An exciting beginning to the 2017 season for the Inland Empire 66ers, as they defeated the San Jose Giants single A affiliate 4-3 in 16 innings. Patience, power and a stingy bullpen was the recipe for success Manager Chad Tracy and his club utilized. They were able to outlast the Giants with 15 hits, 2 HR’s and 8 pitchers used in the 5 hour affair. Fans who enjoy some extra baseball, got their money’s worth on Thursday night.
Opening night, we got to see most of the pitchers on both rosters. Before the game, I had the chance to sit down with Manager Chad Tracy and we spoke about the upcoming season and opening night in general. Chat with Manager Chad Tracy before Opening Night Tracy told me, “after a month (or so) of spring training, myself and the players are excited to get out there and be in front of a nice crowd and play some ball.” The guys were so pumped up, they nearly played two games worth of baseball to begin the season. Skipper mentioned that some of his starters from last year were moving into the bullpen this season. One of those changing roles is Jeremy Rhoades, who earned the victory with a perfect top of the 16th. I spoke with Jeremy after the game, and after a five hour game you make it brief. The humble RHP let me know it was “his teammates, who put him into position to be successful.” Indeed this win was a total team effort towards victory led by the second year Manager from Claremont. Along the way, early in the game, the 66ers offense was powered by home runs from Jared Walsh in the 4th and Matt Thaiss to tie the game in the 7th. Both home runs were absolutely crushed, very exciting for the opening night crowd. Great seasons projected for both of those young prospects.
|Inland Empire 66ers|
2B: Justus (1, Reyes, M); Barash (1, Halstead); Walsh (1, Smith).
HR: Walsh (1, 4th inning off Reyes, M, 0 on, 1 out); Thaiss (1, 7th inning off Simpson, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Walsh 6; Thaiss 4; Justus 3; Barash 2; Rojas 2; Gibbons 2; Yacinich; Foster 2; Hermosillo 2.
RBI: Justus 2 (2); Walsh (1); Thaiss (1).
2-out RBI: Justus 2; Thaiss.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Barash 2; Rojas 4; Gibbons; Hermosillo 2.
GIDP: Thaiss; Foster.
Team RISP: 2-for-15.
Team LOB: 17.BASERUNNING
SB: Rojas (1, 2nd base off Reyes, M/Garcia); Justus (1, 2nd base off Cabrera, Y/Garcia).
CS: Hermosillo (1, 2nd base by Reyes, M/Garcia).
PO: Hermosillo (1st base by Reyes, M).FIELDING
E: Yacinich (1, throw).
DP: 2 (Justus-Yacinich-Thaiss; Rojas-Yacinich-Thaiss).
Second year skipper Chad Tracy had plenty of time to look at his pitching staff in the opening night, 16 inning extravaganza in front of just over four thousand enthusiastic fans at San Manuel Stadium. Starter Jaime Barria pitched a very effective four innings, followed by Garrett Nuss for an inning and two-thirds. Hard throwing RHP Justin Anderson came in, and in the 7th inning, a walk, a hit and an error helped the Giants score their three runs. Then, in the bottom of the 7th, Top Prospect Matt Thaiss hammered a home run into the Inland Empire sky. The runs would stop, the bullpens locked horns in a battle of fresh arms and iron wills. San Jose blinked in the bottom of the 16th as LHP Caleb Smith lost control of the zone and the 66ers patience paid off, finally winning on the walk off walk. A win is a win and after this long, the 66ers will gladly take the free pass with the bases loaded. 66ers win in 16 innings, 4 – 3 to begin 2017!
|Inland Empire 66ers|
|Justin Anderson (BS, 1)||1.1||1||3||2||1||2||0||13.50|
|Jeremy Rhoades (W, 1-0)||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.00|