18 Jul 19
Home runs are nice. So are walkoff hits in the bottom of the ninth. Bases-clearing, two-strike, two-out doubles in the middle of a game are pretty sweet as well.
Just ask Vallejo Admirals catcher Ricky Gingras.
Gingras’ three-run double in the fifth inning ignited a slumbering Vallejo offense and the Admirals rallied for a 7-5 win over the Salina Stockade on Wednesday evening at Wilson Park.
“Early on, their starting pitcher (Eric Gleese) was really running his two-seam and change-up a lot,” Gingras said. “He threw some good pitches and we were chasing a little bit at the same time. Finally in the fifth inning, we got the ball rolling a little bit. We had some really good at-bats and got it done.”
The Admirals (15-20 overall) are now 6-0 against the Stockade (9-26), a traveling team added to the Pacific Association this season.
Vallejo trailed 4-1 and seemed baffled by Gleese until a five-run fifth put the home team up for good.
First baseman Montrell Marshall had the other big blow in the inning — a two-run double to left to score Chris Fornaci and Vlad Gomez. That hit helped the Admirals close to 4-3.
Gleese walked the next batter, Chevy Clarke, but Gleese had a chance to work out of further trouble when he struck out Zach Files for the second out.
On a 3 and 2 pitch, however, Gingras crushed Gleese’s next offering into the right-center gap, scoring Nick Akins Sr., Marshall and Clarke.
“I was just focusing on getting a good pitch to hit, something I could handle right there, trying to drive them in,” Gingras said.
Admirals shortstop Matt Eureste homered over the right-field wall in the eighth to make it 7-4. Salina got one back in the ninth before reliever John LaRossa struck out Justin Byrd for the final out.
LaRossa had an eye-opening performance, striking out eight batters in three innings to earn the save. He struck out the first three batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings to start his evening.
“I was mainly throwing fastballs up there,” LaRossa said. “A few curve balls but I was mainly trying to pound the zone.”
LaRossa notched the save for starting pitcher Jesse Remington, who went the first six innings, allowing six hits and four runs. He struck out four and walked four.
The Admirals gave Remington a 1-0 lead in the third as Akins was hit with a pitch with the bases loaded. Gleese worked out of further trouble when he got Marshall to fly out for the third out.
Salina struck back and led 2-1 with a two-run fourth against Remington as Zane Gelphman unloaded over the center field fence for his 11th homer of the season.
The Stockade added two more in the fifth as Remington struggled with his control. Byrd fisted an RBI single into center and Remington later wild-pitched Byrd home.
“I think (Remington) made some good pitches, just one little mistake that I can think of,” Gingras said. “He’s been working hard and trying to be more consistent up there on the mound. … He looked good.”
Notes: Ex-Admiral Nick Crouse started at catcher for Salina. He was 1-for-4 against his former team and is hitting .500 (7-for-14) for his new club. … Files had baseball’s “Golden Sombrero” as he struck out four times on the evening. … Gingras threw out Omari Artsen twice on the bases. Artsen tried to steal second in the first inning and third base in the fourth inning … Akins, who leads the Admirals with nine homers, didn’t get much of a chance to hit. He was hit twice and walked twice in four plate appearances.