HUNT SHINES IN CWL DEBUT
By Thaddeus Krzus
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Day three of the 2016 California Winter League began with a high-scoring contest, seeing the Alberta Grizzly take out the Palm Desert Coyotes with an 8-2 final.
Palm Desert (2-1) jumped out to a 2-0 in the first after Marsalis Halloway (0-for-3, R, SB, BB) and Parker Norris (0-for-1, R, SB, 2 BB) started the offense with free passes, completed a double steal, and scored on Ryan Kilmon’s (1-for-2, 2 RBI, BB) single.
Alberta (1-2) struck back with a four-spot in the second to pull ahead. Kyle Adie (1-for-3, 2 RBI, R) pushed across Adam Picard (0-for-1, 2 R, BB) and Dave Clark (2-for-3, R) with a double to knot the game at two a piece.
Tanner Oymaian (1-for-3, RBI, 2 R) followed with an RBI single to score Adie to put the Grizzly ahead. Rob McLam put Alberta added insurance by plating Oymaian to give the Grizzly a 4-2 lead.
Will Gerhard (1-0) earned his first win of the season by tossing 5.1 innings and allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two.
Game two on the auxiliary field finished with a 1-1 tie between the British Columbia Bombers and the Bay Area Bootleggers.
Bay Area (1-1-1) struck first with a run in the home-half of the third when Nathan Lewellyn (0-for-3) reached on a throwing error to drive in Dalton Tinsley (1-for-1, R, BB) from third.
British Columbia (1-1-1) tied squared the game in the fourth when Pete Leonello (2-for-3, R) tripled to start the inning and scored on a wild pitch to Jacob Cockfield (0-for-2, BB).
Bomber’s starter Matthias Leyva worked the first four frames and allowed an unearned run and struck out two. Reliever Joe Ucho tossed the final three innings and punched out three Bootleggers.
Jameson McGrane took the bump and struck out six in his 3.2 innings of work, while allowing the one run on two hits. Zack Zareva punched out three over his 2.1 innings of relief, and Anthony Stokes worked a scoreless seventh.
The final game on the auxiliary field saw the New York Colonials’ (2-0) Landon Hunt dominate the Washington Blue Sox (0-3) over 4.2 innings, striking out 10 and allowing a run on two hits. The lefty had a perfect game going into the fifth before Kaleb Barlow (2-for-2, RBI, R, 2B) doubled with one out and came home to score on Wes Wallace’s (1-for-3, RBI, 2B) double.
The Colonials put up four runs in the seventh to break a 3-3 tie and came away with a 7-3 victory.
Palm Springs Stadium opened up with the Toronto Rush picking up their second consecutive victory with a 2-1 win over the Midwest Haymakers.
Midwest’s (1-1) Kazuki Nezu (1-for-2, RBI, BB) drove in Alex Naifeh (2-for-3, R) with an RBI groundout in the second to give the Haymakers an early 1-0 lead, but Toronto would scratch across a run in both the fourth and fifth to pull ahead.
After Josh Wenger (1-for-3, R) reached second on an error to start the fourth, the designated hitter advanced to third on Marcus Blackmon’s (0-for-2, Sac) and came in to score the tying run on a single by Matt Benedetto (1-for-3, RBI).
Toronto (2-1) grabbed the lead in the fifth when Jalen Harris (2-for-2, 2B, 3B, 2 BB) tripled with one out and scored on Byron Reichstein’s (1-for-2, RBI, 2 BB) single to right for the 2-1 edge.
The Battle for Palm Springs Supremacy wrapped up the day at the main stadium, with the Palm Springs Chill shutting out the Palm Springs power, 3-0.
Josh Eatherly (1-for-1, 2B, BB SB, R) started the Chill’s scoring in the third when the second baseman started the frame with a double and scored on Robert Latner’s single to right for a 1-0 advantage.
Brian O’Keefe (1-0) started the game for the Chill (1-1) and dominated from the beginning, striking out the side in the first. On the day, the southpaw did not allow a hit in his three innings of work, punching out five and walking one.
Ryan Strombom took over for O’Keefe and continued where his starter left off by striking out the side in the fourth.
Chill pitching finished the day with 11 strikeouts and surrendered just three hits, with just two Power (0-2) base runners reaching scoring position.
Action continues on Sunday with three games on the auxiliary field starting with the Palm Springs Power taking on the Midwest Haymakers at 8 a.m., Canada facing off against Coachell Valley at 11 a.m. and The North Stars playing the Chill at 1:30 p.m. Palm Springs Stadium will see matchups between Bay Area and Palm Desert at 10 a.m. and Oregon and New York at 12:30 p.m. The first 200 fans will receive a free CWL hat.