McBean Stadium was rocking on Friday for Opening Night, with an attendance of 1,454. Anthony Perez (Cal State East Bay) set the tone early, with four scoreless innings, zero walks and five strikeouts, which put him in line for the win.
Perez was able to escape a jam in the 1st inning, thanks in part to a beautifully turned double play by SS JT Maloney (Sac City) and 2B Cade Sanchez (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).
The Potters bats came to life quickly in the second inning, starting with a double down the line from Brandon Springer (William Jessup). Landon Weiss (William Jessup), who got the call from first year manager Jon Peters to join the Potters three days prior to Opening Night, got the scoring started with an RBI single to center field, knocking in his William Jessup teammate. Cade Sanchez followed with a two-run single to extend the Potters lead to 4-0 after two innings.
The bullpen picked up right where Perez left off. Logan Bell (Bowling Green State) went two innings, notching three strikeouts, and allowing one unearned run, on an error by LF Zack Malone (Sacramento State), which plated the Knicks second run of the game.
Following the error, Bell found himself in a tight situation. With the help of 1,454 energetic Potter fans, he was able to record a crucial strikeout of Joey Taddie to end the inning.
Peyton Stumbo (UNR) closed it out for the Potters with two scoreless innings, striking out four. Stumbo earned the save as well, resulting in a final score of 5-2.
The Potters take game one of the three-game series with the Novato Knicks, and will take the field again tomorrow at 6:05 PM @ McBean Stadium for Strikeout Cancer Night with fireworks after the game.
Fireworks were scheduled after the game, but the Lincoln Potters and Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox put on an explosive show Saturday night in front of a sold out McBean Stadium for game two of the opening series. Runs were not at a premium in this one, as the Potters put up crooked numbers in four separate innings en route to a 15-11 victory.
For the second night in a row the Gold Sox struck first, this time putting up two in the second inning. Lincoln cut the lead in half in the bottom frame with a solo shot by Andrew Sloan (University of the Pacific) in his first at-bat as a Potter.
The Potters put up eight total runs in the third and fourth to build a 9-2 lead, but Yuba-Sutter rallied in the middle innings to pull ahead 10-9. Kevin Gutierrez (William Jessup) put the Potters back in the lead with a two-RBI double to put the good guys back on top. Reece Ragatz (Northern State University) added some insurance in the eighth with a towering three-run homer to close out the scoring for the night.
While manager Ryan Stevens didn’t like seeing his squad surrender eight straight, he expressed his satisfaction with how the orange and blue battled back to take game two.
“It kind of tells me what we got as a ballclub and the fight we have,” said Stevens. “The offensive explosion when the pitching was not there was huge. Tonight I was really impressed with how they handled themselves throughout the game.”
Anthony Perez (Cal State East Bay) had a strong start, but it was Makana Quia (Hawai’i Pacific University) who earned the win in relief in his Potter debut in two dominant innings. Quia allowed one run on one hit while striking out four in the contest.
“I thought I was gonna have a bad outing because my bullpen was kind of rusty and wasn't really throwing strikes but, I got myself into game mode and it just hit me,” said Quia. "I just did what I do best.”
“Makana came in and gave us a huge two innings. He kept it small for us to try to extend the lead,” said Stevens. “We talked about working on being a backup guy and he came out and filled up the zone and that's really all we can ask for.”
Brandon Motheral (University of the Pacific) continued his dominance against his former team Saturday night, hitting his second home run of the series. The right fielder went 3-for-5 with a homer, a double, and five runs batted in. Motheral leads the Potters with 11 RBI on the season.
The Potters will look to sweep the opening series and record their twelfth straight win over the Gold Sox in tomorrow’s series finale. It is a matinee game for the first Sunday of the season, with the first pitch coming at 1:05 PM.
You can find tonight’s box score here.
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