By Frank La Sala
The Toronto Rush defeated the Washington Blue Sox 4-3 to capture the 2019 California Winter League title.
The Blue Sox started the games scoring in the top of the first. Hayato Amamoto drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a single, then scored on Tatsunori Negishi’s RBI base hit. In the third, Kodai Kato scored from third on Negishi’s groundout to first to extend Washington’s lead. The Blue Sox 2-0 lead would hold until the sixth. The first three Rush hitters reached to load up the bases against Travis McQueen and two came into score on a two-run single into left from Glenn Kubek. Later in the inning, Andris Rizquez hit a sacrifice fly into right to give the Rush their first lead. The Blue Sox re-tied the game in the top of the seventh. After Jensen Kirch retired the first two hitters, Washington put together three straight singles, the third was an RBI single from Jacob Columbo. The Rush got the run back in the bottom of the seventh. Jesse Russo singled with one-out, stole second, and scored on a base hit from T.J. Ward. The Rush would not give up the lead. In the top of the ninth, Jordan Chudacoff retired the Blue Sox in order to earn the save. After allowing a lead-off walk in the eighth, Chudacoff retired the next six hitters he faced with a strikeout. Ward finished the day 4-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.