No Late-Inning Heroics for the Heat in 7-5 Loss to Medford
The Heat were unable to recreate the previous night’s late-innings magic as an early deficit proved too much once again for the young squad on Saturday. The Heat, now 23-19 on the season, fell to the Medford Rogues (29-12), 7-5.
Austin Lee took his birthday celebrations to the bump for a Heat squad still reeling from Friday’s walk-off victory in extra innings. However, Medford turned the newly twenty-one year old’s birthday bash sour as they carved up five runs in the first two innings of Lee’s outing. The Chico right hander’s final line for the night reflected ten hits and five earned runs with one walk and three strikeouts in his 4.2 innings pitched.
Following a night bursting with Heat heroics, the Chico batsmen failed to keep up with their Oregon rival’s consistent offensive production. The Heat offense squandered a crucial bases-loaded opportunity in the bottom of the fifth, where they settled for one run to cut Medford’s lead down 6-2. Another bases-loaded opportunity arose in the bottom of the eighth, but this time, the Heat converted three hits, one walk, and two Rogue errors into three runs to pull within one of the Rogues, 6-5.
In the top of the ninth, Medford’s Connor Lowrie smashed an RBI triple to extend their lead over the Heat 7-5. With two outs and a runner on in the bottom of the ninth, Friday’s ninth inning hero Caleb Van Blake stepped into the box for Chico looking to pencil his name in the Heat scorebook once more. Unfortunately, Van Blake was caught looking at a strike to end any chance of a Heat comeback as they dropped the series finale with the Rogues 7-5.
The Heat’s Caleb Van Blake (1), Marcus Wilhite (1), and Brandon De La Guardia (2) were credited with RBIs on the night, while Wilhite and Heat right fielder Carson McCusker both hit for extra bases.
The Heat will have an off-day on Sunday before welcoming the Yuba City Bears to Nettleton Stadium on Monday for a three-game series. 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.