By Frank La Sala & Lee Noel

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. ~ The Manitoba North Stars put on a power show and earned a 7-0 shutout victory over the British Columbia Bombers on the auxiliary field’s first game of the day. The North Stars kicked off the scoring when Judah Wollenburg led off with a single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Trey Bridis to give Manitoba a 1-0 lead. Later in the game, Ryan Sullivan hit the first of three North Star home runs on the day, a two-run shot that brought Bridis in to score and pushed Manitoba’s lead to 3-0. The fifth inning was highlighted by the first instance of back-to-back home runs in the 2019 CWL season. Manitoba North Star Frank Podkul left the building on a three-run blast which was immediately followed by Bridis’ solo homer that made it a 7-0 game. North Stars starting pitcher Marc Stewart threw an effective six innings, striking out six batters and only allowing four hits, two of which came off the bat of Parker Sniatynski for the Bombers. The North Stars are now 4-6-3 as we approach the end of the season, while the Bombers are 3-9-1, good for fourth and fifth place in the Canadian Division, respectively.

The Palm Springs Chill ended their four game losing streak by taking down the Alberta Grizzly 3-2.  The Grizzly got on the board in the top of the third. Luke Bolka led off with a double then scored on a single from Ryan Whitt.  They added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Mike Hardin reached on an error to start the inning and came in to score on Chip Northrup’s double down the left field line to run the lead to 2-0.  After not scoring for over 18 innings, the Chill scored three in the bottom of the seventh. Taylor Olmstead scored the first run on a wild pitch. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Nicholas Mira walked to tie the game.  Brian Pozos followed that up with a single to left, past the drawn in infield to win the game. Noah Gotsis allowed just three hits over six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and Keaton Slack allowed six hits and a run over five innings with five strikeouts, neither pitcher factored in the decision.  Bolka finished 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Pozos finished 2-for-4 with the game winning RBI.

The turf field played host to a nail-biter in the second game when the Washington Blue Sox hung on to win a 3-2 battle over the Canada A’s. The Blue Sox did all of their damage in the opening frame when their first five hitters reached base. That set the table for a two-run double by Taisei Yamada followed by a sacrifice fly from Kyle Stahl which made the score 3-0. The Canada A’s continued to play tough baseball, however, cutting into the lead in the fifth inning when Bodie Bryan crushed an RBI single to score Derek Bangert and make it a 3-1 ballgame. In the following inning, Joseph Becht scored for the Canada A’s after leading off with a hit by pitch and coming around on a double by Matt Holliday to make it a 3-2 advantage for the Blue Sox. Daniel Herrera led off the final inning for the A’s with a walk, but was stranded at second base after Blue Sox closer Shinya Toyama settled down and got the last out to secure a Washington victory. The Blue Sox used four different pitchers in the victory to scatter five hits and collect five strikeouts. Dominic Pestello looked sharp in relief for the A’s, pitching three innings and striking out five batters without giving up a hit. The Blue Sox improved to 4-5-4 while the Canada A’s are now 7-5-1.

The New York Colonials won a lopsided second game at the stadium 10-4 over the Palm Springs Power.  Both starting pitchers went just two innings each. The Colonials sent ten men to the plate and scored five times in the bottom of the first.  Elijah Collins drove in Kamal Muhammad with a single for the first run. The next two Colonial runs scored on throwing errors. Later in the inning, Armett Johnson lifted a sacrifice fly into right field to run the lead to 4-0.  Gregory Barnette followed that up with a single. The Power got two back in the second when Alex Jeter lined a two-run single into left with the bases loaded. In the bottom half, Jay Carp hit a two-run single to run the Colonial lead to 7-2.  With one out in the third Lamar Briggs was hit by a pitch and he would later score from first on a Jacob Boston double. Boston scored later in the inning on a wild pitch to cut the score to 7-4. Collins drove in Muhammad again in the fourth to put the Colonials up 8-4.  Collins scored later in the inning on a wild pitch. New York rounded out the scoring at 10-4 when Brooks Carson scored on a throwing error. Mike Schaub went three innings in relief to earn the win for the Colonials. Muhammad finished 2-for-2 with a walk, three runs, and four stolen bases.  Collins finished 2-for-2 with two RBI’s, three runs, a walk, and three stolen bases.

Sunday at the California Winter League is Senior Sunday.  Every senior 65 years or older with a valid ID gets in for just $5. Game one at the stadium features the Washington Blue Sox @ the British Columbia Bombers at 10 AM, followed by the Toronto Rush @ the New York Colonials at 12:30 PM.