MEDFORD ROGUES (5) at CHICO HEAT (4)
After enjoying a rare two days off, the Heat welcomed the Medford Rogues to Nettleton Stadium for game one of a three-game series against the current Great West League leaders. Despite the Heat’s solid defensive display, the squad’s spotty offense was unable to overcome an early deficit as they fell to Medford, 5-4.
Medford’s bats placed Heat starter Ryan Sanchez in an early hole as the visitors combined four singles and one double to take the 4-0 edge in the top of the first. The Rogues loaded the bases in the top of the first inning for Johnny Delacruz (Louisiana-Monroe), who doubled to the left field wall. The hit cleared the bases; it sent home Valenzuela-Reece, Davis Delorefice (Utah), and Jake Hellweg (Bethune Cookman). Eric Yang (UC Santa Barbara) then singled home DeLaCruz.
The Heat answered back in the bottom of the inning after a hit by pitch proved costly for Medford’s Jaiden France once Marcus Wilhite knocked in Gavin Johns to cut the lead 4-1.
Momentum appeared to swing toward the Heat in the bottom of the third as a Marcus Wilhite RBI double cut Medford’s lead in half, 4-2. However, the back-and-forth affair between the clubs continued as the Rogues lit up the scoreboard once more on a wild pitch from Chico’s Lucas Knowles to take a 5-2 lead in the top of the fifth.
Chico catcher Gavin Johns quieted the Medford dugout in the bottom of the fifth as he cranked a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for a two-run round tripper to pull the Heat within one run of the Rogues.
Brandon Bachman and the Heat defense held the Rogues for the remainder of the game, setting the stage for a potential Chico walk-off in the bottom of the ninth. With a runner in scoring position and the tying run at the plate, Medford closer Taylor Frost made his plans evident as he struck out the side to secure the 5-4 lead for the Rogues. It was Frost’s sixth save of the year.
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PORTLAND PICKLES (15) at MARYSVILLE GOLD SOX (4)
The Portland Pickles showed a lot of pride on Thursday night by beating the Marysville Gold Sox 15-4, one night after blowing a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning. They jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the third inning and never looked back., winning the series two games to one and extending their lead at fourth place to 2.5 games. They now lead the season series with the Gold Sox five games to four.
Zander Clarke hit a grand slam in the third inning, and Matt Hardy drove in five runs on three hits, including a second inning two run home run. Hardy initially was credited with a second home run in the eighth inning, but the call was overturned and he settled for a two run double. Koty Fallon had two hits and two RBIs, connecting on a two run triple in the first inning. Kelechi Anyanwu also had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run on a bases loaded walk.
Mike Gagliardi turned in a quality start for the Pickles, going four innings and allowing just one run. Cooper Webster (1-0) earned the win, pitching the fifth inning. Zach Johnson and Andrew Eppenbach each gave the Pickles two innings out of the bullpen, with Eppenbach not allowing a run.
Lincoln Clayton (1-3) took the loss for the Gold Sox, allowing seven runs in two innings, three of them earned. Jason Dicochea led the Marysville offense with three hits on the night.
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