Silver Sox take care of St. George
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – If the Reno Silver Sox could play St. George every game, they would probably be in first place in the Golden Baseball League.
Reno has 12 wins thus far, and six of them have come against the first-year Roadrunners, though this one was much tougher than the previous four.
The Silver Sox, 12-16, scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to wipe out a 6-4 deficit and grab a 9-6 win Saturday night at Peccole Park.
In six wins, Reno has outscored the Roadrunners 63-38, and has reached double-digits in runs scored in three of those games.
“The last time he (Mark Woodyard) threw eight strong innings against us,” Reno manager Les Lancaster said. “He’s definitely their best pitcher. He has had us beat a couple of times, but we’ve been able to get to their bullpen.
“We were trying to pull the ball too much early. Late in the game we started to go with the pitch like we stress.”
That was the case Saturday when former Sacramento State star Mick Joyce was roughed up for five runs in 2/3 of an inning in relief of Woodyard.
Joyce retired Ryan Brown to open the inning, but left-handed hitting Kane Simmons followed with an off-field homer to left to make it 6-5. The homer was Simmons’ fourth of the season.
“That is usually where my power was in high school and college,” said Simmons, who is 13-for-35 in his last 11 games. “Over half my homers in college were to the opposite field. That’s how it’s been.”
Ex-Galena star Chuck Sindlinger followed with an opposite-field field double to right. After Mike Done struck out, ex-Nevada star Bub Madrid walked. Speedy Victor Hall followed with an infield single to load the bases. That set the stage for ex-UNLV star Ryan Kowalski, playing his first game in front of the home fans.
Kowalski hit a bloop double to left, scoring Sindlinger and Madrid to give the Sox a 7-6 lead. Anthony Pluta relieved Joyce and gave up a run-scoring double to Juan Senreiso to complete the five-run outburst.
Kowalski entered the game hitting .250 in the Chico series. He went 1-for-3, but scored three times and drove in two. Not a bad home debut.
“It feels really good (to contribute),” Kowalski said. “I’ll take that (bloop hit). He was coming in pretty hard. I was trying to stay inside of it and hit it the opposite way.”
Senreiso, who was supposed to be waived earlier in the week, is 11 for his last 24, and he will stay with the team for the time being.
“I had a little talk with him,” Lancaster said. “Every now and then he gets too long. When he has the short stroke he hits the ball hard. He has power to all fields.”
Newcomer Shawn Balteff worked 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief to pick up his first win of the season. He’s allowed only one run in 5 1/3 innings.
“He’s been doing a good job since we got him,” Lancaster said. “He throws strikes. His off-speed sets up his fastball.”
The Roadrunners opened up a 4-0 lead with two runs in the second and two in the third off Jason Martinez.
In the second, Ryan Stevenson doubled and scored when Simmons allowed Santiago Guerrero’s single to left to get by him. Gary Harris’ one-out sacrifice fly to left scored Guerrero.
In the third, Brett Flowers singled, advanced to second on Guerrero’s infield single to third on a wild pitch and both scored on Johnny Coit’s single.
Reno cut the deficit in half and broke up Woodyard’s no-hitter in the fourth.
Kowalski walked and stole second. Senreiso followed with a comebacker to Woodyard, who unsuccessfully tried to throw out Kowalski between second and third. Jose Rodriguez walked to load the bases and Brown followed with a two-run double in the left-centerfield gap.
St. George added one in the fifth when Stevenson stole second and continued around to home when the ball went off shortstop Maurice Cole’s glove an then was bobbled in center by Victor Hall.
Reno closed to 5-3 in the sixth when Senreiso reached on an infield single, stole second, moved to third on an infield out and scored on a single by Simmons.
The Silver Sox pushed across another run in the seventh when Senreiso doubled home Kowalski to make it 5-4. St. George pitching coach Darin Kracl was ejected by plate umpire Tyler Ramsey for arguing balls and strikes.
The Roadrunners got the run back in the top of the eighth. Adam Nikolic struck out Stevenson and went to a 2-2 count on Guerrero, but left with a split nail that had started bleeding. Chris Testa walked Guerrero. Coit followed with a single and Geoff Wagner walked to load the bases. Testa walked Gary Harris to force home the run to make it 6-4.
That set the stage for a wild eighth inning.
Notes: The three-game series continues tonight at 5 when Nick Moran (0-1, 3.92) opposes St. George’s Matthew Pena (0-2, 7.40) … Stevenson extended his hitting streak to nine games with his second-inning double … Madrid and Rodriguez each had their hit streaks snapped, Rodriguez at 11 and Madrid at eight … Reno’s woes continued in the field. The team made five miscues.