Heat Continue to Roll with 6-3 Victory Over Marysville
One. That’s the number of victories the Heat need to clinch the number two seed in the GWL postseason and homefield advantage throughout the first round of playoffs after defeating the Marysville Gold Sox 6-3 Thursday night.
Fittingly, the series between Marysville and Chico closes the regular season on the heels of a week when both squads made big waves on the GWL leaderboard.
Although Marysville has been eliminated from postseason contention, the team has adopted a spoiler role as they handed the Lincoln Potters three losses in as many games. Meanwhile, the Heat—who have been battling Lincoln for second place—have won fourteen of their last eighteen games dating back to July 14, including a big series win over the first-place Medford Rogues to catapult the surging Chico squad over Lincoln and into second place.
The 1,195 fans who filled Nettleton Stadium for the series opener between Chico and Marysville saw the Gold Sox jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning.
In the bottom of the third, Heat catcher Gavin Johns blasted an RBI triple before scoring on a wild pitch in his first start since July 19. The handiwork from Johns granted the Heat and their starter, Justin Watland, a 2-1 edge.
With the game tied at two-a-piece, the Heat posted another two-spot in the bottom of the fifth on a single from Cole Lemmel that scored both Brandon De La Guardia and Gavin Johns. However, the Gold Sox proved why they had been so troublesome for Lincoln as they continued to chip away at Chico’s lead, cutting it to 4-3 in the top of the seventh.
Following an inning in which the Heat bullpen gave up three hits, Chico’s Grant Dragmire entered the game in the top of the eighth before retiring the side to give his offense a prime opportunity to tack on a few insurance runs. Carson McCusker wasted no time in cushioning the Heat’s lead as the pinch hitter gave the ball a lift to the railroad tracks on a solo home run to open the bottom of the eighth. A few batters later, Tanner Tokunaga recorded an RBI double that scored Jeremy Watland, Chico third baseman and brother of the squad’s starter, Justin Watland.
The Heat’s 6-3 lead would hold as Dragmire bestowed another 1-2-3 inning upon the Heat to propel the team to a 36-22 record with two games remaining. The Heat will look to clinch the second-place slot in the GWL standings come Friday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Available tickets 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.