Silver Sox start fast, but wilt in loss to Fullerton
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – What started out as a promising night offensively for the Reno Silver Sox went south in a hurry.
Reno scored a run in each of its first three at-bats, but put up zeroes over the next five innings and dropped a 9-6 decision to Fullerton before a crowd of 923 Monday night at Peccole Park.
The loss evened the Silver Sox’s Golden Baseball League record to 2-2 heading into tonight’s contest against Fullerton. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.
“We started off good, they bounced back and we jumped on them again (three in the ninth),” Reno manager Les Lancaster said. “It was one of those nights we (Jason Martinez) struggled with control. They got some broken-bat hits on some good pitches.”
While Lancaster may have been disappointed about Martinez’s outing (six runs, three walks and seven hits in 32Ú3 innings), he was overjoyed with lefty Mike McKernan, who allowed only four hits and a run in 41Ú3 innings, and was one of the few bright spots for the Sox.
McKernan, who came in with Reno trailing 6-3, stabilized the game.
“Mike did an outstanding job,” Lancaster said. “We really stretched him out tonight. Mike (Hartley, pitching coach) and I liked what we saw. He throws from two different angles and that kept them off balance.”
The Silver Sox weren’t off balance at the plate at the outset. They wasted no time getting on the board against Fullerton starter Todd Gelatka.
Marcus Jensen roped a two-out double to right-center field and scored on Edgar Varela’s single to right in the first.
Jensen, who spent some time with the San Francisco Giants, is hitting .466 and leads the team with five RBI.
Reno made it 2-0 in the second when Doug Gredvig led off the second with a towering homer over the left-center field fence.
Fullerton tied the game at 2 when Gary Templeton II singled in Sandy DeLeon and Rich Pohle scored Matt Ferrara with a sacrifice fly.
Reno kept its one-run-an-inning theme going in the third when Evan Sobel singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, to third on a wild pitch and scored on Mike Done’s sacrifice fly to make it 3-2.
That was it for the Reno offense. After Sobel’s single in the the third, Gelatka retired 12 of the next 14 hitters. Part of Gelatka’s success came from his location and the rest from only a so-so approach at the plate in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
“He threw strikes,” Jensen said. “You are going to have success when you throw strikes and work ahead.”
“Once he (Geletka) got ahead, we swung at some bad pitches,” Lancaster said.
And, Gelatka’s teammates rewarded him by scoring four in the fourth, one in the eighth and two more in the ninth. Gelatka left in the seventh after allowing three runs and seven hits in 62Ú3 innings.
The four-run barrage in the fourth knocked Martinez out of the game.
Templeton drove in two, DeLeon had run-scoring single and Ferrara drove in a run on a fielder’s choice. Templeton, the son of former Big League star Garry Templeton (Padres and Cardinals), went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs.
The Flyers scored in the eighth off McKernan when Ferrara grounded into a double play with runners on first and third to make it 7-3. Rick Elder homered off reliever William Krout in the ninth to make it 9-3.
Reno put together a mild rally in the last of the ninth against Mike McTamney, who surrendered three runs. Gredvig doubled home a run and Hector Zamora, who went 2-for-4, followed with a two-run homer.
NOTES: The three-game series continues tonight at 6:35 with the Flyers’ Jeff Groeger opposing Silver Sox righthander Jared Bonnell. In the series finale on Wednesday night, Reno’s Chris Marini, 0-0, opposes Fullerton’s Wes Faust … The Silver Sox re-signed Mike Done to take the place of Hideki Nagasaka, who was put on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to June 1 … Carlos Madrid, the ex-Wolf Pack star, hit in his fourth straight game. A late addition to the squad, Madrid is off to a good start with a .357 average.