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Gulls Start 2nd Half With Loss : Visalia Uses 15 Walks and Four-Run Ninth to Win, 7-5

Times Staff Writer

Four Ventura County Gulls pitchers combined to give up 15 walks Tuesday, as Visalia came from behind in the ninth inning to win, 7-5, in the opener of the California League’s second half.

“We had our chances through the whole game but failed to capitalize on them,” Visalia Manager Dan Schmitz said. “They say that walks will come back to haunt you. Well, that finally happened in the ninth inning.”

After stranding 12 runners through eight innings, Visalia trailed 5-3 going into their last at-bat. The Oaks then jumped on Gulls’ losing pitcher William Shanks (1-3), who had come on in relief of Mark Dickman in the eighth inning, in a four-run ninth.

Gary Borg led off with a single and went to third on Eddie Yanes’ double. Chris Forgione and Tim Senne followed with walks to force in a run before Tom Thomas tied the game with a sacrifice fly.

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Jeff Reboulet then singled in the game-winning run to give Visalia a 6-5 lead.

“Any time you walk this many people, it shows,” Gulls Manager Glenn Ezell said. “A walk is a free pass, and we gave them a lot of them.”

The Gulls took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Darryl Landrum singled, moved to third on a single to right by Greg Myers and scored on a sacrifice fly by Geronimo Berroa.

The Gulls got to starter Visalia Bob Tabeling in the third inning. Eric Yelding singled and Santiago Garcia was hit by a pitch before Luis Reyna hit his 10th home run of the season, a line drive just inside the left-field foul pole.

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Visalia picked up an unearned run in the top of the third. With one out and Thomas on first, Reboulet hit a double play ball to Yelding at shortstop. Both runners were safe, however, when Yelding misplayed the ball. Thomas later scored on Tom Schwarz’s sacrifice fly.

The Oaks cut Ventura’s lead to 4-2 in the fourth when Thomas hit a two-out single to center, scoring Borg from third.

The Gulls came back in the bottom of the inning when hot-hitting Myers, who was 2 for 3, lofted a sacrifice fly to score Garcia.

Winning pitcher Scott Rolhof (2-3) relieved in the sixth, holding the Gulls to one hit in three innings. Wes Pierorazio came on in the ninth to get the final out for his fourth save.

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Gull Notes

Gulls pitcher Todd Stottlemyre was promoted on Sunday to Knoxville, Tenn., the Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate in the Southern League. “Four of his last five outings have been pretty darn good,” Gulls Manager Glenn Ezell said. “He was getting his breaking ball and changeup over. That’s what management was looking for--for him to gain more control of his off-speed pitches.”. . . . Stottlemyre has been replaced by Elvis Ciprian, a right-hander from Florence, S.C., of the South Atlantic League. . . . The Gulls ended the first half of the season at 45-26, three games behind the first-place Palm Springs Angels.


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