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Gold Sox to play final weekend
Another season of Marysville Gold Sox baseball will come to an end this weekend, and what a summer it's been.
From a season-opening 15-game winning streak, to a new club home run record and a milestone by manager Jack Johnson, Marysville has entertained large crowds once again by bringing collegiate ball to the Mid-Valley.
Now, it's time for the players to say their goodbyes and head their separate ways.
"For the most part, it's been a successful season. The guys have improved and gotten better since they arrived here," said Johnson, who picked up his 200th victory as manager on Aug. 21. "We've been a streaky club, but with our talent, the majority of the streaks have gone in a positive way."
Though streaky at times this summer, the Gold Sox (32-11) enter tonight's contest against the Solano Mudcats on a roll, winning 10 of their last 12 games heading into the final weekend.
As a team, Marysville is hitting a solid .295 and have five players batting .300 or better, with second baseman Mitchell Wilhite (.361), shortstop Johnny Rubino (.341), catcher Victor Romero (.325), outfielder Kyle Davis (.314) and center fielder Brooke Brooks (.309) leading the way.
However, the story of the season has been the long ball. The Gold Sox have bashed 26 home runs this summer, a club record.
"We're a power team, so I haven't had to do a whole lot of coaching in a lot of our wins," Johnson joked. "It's the most power we've had since I've been here, and it's been fun seeing them hit the ball out of the yard, that's for sure."
Romero has provided the bulk of the power, belting a team-record nine home runs while driving in 33 runs. Davis leads the team in hits (50), RBIs (37) and doubles (14), while Brooks is tops on the club in runs scored (37) and steals (11).
More records could fall this weekend as well. Davis has 22 extra-base hits and is one away for setting the single-season mark, while Rubino's five triples is one short of setting another record.
"This is a very good offensive team, and we've showed a lot from the hill at times, too," Johnson said. "It's all about consistency, but one thing about this team is they bounce back well after a loss."
In the pitching department, Marysville has been led by Cal State East Bay right-hander Nick Hudson, who enters this weekend with a stellar 6-1 record while posting a 2.49 ERA. King University's Cory Rhodes has a record of 5-1, while Gridley High product Ty Nichols (Sacramento State) is 4-1.
River Valley High grad Kenton Bevacqua (Oklahoma State) has come on strong of late and has a record of 4-2.
Johnson said that Nichols will start tonight's game against the Mudcats, and will be followed in the rotation by Bevacqua on Friday.
The Gold Sox will then welcome in the Sacramento Legends for the final two games of the season, with Hudson taking the ball on Saturday and Rhodes starting Sunday's finale.
More than 54,000 fans have packed Appeal-Democrat Park this summer — an average of 1,328 per game — and Johnson hopes that his club can give the home crowd a few more things to cheer about before the season comes to an end.
"They're trying to not be complacent, so we're going to come out and do the same things we've done," he said.