Offensive Surges Lead Blue Sox, Bombers to Victories
by Jack Coppinger
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. –– The tenth day of the 2016 California Winter Season began with an offensive explosion by the British Columbia Bombers as they posted seven runs in the top of the first inning en route to a victory over the Alberta Grizzly. Led by Nicholas Emmole –3-4, 3 RBI, and 3 runs scored– every member of the Bomber lineup reached base and scored in the ballgame. For the Grizzly, Brett Huffman went 2-4 and drove in two. British Columbia (3-2) defeat Alberta (3-4), 14-4.
The day’s first action on the main diamond at Palm Springs Stadium featured a matchup with serious playoff implications, with both the New York Colonials and the Palm Springs Chill sitting near the top of the CWL standings. In the end it was the Palm Springs Chill who emerged victorious thanks to a stellar relief performance by Ryan Strombom, who entered in place of former Dodgers’ farmhand Jarret Martin and struck out nine over six scoreless innings to earn the win. Chris Knouse drove in the winning run on a clutch two-strike single in the sixth inning to seal the victory for the Chill. For the Colonials, Michael Tamburino tossed six strong innings and allowed just two earned runs as the hard-luck loser. Chill (5-1-1) defeat New York (4-3), 3-2.
Over on the Auxiliary field the Palm Desert Coyotes survived a late rally by the Midwest Haymakers to earn their fifth win of the season. Starting pitcher Andrew Lowe threw six innings and allowed just one run while striking out six, lowering his ERA to a minuscule 0.88 on the season. However the real hero for Palm Desert was left fielder Sean Washington, whose fifth inning, two-run home run pushed the Coyote lead to four and eventually proved to be the difference in the ballgame after the Haymakers tallied two runs of their own in the seventh. Palm Desert (5-2-1) defeat Midwest (2-5), 5-3.
The back end of the day’s doubleheader on the main diamond saw the Washington Blue Sox – who had scored a league-worst 15 runs across their first seven games – excise their offensive demons as they erupted for 19 runs against the Palm Springs Power. Designated Hitter Aaron Wirsch led the charge by going 3-3 with two walks, a double, and a towering home run to centerfield.
Washington (2-6) defeat Power (3-4), 19-2.
In the day’s final action, Toronto Rush pitchers Alex Brosnan and Byron Reichstein combined to strikeout seven batters in a shutout victory over Bay Area, spoiling a gritty performance by Bootleggers’ starter Ben Allison, who earlier this morning signed a contract with Normal Cornbelters of the Frontier League. Bradley McQuinn keyed the Rush offensively as he reached base safely in all four of his at bats –a pair of singles and a two walks– while scoring two runs and driving home another. Toronto (5-3) defeat Bay Area (2-5), 4-0.
Be sure to head over to Palm Springs Stadium tomorrow for more exciting California Winter League action! First Pitch between the Toronto Rush and Coachella Valley Snowbirds will be at 9:00am, with game two between the Canada A’s and British Columbia Bombers set begin at 11:30am. Meanwhile, first pitch on the Auxiliary Field will be at 8:00am.