Gulls Win Suspended Game, Lose Second
As the game between the Ventura County Gulls and the Bakersfield Dodgers dragged on, two things became obvious--there would be no winner, at least not until the next day, and the Palm Springs Angels were running up a heckuva phone bill.
Three times the Angels called to find out the score of the game Friday. Three times they were told the game was still tied. Finally, as dusk turned to dark, the game was suspended and the Angels were able to put away the rest of their dimes.
Ventura County went on to win that game, 5-4, on Geronimo Berroa’s lead-off home run in the bottom of the 16th inning when the game was resumed Saturday at Ventura College. The victory cut Palm Springs’ lead to two games in the Southern Division of the California League with 10 games left to play in the first half of the season.
“The first win was an emotional one for us,” Gulls pitcher Todd Stottlemyre said. “Palm Springs lost Friday night, and if we won both games we could have cut the lead to one and a half.”
But Stottlemyre, the Gulls’ most consistent pitcher this season, turned in his worst game of the season in Saturday’s regularly scheduled game, giving up four earned runs in four innings in an 8-6 loss to the Dodgers.
Stottlemyre (9-3), who leads the league in wins and earned run average, received little help from his teammates, who committed four errors.
“I’ve said all along that when we can catch the ball, we usually win,” Gulls Manager Glenn Ezell said. “We didn’t catch the ball today.”
Or throw it very well.
It was Santiago Garcia’s throwing error in the first inning that led to three unearned runs and allowed the Dodgers to take a 4-0 lead.
With one out and runners on first and second, Mike Burke hit a grounder to second that Garcia threw wildly to first. Jovon Edwards followed with a single to center to score two runs, and one out later, Dan Smith drove an 0-2 pitch to right field, driving in two more runs.
“I felt pretty good before the game, and then I went out and got a 1-2 count on the first batter,” Stottlemyre said. “He started fouling a few off, and then I jammed him and he hit the ball up the middle. I just didn’t bear down from there.”
The 20-year-old right-hander retired seven of the next eight batters, but ran into trouble again in the fourth.
With two out, Ted Holcomb walked and David Alarid hit a grounder to short. Yelding fielded it cleanly but made a wild throw to first, allowing Holcomb to score. Alarid scored on a wild pitch and Mike Batesole followed with his sixth home run of the year to put the Dodgers ahead, 7-1.
Stottlemyre struggled again in the fifth, giving up a lead-off single to Edwards and then hitting Jay Hornacek with a fastball. This prompted an argument from Dodger pitching coach Tim Kelly, who said that Stottlemyre had hit Hornacek intentionally. Kelly was ejected from the game by the home plate umpire.
“First of all, he didn’t have a clue to what was going on,” Stottlemyre said. “If I was going to try to hit somebody, I would have done it earlier in the game. They were popping off, having a real good time in the dugout. I was brushing guys off the plate. It’s part of the game.”
The Gulls scored two runs in the fourth on doubles by Berroa and Domingo Martinez and a single by Jim Bishop, and added single runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings. Bakersfield starter Ray Young, 1-0, who pitched at Moorpark JC, lasted six innings and gave up seven hits and five runs.
Bakersfield, with the worst record in the Southern Division at 17-45, averages 1,350 fans a game, best in the league. Their secret? “We give something away every Friday and Saturday,” said Jack Patton, the assistant general manager. “A father can bring his whole family and walk away with a batting glove, a seat cushion and a gym bag.” . . . Gulls designated hitter Mike Jones was 6 for 6 with two walks in the first game.