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.
The Lincoln Potters left their offensive woes on the road, exploding for a 9-1 win Saturday night against the Sonoma Stompers. Lincoln entered the game having lost five in a row and in desperate need of a win to avoid falling to the bottom of the CCL North standings.
“It was a big response out of them,” said manager Ryan Stevens “We've been really challenging the team this week and trying to tell them to put together better at bats. The biggest thing is just to compete. We're out here to play summer ball and get better, but we also have to have grit and we have to compete and you know, the fans of Lincoln deserve it.”
Lincoln did just that in the second inning, plating five runs to explode out to an early lead. JT Waldon (Folsom Lake College) got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly before Jeffrey David (New Mexico) brought two more home. The Potters added another off of an error to make it 4-0 before Brandon Motheral (Pacific) brought a fifth run home with an RBI single.
Drew Stahl (transfer portal) put the exclamation point on the game, sending a line drive three-run homer over the right field fence in the eight to bring the lead up to 9-1.
Lincoln was aggressive on the base paths, stealing eight bases in the contest. Stahl and David each swiped two.
On the mound, starting pitcher Anthony Perez (CSU East Bay) earned the win with a dominant outing. The right hander went six innings and allowed just one run, unearned, on three hits with five strikeouts. Hunter Hayes (Pacific) and Ryan Sturgeon (LSU-Shreveport) shut down the final three innings to close the door and preserve the win.
“Anthony just keeps getting better every start and Hayes came in and dominated for two,” said Stevens. “Sturgeon’s an everyday guy if we need him to be and he really shut the door. I think the biggest thing is we limited the free passes and really attacked the zone.”
Lincoln will be back home tomorrow to face off with the defending CCL champions, the Healdsburg Prune Packers. The Packers and Potters faced off on Thursday with Healdsburg taking a narrow 3-2 victory. Stevens and his squad are eager to even the season series in tomorrow’s Father’s Day evening matchup.
“Hopefully we can stay ahead and pitch ahead,” Stevens said. “But Healdsburg is always a really good team. I think it's going to be a dogfight tomorrow for sure.”
You can find tonight’s box score here.
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