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UNFAZED BY RAIN, THUNDER BEATS WHITNEY

Unfazed by rain, Thunder beats Whitney

CAMERON SALERNO

Gold Country Media | 4/3/2019

PHOTO CREDIT: Gold Country Media

When the umpires Monday called off the Rocklin at Whitney baseball game early due to rain, it proved to be no April fool’s prank.

The heavy rain made the game come to an abrupt halt with Whitney up 4-2 going into the bottom of the fourth. Despite trailing when the rainout happened, it would prove to benefit the Thunder when the game was resumed Wednesday.

“We had a fresh start coming into today,” Rocklin head coach Steven Moller said after Wednesday’s resumption of Monday’s game. “Our team came out with a whole new energy because they were hungry to get this win.”

In a game Whitney head coach Jackson Watt called, “the longest game he has ever been apart of,” Rocklin came back to beat Whitney, 7-4.

Through the first two innings of the game, there was lots of rain but not a lot of Thunder. Rocklin finally tied the game at one when Tyler McCuistion hit a ball into deep left-center field, scoring a fellow teammate. An error in the following at-bat allowed Rocklin to take its first lead of the game at 2-1.

Whitney in the bottom half of the inning got the run back and then some. An error by Rocklin allowed a Whitney run to score and Whitney junior Max Pettey hit a two-run single to retake the lead at 4-2.

“Our team on Monday had a great approach to get the offense going early,” Watt said. “(Rocklin) made a few errors early and because of that, I thought we put some pressure on them.”

However, after Pettey’s swing of the bat, it was all Rocklin.

Wednesday, Rocklin senior Daniel Roberts took the hill and made an impact early. He struck out two of the first three batters he saw, pitching four scoreless innings for the win.

“Daniel was exceptional on the mound today,” Moller said. “He battled today and that’s why he got the start. I knew he would do just that coming into the game because he’s a senior.”

The Thunder offense showed signs of life in the fifth inning when Ethan Remmers hit an RBI-single to cut the lead down to 4-3. The big offensive outburst Rocklin was looking for came in the sixth inning to give them the lead for good.

Marco Pirruccello hit a ball to deep right field, which resulted in an RBI triple to tie the game at four. When Whitney attempted to throw Pirruccello out at third, there was an overthrow allowing him to score and for Rocklin to take the lead at 5-4. Two bases-loaded walks by Whitney let the Thunder close the top half of the sixth up 7-4.

Roberts continued his strong day on the mound for Rocklin, and despite a late two-out rally by the Wildcats in the bottom of the seventh, it wasn’t enough. The Thunder held on to secure the win.

Rocklin took Game 2 later in the day, to improve to 2-0 in Sierra Foothill League play. Highlighting the offense in Rocklin’s 10-2 win was McCuistion, who hit a grand slam into deep center field. The series finale will be held Friday, pending the weather.

“We have been preaching to our team all season that the preseason doesn’t matter,” Moller said. “I told the team today it starts today and that was the main message. (League play) is what really matters.”

Despite the 0-2 start to league, Watt knows there's a lot of baseball to be played.

“We had a pretty strong preseason sc... Click here to read full article

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