Palm Springs, CA-January, 22 2011- Opening day in the 2011 California Winter League produced a tale of two ballgames. The first featured a no doubt blow out from start to finish, while late runs decided a tight second contest.
After taking a 1-0 early lead in game one, the Coachella Valley Snowbirds jumped all over the Palm Desert Coyotes with four runs in the fifth. After a lead-off walk, Snowbird third baseman Adrian Martinez came through with an RBI double. Coyotes righty Joe Scumaci then struggled with control, issuing two walks, a hit batter and a single to spot the Snowbirds a 5-0 lead. Two more in the 6th for Coachella Valley had them cruising to an 8-0 victory.
Shota Kano started for the Snowbirds and tossed five scoreless innings with four strike-outs. Robbie Nelson picked up right where Kano left off with two scoreless frames and four punch outs of his own in relief. Starting pitching shone as the only bright spot on the morning for Palm Desert. Lefty Kevin Crimmel held the Snowbirds to just a single run before exiting the game following the fourth inning.
Game two remained in doubt much longer thanks to the bullpen of the Canada A’s. Tied at two after the fifth, four Canada relievers combined to shut out the Palm Springs Chill for the rest of the contest. Mike Stier, Tiffany Brooks, Matt Walker and Bryan Wilde held the Chill to just a single hit and three walks from the sixth inning on.
With the steady effort from the bull-pen the A’s bats came around in the top of the eighth. After back to back walks to start the inning Brett Flowers broke the 2-2 tie with an RBI single. Another walk put two on in front of Matt Palko who lashed a two RBI double to left, giving the A’s plenty of cushion.
Starting left-fielder Chris Round represented all the offense for the Chill. Round went 2-2 with a pair of runs scored and a stolen base to his credit in the losing cause.
The California Winter League action rolls on Sunday with two more games. The Canada A’s take on the Palm Desert Coyotes at 10 a.m. followed by the Palm Springs Chill and the Coachella Valley Snowbirds at 1 p.m. Join us out at Palm Springs Stadium for a Family Sunday, get four tickets for just $20 dollars.