Heat Complete Sweep with 12-3 Rout of Bears
The Heat completed a three-game sweep of the Yuba City Bears Sunday night. The dominant victory propelled the defending Great West League Champions to 33-21 on the season, with only six regular-season games remaining.
Lucas Knowles would eventually earn the night’s win while fanning three and allowing only five hits, one run, and three walks in his five innings pitched. The Heat pitching staff employed both its Tanners, as Tanner Roundy faced four Bears batsmen to record one strikeout and two hits. With two on and two out, Tanner Clark relieved Roundy to record the final out of the sixth, before handing the ball over to Sam Gamboa in the eighth inning. Gamboa allowed two runs on three hits while recording three strikeouts to seal the series sweep for Chico.
As for the Heat offense, the Chico bats employed consistent production to close out the Bears inning-by-inning. The Heat first got on the board in the bottom of the second inning as RBIs from Jack Walsh and Tanner Tokunaga followed a defensive Yuba City error to give the home club a 3-0 edge.
Just one inning later, the Heat compiled another three-spot to take a 6-0 lead over the visiting Bears. The bottom of the third likely brought a case of déjà vu to Bears starter Ben Purcell, as the inning saw secondary RBIs from Walsh and Tokunaga along with a contribution from Mark Jones to nab his first RBI of the night.
The middle of the contest was quiet for the Heat offense, but the squad exploded in the bottom of the eighth inning to double their run total. After a lead-off single off the bat of Mark Jones, Jack Walsh delivered a first-pitch double to give Tanner Tokunaga an opportunity with two runners in scoring position. The red-hot bat of Tokunaga drove in the Heat’s seventh run of the night before a round-the-lineup trip by the Heat saw RBIs from Caleb Van Blake, Carson McCusker, Marcus Wilhite, and yet another from Mark Jones to inflate the scoreboard 12-1.
The Bears tacked on two in the top of the ninth inning before relinquishing control to Sam Gamboa and the Heat defense bringing the final score to Chico: 12, Yuba City: 3.
While the night undoubtedly saw many offensive heroes for Chico, Tanner Tokunaga stole the spotlight as the center fielder went three-for-four at the plate while drawing one walk and knocking in four runs. Notably, Heat newcomer Mark Jones had another successful night in the box going two-for-three with two RBIs.
The Heat will hit the road Monday to face the GWL-leading Medford Rogues in what is sure to be a riveting three-game series between the two juggernauts. Chico will return home Thursday night to close out the regular season with a three-game set against the Marysville Gold Sox.
Available tickets for the final home-stand of the regular season can be purchased online at ChicoHeat.com, over the phone by calling (530) 725-5444, or by visiting the Chico Heat Office at 1722 Mangrove Ave. Suite 24 Chico, CA 95926.