Chico throws Silver Sox for a ‘Loop’
Chico throws Silver Sox for a Loop
BY DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – A day after one of their best offensive showings of the season, the Reno Silver Sox offense was cut down to size by Chico left-hander Derrick Loop.
Loop allowed only four hits, three by Juan Senreiso, over eight innings, and the Chico Outlaws used a four-run second inning to knock off Reno, 5-3, Wednesday night at Peccole Park.
Reno finished the first half at 18-19, while Chico, the Golden Baseball League first-half champion, finished at 25-13. The second half starts tonight at 7, as the teams play the third game of a four-game series.
Reno, which got off to a 2-8 start, won 16 of its final 27 games in the opening half, and manager Les Lancaster likes the direction the team is going.
“We’ve got to be happy, especially with the way we started,” Lancaster said. “Our defense got better, and our bullpen started to do a better job. We just have to continue to do what we’re capable of doing.”
The defense should get better now that Bub Madrid and Chuck Sindlinger are available. Madrid played for the first time since injuring a hamstring on the last homestand. Sindlinger expects to start playing again by the weekend.
Lancaster is hoping that recent bullpen additions Julio Soriano and Eric Thomas can be a solid 1-2 punch from the right side. Both saw action Wednesday, as Soriano yielded a run and two hits in 1 2/3 innings and Thomas walked one while pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
Reno actually got a solid starting performance from James Johnson, 0-3, but as has been the case all year, one big inning, the second, did him and the team in. Chico jumped Johnson, who struck out nine and walked two, for four second-inning runs on five hits.
“He just got the ball up and they took advantage,” Lancaster said. “He wasn’t staying closed. I talked to him about that, and he said he felt that.”
“That sort has been what’s happened all year,” Johnson said. “They got a couple of good pitches that fell in and they hit a couple of pitches that I left up.”
Chico’s Jake Ferris singled to center to start the second-inning rally and advanced to third on Jason Matteucci’s double just inside the bag at third.
Johnson struck out the next two hitters, but No. 9 hitter David Pierson lined a single to right that got past right fielder Ryan Kowalski, allowing both runners to score. Pierson advanced to second on the error and scored on Steve Boggs’ single.
Boggs ended up on second when Carlos Madrid dropped the relay throw. Jesse Kovacs followed with a run-scoring hit.
Reno cut the deficit in half in the sixth off Loop, who threw 100 pitches. Maurice Cole singled and moved to second when Victor Hall was plunked by a pitch. Cole and Hall pulled off a double steal and both scored on Senreiso’s double to left-center field.
Johnson retired 15 of the last 20 hitters he faced before departing with two outs and runners on first and second in the seventh. Soriano retired Ferris to end the threat.
Chico nicked Soriano for a run in the eighth when Matteucci doubled and scored on Brock Ungricht’s single. Soriano got Ricky Bambino to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. After a walk, Boggs grounded out to third.
Loop walked Hall to open the eighth, and the Reno outfielder eventually scored on a two-base error by Loop to make it 5-3.
“He (Loop) made the pitches when he had to,” Lancaster said. “We took a lot of pitches and got down in the count. Tonight was one of the nights he was on.”
Chico closer Todd Gelatka came on in the ninth, retiring Reno in order to notch his 12th save of the season.
NOTES: Madrid went 0-4 in his return to the lineup. He was hitting .350 entering the contest … Chico manager Mark Parent sat out his second consecutive game as a result of a suspension for bumping umpire Billy Hayes… Reno’s Jason Martinez (2-3, 6.89 earned run average) opposes Chico’s John Jefferson (2-0, 2.35) tonight at 7. On Friday, Nick Moran (2-1, 3.50) opposes Chico’s Jake McKinley (2-2, 5.54) … Player-coach Mike Done is expected to return to action on Friday. It’s not known who will be dropped, but one educated guess is the light-hitting Cole… Chico rested top hitter Scott Dragicevich, buthe’s expected back in the lineup tonight. Daniel Nava has a sore heel and is day-to-day.
• Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (775)