Palm Springs, CA – February 16, 2011 – With Friday’s playoff picture already set, coaches and players of all four teams in the California Winter League seemed to relax and have fun on Wednesday.
In Game One, the Palm Springs Chill and the Coachella Valley Snowbirds played a close game as both sides rested many of their regulars for the playoffs.
Derek Luque was on the mound for the Chill. His team gave him a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but in the bottom of the frame he gave up doubles to Takaaki Suetsugu and Adrian Martinez before Zack Stanton drove one over the left field wall for a two-run home run.
After that, however, Luque settled down. He gave up only one more run, going seven strong innings for the win. Chad Bisnette threw two innings out of the bullpen to preserve the 6-4 Chill victory and pick up his first save of the year.
Scott Clement, Michael Langley and Mike Olsen each collected two hits for Palm Springs. The Snowbirds, most likely in an effort to save their pitchers for the playoffs, employed eight pitchers in the loss.
Game Two was all Coyotes. Joe Scumaci got the start for Palm Desert, allowing only four hits while going the required five innings to qualify for the victory. Justin Uribe, Charles Williams and James LoPresti each pitched in relief for the combined 10-0 shutout over the Canada A’s.
Rob Herrmann, Kevin Hoeff and Nate Wilson-Traisman each had two hits for the Coyotes. Trivon Howard scored twice, and pitcher LoPresti even had a chance to swing the bat, roping a double down the left field line in his only at bat of the season. Canada A’s pitcher Tiffany Brooks also made her first plate appearance of the season – she flew out to left field in the ninth.
With the win, Palm Desert improved to 11-7 on the season, equaling Canada’s win-loss record in the CWL standings. But the tie-breaker for playoff seeding is the head-to-head record between the two squads, and the A’s have beat the Coyotes in four of those six games.
Thursday is a scheduled instructional day. The playoffs start on Friday, with all four teams in action. The #1 seed Canada A’s will take on the #4 seed Palm Springs Chill (6-11-1) at 1 p.m., followed by 5 p.m. game featuring the #2 seed Palm Desert Coyotes and the #3 seed Coachella Valley Snowbirds (7-10-1). Fridays nights are Happy Hour at the ballpark – all Budweiser draft beers are only $1 during the second game.
All games can be heard live on the CWL website, at www.CaliforniaWinterLeague.com. Saturday’s Championship Game will be simulcast on Newstalk 920 KPSI starting at 1 p.m. All games are played at historic Palm Springs Stadium, located at 1901 E. Baristo Road in Palm Springs.