CLOSE CONTESTS HIGHLIGHT CWL CANADA DAY
by Jack Coppinger
PALM SPRINGS, Calif –– Day two of the 2016 California Winter League season kicked off with a bang on the Auxiliary Field as the Bay Area Bootleggers scored three runs in the final frame to earn a walk off victory over the Coachella Valley Snowbirds. With the Bootleggers trailing by two runs, David Kimbrough led off the inning by lacing a triple into left center gap before being driven in by Dalton Tinsley. After Clay Ragland reached via an error, Brett Thompson drilled a double into the right field corner allowing Ragland to circle the bases and tie the game at two. Thompson would later advance to third on a Vincenzo Piantanida single, setting the stage for Stephen Sunday’s game ending sacrifice fly. Bootleggers defeat Snowbirds, 3-2.
In the day’s first contest on the main field at Palm Springs Stadium, The Palm Desert Coyotes, led by starter Andrew Lowe (three innings pitched, five strikeouts, no runs allowed), defeated the Manitoba North Stars by a final score of 4-3 despite being held hitless until the fifth inning. North Stars’ starting pitcher Jake Pintar struggled to find the strike zone for much of his day, but expertly navigated the danger by striking out five Coyotes. Pintar finished his day having allowed just one unearned run to score over four innings of work, enabling his team to take a 2-1 lead into the fifth. However Pintar’s departure from game opened the door for the Coyotes’ offense as they scored three runs on three hits, including an RBI double by Kolten King, to take a 4-2 lead in the frame. The North Stars responded in the bottom of the inning on a Carl Johnson single to left field which scored Brett Zaziski, cutting the lead to 4-3, but were stifled during the game’s final two frames by relief pitcher Chris Murray, who faced just one batter over the minimum to earn the save. Coyotes defeat North Stars, 4-3.
In a game that featured the second walk off win of day, the Oregon Lumberjacks defeated the British Columbia Bombers by a final score of 3-2. The Bombers’ opened the scoring in the top of the third after Jeremy Schreiber walked and reached third on a double by Gabriel Ramos, before scoring on a Nicholas Emmole sacrifice fly. The teams traded blows across the fourth and fifth innings, scoring one run apiece, before reaching the seventh, and final inning with the score tied at two. After the game’s eventual winning pitcher Scott Stonestreet set down Bomber’s during the top half of the frame, the Lumberjack’s loaded the bases for left fielder Chris Woodruff who worked a walk to force home the winning run. Lumberjacks defeat Bombers, 3-2.
Back on the main diamond, the Canada A’s, led by the pitching duo of Tanner Kiest and Ricky Schafer –who combined for 14 strikeouts en route to securing the win and the save, respectively– defeated the Alberta Grizzly by a score of 3-2. The Grizzly struck first in the top of the second after Brett Huffman singled, stole second, and advanced to third on a fly out before coming home to score. However the A’s responded in their half of the inning, scoring all three of their runs by pounding out five hits including a Brendan Hendriks double. Alberta cut the lead to one in the sixth, and made the game interesting in the seventh by putting runners on second and third with two away, but were ultimately unable to tie the score. Canada A’s defeat The Grizzly, 3-2.
In the day’s final action, the Toronto Rush defeated the Washington Blue Sox by a final score of 7-1. Led by the combined pitching efforts of starter Alex Brosnan and relievers Seth Powers and Joel McKeithan, the Rush held a potent Blue Sox lineup to four hits while allowing just a single run. Shunta Kamoshita knocked three hits, including an RBI double, to lead the Toronto offense which scored twice in the first, once in the fourth, and exploded for four runs in the fifth. Rush defeat Blue Sox, 7-1.
The 2016 California Winter League season continues on Saturday with a full slate of games, including match ups at the main field between the Toronto Rush and Midwest Haymakers at 10:00am, and the Palm Springs Chill taking on their rivals the Palm Springs Power at 12:30. Saturday is Dollar Beer Day at Palm Springs stadium, which means all draft Bud and Bud Light is just one dollar. Be sure to purchase a commemorative CWL cup at the merchandise booth for an even bigger pour!