Insurance runs prove big for Bulldogs in 6-4 win over Bruins

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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There’s no quit in the Bulldogs, even when they’re ahead.

Folsom led Ponderosa 2-1 Monday in the sixth inning when the Bulldogs added four insurance runs to take a commanding 6-1 lead.

It’s a good thing too, because they needed nearly everyone one of those runs, as the Bruins scored four runs in the top of the seventh and had the tying run on second base before Sam Notareus relieved Tommy Dougherty on the mound and recorded the final out of the game in a 6-4 Folsom win.

“Ponderosa’s a pesky team and we let them stick around and they battled,” Folsom coach Gilbert Brewer said. “Those insurance runs late came because of timely hitting and that’s contagious. We did a lot with two outs. We didn’t give up, even though we were ahead. We talk a lot about getting in front and staying in front and continuing to make plays and we did that.”

Ethan Robertson led off the sixth with a hard-hit double to left field and Notareus then reached on an error and Craig Stafford was walked intentionally to load the bases. Alex Perez grounded into a 4-2-3 double play to put runners at the corners with two outs.

Matt Maasberg, who had Folsom’s first two RBIs on a sacrifice fly in the second and fielder’s choice grounder in the fourth, was then walked intentionally to load the bases for a second time in the inning.

This time Logan Guler made the Bruins pay, as he singled to right field to drive in two.

After Troy Knox was hit by a pitch, Tanner Seibel delivered another two-run single to put the Bulldogs up 6-1.

In the seventh, Dougherty got the first two outs quickly, but then allowed five straight hits, four singles and a double, before Notareus came in to record the final out of the game.

Up until the final inning, Dougherty pitched well.

“I was locating my fastball in the strike zone and my two-seamer was moving,” Dougherty said. “The second time around the lineup, I was using my off-speed pitch to get ahead. It’s great to get this win. I know teams will get their hits off me, but I trust my defense and they made some big plays today.”

Folsom did play well defensively, making only one error. Stafford made a highlight-reel play at third base, diving to his right to field a ground ball and get a putout on a runner attempting to make it back to second base. The Bulldogs also had a key double play in the fifth when Ponderosa scored its first run. With the bases loaded and no one out, Ponderosa’s Jeff Martin hit a ground ball to Guler at second base, who flipped to Tyler Long for the first out and Long’s throw to Maasberg at first got the second out. Dougherty then got the next batter to fly out to end the inning.

“Craig’s was a game-changing play,” Brewer said. “That was an amazing stab and then he was smart and got the guy in a rundown so he didn’t have to make the long throw to first.”

Dougherty, who will walk on at CSU Monterey Bay next spring, worked out of several jams throughout the game. With runners at second and third with one out in the second, Dougherty got out of the inning with two infield pop flies.

Ponderosa led off the third with a double, but Dougherty got the next three batters out to keep the Bruins off the scoreboard. Ponderosa scored a run in the fifth, but could have gotten a lot more, and in the sixth, the Bruins hit a one-out triple before Dougherty retired the next two batters.

“Tommy was lights out in pressure situations,” Brewer said. “He’s very mature and he knows his identity.”

Folsom, 1-0 in league and 6-7 overall, plays at Ponderosa (0-1, 3-10) Wednesday before hosting the Bruins again Friday.