PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Game one on the auxiliary field saw the Oregon Lumberjacks defeat the Toronto Rush by a score of 3-1 under blue skies and sunshine. Oregon came out swinging early, when Reinaldo Gonzalez and Trevor Westmoreland reached on consecutive singles and then Jonah Hill’s RBI knock brought Gonzalez in to score and make it a 1-0 game. The Rush had an answer in the top of the fourth inning though when Glenn Kubek led off with a single and ran home on T.J. Ward’s double to tie the game at 1-1. However, the Lumberjacks would not be denied as they continued to swing freely and scored two runs on back-to-back singles off the bats of Joshua Rodriguez and Ian Yetsko which completed the scoring and gave the Jacks their permanent 3-1 advantage. The Rush are now 8-4 after their twelfth game of the 2019 CWL season, putting them in a tie for first place in the Canadian Division with the Alberta Grizzly. Meanwhile, the Oregon Lumberjacks jump to 6-4-2 and move to first place in the USA Division with a one game advantage over both the Palm Springs Chill and Power.
The second game of the day on the auxiliary field played host to the British Columbia Bombers’ 6-0 victory over the Palm Springs Chill. It was a matchup of two strong arms through the first four innings, as starting pitchers Travis McQueen of the Bombers and Anthony Baleto of the Chill exerted their dominance on opposing batters. The Bombers broke things open in the fifth inning when Zack Gray and Riley Conlan each launched solo home runs to right center field to make it a 2-0 game. Bomber bats continued to light up the scoreboard in the seventh inning when Parker Sniatynski singled in a run followed by Garrett Brown’s bases-loaded three-RBI double to push British Columbia’s lead to 6-0. McQueen finished his day with a complete game one-hitter for the Bombers while also recording eleven strikeouts. Baleto’s tough-luck loss still involved a solid statistical line as he only allowed two earned runs and struck out five batters in five innings pitched. The win propels the Bombers to a 3-9 record while the loss drops the Chill to 6-6 on the year.
The Alberta Grizzly and the Manitoba North Stars battled hard coming away with a 2-2 tie in the first game at Palm Springs Stadium. Both starting pitchers dominated through the initial six innings. Jensen Kirch of the Alberta Grizzly fanned six through a scoreless six innings allowing only three hits and just one walk. Ryan Gowens of the Manitoba North Stars continued his stellar campaign striking out 11 through six innings allowing two hits and just one walk. In the top of the seventh inning with two outs, defensive replacement Ryan MacCarrick belted a solo shot to left field giving the Grizzly a 1-0 lead. Right fielder Ryan Whitt followed up with a hard grounder down the third baseline for a two-out double. Bill Pearson continued the hit streak with a soft line drive to left field to drive in Whitt. The Grizzly managed to load up the bases before shortstop Wesley Jones flew out to center fielder Nick Campana to end the top of the seventh. Although third baseman Frank Podkul was the sole batter with multiple hits in the game, it was actually Eric Elkus emerging as the hero for the North Stars with a two-run blast to left-center with two outs to tie the game at 2-2 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Judah Wollenburg struck out swinging to end the game in a tie at 2-2.
The second game at Palm Springs Stadium featured the Canada A’s playing the Palm Springs Power with the Power taking it 9-8. Pitching was the name of the game for the first two and a half innings. A’s starting pitcher Kevin Grendell sat down the first seven hitters he faced before Power catcher Clayton Connor hit a triple down the left field line. Aaron Bailey followed up with a walk. During Lamar Briggs’ at-bat, Grendell threw an arrant pick off getting past the first baseman Matt Holliday scoring Connor and allowing Bailey to reach third. Briggs then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Bailey and give the Power a 2-0 lead. Canada immediately responded by scoring two runs in the fourth from a fielder choice by Derek Bangert scoring Joeseph Becht and Tyler Pfeffer with a throwing error. The Power exploded in the bottom of the fifth scoring six runs off of eight consecutive singles . Palm Springs sent 10 batters to the dish in the fifth with Clayton Connor being the only batter in the inning to not get a hit. Down by six, Canada lashed back repeating the Power’s efforts by scoring six runs in the sixth from four hits including a three-run double by Ben Mauseth to tie the game. In the bottom of the sixth, the Power scraped together a run off a single from Lamar Briggs to reach base and another single from Jacob Boston to give the Power a one-run lead. Matthew Jeffrey came in for the save for Palm Springs. He gave up a walk then sat down the next three batters to give the Power their first win on the main stadium and giving Jeffrey his first save on the season. Logan Redmond is the winning pitcher after giving up three runs on one hit. William Nix takes the loss for the A’s after only facing two batters and giving up a single.
Saturday at the California Winter League will be Sun & Suds Saturday, featuring $2 Bud and Bud Light Drafts. Game one at the stadium features the Alberta Grizzly @ the Palm Springs Chill at 10 AM, followed by the Palm Springs Power @ the New York Colonials at 12:30 PM.