate with a chance to be the hero. The big first baseman did not disappoint. Liffrig crushed a double to right-center to cash in both runs and give Coachella Valley a 10-9 walk-off victory.
Before the Snowbird’s heroic ninth inning, a seven run fifth inning seemed to have the Palm Springs Chill headed into the win column. After trailing 7-1 starting the fifth, the Chill used five extra base hits to take the lead at 8-7. Mike Olsen and Jake Taylor both drove in two runs in the inning for Palm Springs. Overall Olsen reached base four times on the day and drove in three.
Perhaps the lone pitching highlight of the entire day came from the Snowbird’s Tyler Breault who kept his team close with a perfect eighth and ninth inning. Breault, who started the game at short-stop, picked up his first win of the season in relief.
More California Winter League follows an off day Monday. Come join the CWL Tuesday for a double header with the first game starting at 1 p.m. between the Canada A’s and Coachella Valley Snowbirds, followed by the Chill and Coyotes at 5 p.m. Every Tuesday is dollar beer day out at Palm Springs Stadium.
Photo: Nate Wilson-Traisman singles for the Coyotes in game one.
Audio: Hear the exciting conclusion of the Snowbirds walk off victory. Call featuring J.W. Cox, courtesy of Newstalk 920 KPSI and the California Winter League.