PALM SPRING, Calif. — The California Winter League kicked off the 2016 season on Thursday with seven games at Palm Springs Stadium.
In the first game of the season on the main field, the Oregon Lumberjacks defeated the Washington Blue Sox by a score of 5-3. Oregon starting pitcher Scotty Ward threw three innings, struck out four, and allowed one run on one hit to pick up the victory. Left fielder Brandon Remalia singled twice for the Lumberjacks, and Vincent Sorrentino singled twice for the Blue Sox.
In a tight contest between the Canada A’s and the Palm Springs Power, the A’s emerged victorious by a score of 3-1. A’s centerfielder Kevin Barker got the scoring started early with a first-pitch solo home run in the bottom of the first. The A’s pitching staff received a strong outing from starting pitcher Brady Muller, as he did not permit a run and struck out eight batters in four innings. Relief pitcher Stephen Butt closed out the win for the A’s by working three solid innings out of the bullpen.
The nightcap between the Palm Springs Chill and the British Columbia Bombers saw several lead changes before the Bombers defeated the Chill 7-3. Trey Russell led the charge as British Columbia rallied from two deficits. Russell finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a walk, a single, and a double. Brandon Keiser walked, singled, and scored twice for the Chill.
Over on the auxiliary field, the Midwest Haymakers opened the day by taking down the Coachella Valley Snowbirds 14-4. Will Soto got things going early with a bases-clearing triple as part of a five-run top of the second inning. Soto would finish 1-for-2 with three runs batted in, a walk, two runs scored and a stolen base. Haymakers catcher Joe Coyne knocked in three runs of his own with a sacrifice fly and a two-run double.
The New York Colonials broke the game open late to defeat the Bay Area Bootleggers 9-1. Keenan Chanin led the surge by going 3-for-4 including a two-run single in the third inning. Left-handed pitcher Hector Cedano turned in a strong start for the Bootleggers with three innings of one-hit ball.
Nearby at Palm Springs’s High School baseball field, the Manitoba North Stars topped the Alberta Grizzly 9-6, highlighted by Daniel Lawrence’s first home run of the season.
Andrew Wellwerts delivered a dominant performance to wrap up the day’s action, mowing down an impressive 10 batters in just four innings on his way to a 2-1 victory for the Palm Desert Coyotes against the Toronto Rush.
After permitting a single to Charles Dailey to open the ballgame, Wellwerts proceeded to strike out the next five batters he faced. The right-hander did not surrender a run while scattering three hits across four innings of work in the victory.
Action continues on Friday as Palm Desert takes on Manitoba at 10 a.m. followed by Alberta vs. Canada at 12:30 p.m. Friday is Canada Day at Palm Springs Stadium, where tickets for Canadian residents are just two dollars.