BATS ERUPT FOR BIG OFFENSIVE OUTPUTS ON THURSDAY
By Thaddeus Krzus
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Day eight of the 2016 California Winter League season saw offensive explosions on both the Auxiliary Field and at Palm Springs Stadium, with more than 50 runs scored on the day between the five games.
The Canada A’s (5-1) opened up the day with an impressive 5-0 shutout over the New York Colonials (4-2) behind the T.J. Pruneda’s (2-0) complete-game shutout. The southpaw did give up seven hits over his seven innings, but struck out three and did not issue a walk.
Jack LaMarca led the offense with a three-hit performance and an RBI, while T.J. Braff drove in the first two runs of the game with an inside-the-park home run in the first to give the A’s an early 2-0 advantage.
The Palm Springs Power came out on the winning end of a slugfest with the Alberta Grizzly in the second game on the auxiliary field, a high-octane, 13-11, finish.
Palm Springs (3-3) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead at the end of half an inning.
Nicholas Marigny tripled with one out and scored two batters later on an Ian Hagenmiller single to give the Power a 1-0 lead after four batters. Matt Page, Andrew Showler and Kinnosuke Kamiya brought in three more runs to give Palm Springs the four-run edge.
Alberta (3-3) had a chance to even things up in the seventh after Tanner Oymaian walked with one out and advanced to second on Rob McLam’s single. After a wild pitch to Dave Clark advanced the runners 90 feet, Clark struck out and Kyle Adie grounded out to third to end the game.
The Palm Springs Chill jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over the Coachella Valley Snowbirds (0-6) in the second inning to close out the day on the Auxiliary Field, riding the early momentum to a 9-1 victory.
Juan Bueno drove in four for the Chill (4-1-1), while going 2-for-3 at the plate to raise his average to .333 in the early portion of the season.
Tyler Pearson started for Palm Springs and struck out eight over his six innings of work.
Palm Springs Stadium witnessed the Midwest Haymakers ride three two-run innings to a 6-1 victory over the Oregon Lumberjacks in the morning contest.
After a one-out walk to Beau Riportella, Ryan Gerber lifted a double to left-center, plating Riportella and giving the Haymakers (2-4) a 1-0 lead.
Nicholas Zaharion tacked on the second run of the inning when he reached on a fielder’s choice with runners at the corners, bringing Gerber home from third.
Oregon (2-4) threatened to cut into the lead in the seventh after having Jordan Runcie-Hubbard and Thomas Fuessel III reach with one out, but a strike out by Chris Woodruff and a play at the plate to get Runcie-Hubbard after a single by Brandon Remalia ended the game.
The Manitoba North Stars (4-1-1) won their third consecutive game with a 6-3 victory over the Washington Blue Sox.
Washington (1-5) took a 2-1 lead in the third behind an RBI single by Kaleb Barlow to bring in Vincent Sorrentino, and an RBI triple, bringing Barlow home for the one-run lead.
Manitoba responded with a two-spot of its own in the home-half of the inning. Chris Bachman singled, advanced to second on a passed ball to Tom Nagy, who then walked to put two on with one out. Both runners advanced on Darius Washington’s single to load the bases.
Brett Zaziski walked to force in a run and tie the game at two. A wild pitch to Carl Johnson allowed Nagy to score and give the North Stars a lead they would never relinquish.
Evan Neiser (SV, 1) earned his first save of the season by working the final two frames and striking out two.
California Winter League action resumes on Friday morning with three games on the auxiliary field and two at Palm Springs Stadium.
The Auxiliary Field will feature matchups between the Washington Blue Sox at the Coachella Valley Snowbirds at 8 a.m., the Oregon Lumberjacks visiting the Palm Desert Coyotes at 11 a.m., and the Alberta Grizzly taking on the Bay Area Bootleggers to wrap up the day’s action.
Palm Springs Stadium will have contests between the British Columbia Bombers and the Manitoba North Stars at 10 a.m. and wrap up with the defending champion Canada A’s facing off against their rivals from the north, the Toronto Rush.
Friday is also Canada Day at Palm Springs Stadium, where all Canadian residents get in for just two dollars (ID required).