Saints Play Two, Split Doubleheader With HealdsburgBy Arroyo Seco Saints July 08, 2018 01:40am
Article by Christopher D’Avanzo; Photo by Emily Moran
Healdsburg — The Saints (10-15, 8-13 CCL) are squeezing a four game series into a three day weekend. On Saturday afternoon, Arroyo Seco got a taste of some twi-night action as they played the Healdsburg Prune Packers in a double header.
With a double header that was previously scheduled for earlier in the season being condensed into only one game on the schedule, the Saints had their only double duty of the season in Healdsburg on Saturday.
The intent for the team was to bounce back after Friday’s 8-6 loss, and return to the win column after a pair of road wins earlier in the week.
Temperatures on Art McCaffery Field at Recreation Park were upwards of 90 degrees as a heat wave continues to ravage the state of California. It’s a reprieve from the 105+ temps currently being felt in Pasadena, but the heat was still undeniable and a presence felt throughout the day.
The Saints were hot but the Prune Packers were hotter as Arroyo Seco fell behind early, allowing four runs in the 1st, and a three run home run to Healdsburg’s Bryan Arias in the 2nd inning of the game. Arroyo Seco got on the board in the 3rd after RBI double by MidAmerican Nazarene’s Jacob Jenkins.
Jenkins turned 20 on Saturday and was able to celebrate with the hit and coming in to pitch with an inning of scoreless relief later in the game.
With the Saints trailing 7-1, Cooper Williams, the imposing left handed first baseman from New Mexico State, came to bat. He hit a three-run home run of his own to get the Saints going in the 3rd. The ball looked like a fly out off the bat but just continued to carry, eventually flying over the wall in right.
Williams’ home run made the score 7-3, but the Prune Packers erased any progress by scoring another three runs in the 5th inning.
Healdsburg held a 10-3 lead into ninth. The Saints bullpen halted the damage with scoreless innings tossed by the aforementioned Jenkins, Cameron Briggs—both of whom regular position players—and Jackson Bond, the lefty knuckleballer from Cal State LA.
In the ninth inning, with the bases loaded and one out, Miami (OH)’s Colin Shepard laced a ball down the right held line. The hit scored two, and nearly three, as CSUSB’s Gabe Chavez was gunned down at home on the relay. The play ended with a collision and left Chavez feeling a little shaken up afterwards. The Prune Packers retired Dalton Ney for the final out, wrapping up game one by a score of 10-5.
The script turned for the Saints in game two, however, with an early first run thanks to speed of USC outfielder Christian Moya. Moya reached on a walk to open the game, and then promptly stole second and third base for his Trojan teammate John Thomas. Thomas grounded a ball to third which was not fielded, and Chavez came in to score on the error.
The Prune Packers responded with a pair of runs against starter Blake Beers, a right handed pitcher from University of Michigan. Beers allowed two runs but the damage could have been more if not for the throws by left fielder Brennan McKenzie from Cal Poly Pomona. McKenzie had an outfield assist and a relay throw out in the first two innings of the game.
Beers settled down, scattering six hits over five innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out six. He left in front, as the Saints struck for three runs in the 6th inning to reclaim the lead.
The new pitcher for Arroyo Seco was Cal Poly Pomona’s Michael Gomez. Gomez allowed a run in the 6th but maintained electric stuff through a three inning performance. His strikeout total, 7, eclipsed Beers’ total and his fastball reached over 95 MPH for the first time this season.
Gomez gave way to U of San Francisco’s Joey Steele in the ninth. Steele was his usual self, retiring the side in order with a pair of strikeouts.
Steele capped one of the Saints best pitching performance of the year. The 15 combined K’s were a season high. Beers and Gomez earned Co-Player of the Game honors for their respective performances.
With a win on Sunday the Saints will wrap up the road trip with a split in the series and a winning road trip record. Arroyo Seco will play at 11 AM against Healdsburg on Sunday, then return home for a game against the OC Riptide on Tuesday in Pasadena