PALM SPRINGS, Calif. ~ The Oregon Lumberjacks defeated the British Columbia Bombers by a final score of 4-3 in the first game of a triple-header at the auxiliary field on the CWL’s final day of the regular season. Mark Lynam and Joshua Rodriguez led things off for the Lumberjacks as they reached on back-to-back errors in the first inning and eventually scored to give Oregon an early 2-0. Trevor Westmoreland and Larry Alcime each added an RBI in the third inning to push the Lumberjack lead to 4-0. The Bombers staged a late rally and cut the lead to one run when they added three runs on three walks and two singles in the fourth inning to make it a 4-3 game in favor of Oregon, but that was all the closer they would get. Each team will now look ahead to the playoffs as the Oregon Lumberjacks finish the regular season with a 7-6-2 record, while the Bombers sit at 3-12-1.
The Battle for Palm Springs raged in the first game at Palm Springs Stadium with the Palm Springs Power and the Palm Springs Chill ending in a 3-3 tie even with an extra inning played. The Chill put the first run on the board in the first inning when Greg Saenz led off the inning with a double and scored off a single from Corey Dempster. The Power responded in the second driving in a run of their own when Michael Moffatt started the inning and eventually came in to score off an error from the third baseman Alex Santana. No more runs would score until the fifth when Lamar Briggs reached on a one-out single and scored later on a wild pitch from Kyle Grant. Heading into the bottom of the seventh the Chill were down to their final two outs with Greg White on third when Dempster hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. The teams played an extra inning with the tie breaker rules letting each team start with a runner on second. The Power scored on the first at-bat as Nicholas Michaels drove in Lamar Briggs who started on second with a leadoff single. The Chill came up to bat down by one. Won Jie Choi came in to pitch for the Power and got two quick outs then gave up a single to Evan Weidner to drive in the run and tie the game at 3-3 which would be the final score.
The second game at Palm Springs Stadium was between the Toronto Rush and the Canada A’s with the Toronto Rush claiming the Canadian division title by a final score of 9-7. The Canada A’s looked to be in the driver’s seat in this game as they scored all seven of their runs in the first three innings. In the first inning, they sent eight batters to the plate and scored twice off singles from Joe Becht and Tyler Pfeffer respectively. The A’s added one more in the second inning went as Daniel Herrera led off with a single and came in to score on another Becht single. The A’s did further damage in the third sending ten players to the dish and scoring four runs including a string of eight consecutive batters reaching base. A’s starter Kevin Grendell shut down the Chill for the first three innings giving up only one hit, walking none and striking out six. The Rush started to claw back in the fourth inning scoring their first off a sacrifice fly from T.J. Ward bringing in Todd Weiss. In the fifth inning Toronto continued to answer scoring another five runs in eleven batters. Tyler Cowles, Bryson Connor, Kyle Stahl and T.J. Ward each batted in a run. The sixth inning Toronto finally took the lead scoring two more times when McClain Bradley and Todd Weiss came in to score off errors. The Rush would add another in the seventh to extend their lead to two. Winning pitcher Chris Amato pitched one inning in relief walking one and not allowing a run. Dominic Pestello took the loss going one inning and giving up one earned run and two more unearned.
The auxiliary field was home to another dramatic game in the second contest of the day as the Alberta Grizzly were the victors over the New York Colonials in walk-off fashion by a final score of 3-2. Justin O’Connell led off the game by reaching first base on a catcher’s interference call and then scored when Greg Barnette roped a single to the outfield to put the Colonials ahead by a score of 1-0 early in the game. The Grizzly responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the first inning when their lead-off man William Harris smacked a hit and then came home on Luke Bolka’s RBI single. Jake Luce doubled to lead off the final inning for the Colonials and wound up scoring on an error to give New York a 2-1 lead, so all eyes turned to Alberta to see if they had a response. The Grizzly attacked when Colten Trager started the rally with his second walk of the day and Brady Becerra knocked a single down the line, and then Bolka played the hero with a walk-off two-RBI single to set off a celebration and win the game 3-2 for Alberta. The Grizzly finished the regular season 9-4-2 while the Colonials wrap up at 4-7-5.
In a frenzied finish to conclude the triple-header on the auxiliary field, the Manitoba North Stars won 8-6 over the Washington Blue Sox. The Blue Sox built a 3-0 lead by scoring a run in each of the first three innings, but the tide would change quickly in the bottom of the third inning. The Manitoba North Stars sent ten men to the plate and scored seven runs, highlighted by a two-RBI single from Judah Wollenburg and a three-run home run by Jacob Karlson to make it a 7-3 tilt in favor of the North Stars. The Blue Sox got a run back in the fourth inning when Yuki Nagao scored after starting the inning with a single, but the North Stars’ Nick Campana cranked an RBI double to regain their four-run advantage and make it an 8-4 ball game heading to the fifth. The Blue Sox seemed to be mounting a rally after their first two hitters reached base and scored, but Yuta Tadano’s line drive was caught by second-baseman Justin Robison who doubled off the runner Nagao to end the game at 8-6 in favor of the North Stars. The Washington Blue Sox stand at 5-7-4 at the end of the regular season while the Manitoba North Stars finalize their regular season slate with a record of 5-6-4.
Tomorrow is a work out day at Palm Springs Stadium. Free admission to watch the teams before the playoffs start on Thursday. Thursday is Out-Of-Towners day where anyone with a non-Coachella Valley ID gets in for just $3.