Written by: Joey Cena
The California Winter League action continued on the last day of the regular season. It was an action packed day, with four total games on Valentine’s Day. The turf field featured the Toronto Rush (6-7) playing the British Columbia Bombers (8-5-1). Game 1 at Palm Springs Stadium was the Alberta Grizzly (8-4-1) facing the Palm Springs Chill (7-6). Game 2 on the turf was the Oregon Lumberjacks (7-7) facing the Palm Springs Power (6-7). Finally, game 2 at the stadium featured the Washington Blue Sox (4-10) and the Canada A’s (8-5-1).
In the first turf game, it was scoreless until the late innings. In the bottom of the 6th the Bombers were trailing 2-0. Tanner White came away with two RBI on a double to tie the game 2-2. Jordan Schulefand then hit an RBI single to give British Columbia the lead late. The Bombers came away with four runs in the 6th to take a 4-2 lead. The Rush were able to score one run in the 7th but that was all. The Bombers held on to win 4-3 against the Rush.
In game one at the stadium, it was a battle for first place in each of their respective divisions. Both the Chill and the Grizzly owned their own destinies heading into the ballgame. It was all knotted up 2-2 heading into the 6th. The clean up hitter, Jake Hall connected on a ball over the wall in left field. That 2-Run home run gave the Grizzly a 4-2 lead. Alberta tacked on two more insurance runs in the 7th. The Grizzly beat the Chill 6-2 as Alberta takes first place in the Canadian division. The Chill needed a loss from Oregon to have a chance at first place.
In the second turf game, the Lumberjacks were looking for a win and a Chill loss to clinch first place in the American division. Oregon had a 2-0 lead in the 4th when Jalen Reece came up with a big 2 out, 2-Run single to give the Jacks a 4-0 lead. The Lumberjacks took care of business with a 5-2 win over the Palm Springs Power. With the Chill loss, and the Lumberjacks win, that gave the Oregon Lumberjacks first place in their division heading into the CWL Postseason.
In game two at Palm Springs Stadium, it was scoreless until the 3rd inning when the bats came to life for the A’s. Anthony Flores broke the 0-0 tie with a 2-Run home run. Three batters later, Nolan Riley unleashed on a 2-Run home run to give Canada a 4-0 advantage. The Blue Sox responded right away in the top of the 4th inning. Aaron Goecks hit a 2-Run, 2 out double for the Sox who scored three runs in the 4th. Levi Wilson came in and recorded a 2-inning save for Canada to finish off the regular season on a high note with a 4-3 win over Washington.
With a scheduled off day tomorrow, the teams will tune up for the playoffs. The playoffs begin Thursday with a play-in-game. The playoffs will continue Friday and Saturday with the championship game on Sunday afternoon. First pitch for the championship will be at 12:00 p.m. PT
Catch the playoff games at the stadium on YouTube on the California Winter League YouTube channel. For more information about promotions, playoff standings, and the Postseason schedule, visit californiawinterleague.com.