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.
On Wednesday night, the 25-17 Lincoln Potters took on the 33-4 Healdsburg Prune Packers just 24 hours after the Potters handed the Packers their first home loss of the season, snapping a 22-game home winning streak.
Reilly got off to a similar start on Wednesday, retiring the first three innings’ worth of Packers only allowing two base runners in the first three innings. Unfortunately, it took til the third inning for the Potters’ to put a man in scoring position as well. With Luke Odden (Georgia Southern University) just 90 feet away from breaking the scoreless tie, Zach Chamizo (UC Riverside) hit a hard line drive directly at the shortstop to get the Packers out of the inning unscathed.
Reilly went back to work in the fourth and fifth. Through five scoreless innings, Reilly struck out six while only allowing four base runners against a team who has scored at least five runs in every game in the month of July.
Despite Reilly’s masterful performance on the mound, the Potters could only muster up three hits in the first five innings of play. Reilly handed the ball over to JoJo Villareal in the top of the sixth inning in line for the no-decision.
The ticking time bomb that is the Prune Packers’ offense finally blew up in the sixth. After the first two batters of the inning reached base safely, Ivan Brethowr (UC Santa Barbara) broke the tie and then some with a three-run home run. Despite losing the night before, the Packers hit three home runs in game one of the series. Villareal managed to escape the inning with no further damage after the Potters’ defense made their first error of the game.
The Potters also got on the board in the sixth inning when Dominic Rodriguez (San Joaquin Delta College) brought home Payton Brennan (UCLA). This was the sixth run Brennan has scored in his last three games, leading the Potters in that time.
With the Packers’ lead at two, Villareal was relieved by Eric Vasser (Sacramento City College) in the seventh inning. Vasser forced two ground balls to short and struck out the final batter of the inning before he would run into trouble in the eighth still trailing by two. After retiring the leadoff hitter with another strikeout, Vasser allowed a single before the Prune Packers left the yard for the fifth time in this series alone.
In their final six at-bats, the Potters failed to reach base, eventually losing game two of the series by a final score of 5-1. Both teams’ offenses fell relatively flat after combining for 21 runs in the first game of the series. With the series tied at one apiece, the series decider will be played at Recreation Park in Healdsburg where the Packers had won 22 straight to open the season before the Potters stole game one.
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