Reno wins series against Chico
June 9, 2007
RENO – Bub Madrid and Jose Rodriguez finally got a chance to start their first game of the young Golden Baseball League season, and they delivered in a big way.
Madrid went 2-for-5 and drove in two runs, and Rodriguez went 2-for-3 and blasted a solo homer to lead the Reno Silver Sox to a 6-5 win over Chico Saturday night at Peccole Park before a crowd of 1,301.
Reno opened the season with its first series win, and starts a two-city road swing tonight in Chico with James Johnson, former McQueen star, making his first start of the year.
“With the guys that come off the bench, we’re definitely stronger than we were last year,” Reno manager Les Lancaster said. “I feel confident when I put people in, and they (Rodriguez and Madrid) both came through.”
Madrid, a crowd favorite, played a flawless first base. He admits to feeling a little pressure.
“They (Chico) probably don’t remember me,” Madrid said. “They came out and challenged me, and I got a good pitch to hit for my first hit. I was able to put a decent swing on it.
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“Oh yeah, I was getting anxious. I knew I was coming off the bench because Les brings experienced guys in every year. I had to do something with my chance. If I’d gone 0-for-4, I might not have seen the field for a while.”
Rodriguez watched Maza Chikazawa start the first two games, and he was happy to get an opportunity.
“I was kind of anxious to get in,” Rodriguez said. “Bub and I were just trying to get something going. We just came through tonight.”
Madrid figured in two of Reno’s scoring innings as did Rodriguez.
Reno broke a scoreless deadlock in the fifth with three runs.
Jordan DeVoir singled, but was forced at second by Chuck Sindlinger, who took third when Victor Hall singled. Madrid followed with a double to left-center field, scoring both runners for a 2-0 lead. Derrick Loop struck out J.J. Sherrill for the second out, but J.J. Johnson singled home Madrid for a 3-0 advantage.
Chico finally broke loose against Keaton Everitt in the sixth when Jason Matteucci blooped a single to left and scored on Scott Dragicevich’s double to right. Daniel Nava walked, but Everitt struck out Todd Gossage to end the inning.
Reno bounced back with two in the sixth when Rodriguez hit a hanging slider over the left field fence for a 4-1 lead. Cody Nowlin and Sindlinger singled and Madrid walked to load the bases. Sherrill drew a bases-loaded walk to force home Nowlin for a 5-1 lead.
Everitt got two quick outs in the seventh and then gave up two hits before striking out Matteucci to end the seventh.
It was the third straight solid starting job for Reno, as Everitt followed in the footsteps of Dusty Bergman and Nick Moran. Everitt struck out five and walked two while allowing just six hits.
“I was real pleased with the starters,” Lancaster said. “He did a good job of keeping his pitch count down. He was at 69 pitches in the sixth, which is why he was able to get into the seventh. He worked ahead, and that’s what you have to do in this ballpark.”
Everitt said he didn’t feel any pressure to match the efforts of Bergman and Moran.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “Everybody pitches their own game. It certainly helps to follow two solid performances like that.
“Location is what was working. Keeping the ball down and letting my fielders do groundballs.”
Reno added another run in the seventh when ex-Galena star Dustin Hahn got his first hit of the season and came around to score on a two-out error by shortstop Jesse Kovacs.
Adam Nikolic came on in the eighth in his season debut, but he was pulled after allowing a hit and three walks to make it 6-2. Jason Martinez got Brock Ungricht on a flyball to center to end the threat, stranding three runners in the process.
Martinez, who struggled with his control, walked Eric Pringle to open the ninth. Matteucci hit into a double play, and Martinez seemed headed for a save.
However, Lancaster went to Marshall Plouffe after Martinez walked Steve Boggs. Plouffe gave up a run-scoring double to Dragicevich and a two-run homer to right by Nava before retiring Jake McLintock to end the game.
Notes: Hahn broke an 0-for-10 skid with his single in the seventh … Mike Done, the Sox player-coach and starting second baseman was given the night off by Lancaster … Yuma and Long Beach won their first two games of the season. Yuma, in fact, was hitting .403 as a team after the two games.