Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on June 29, 2010
The Sacramento River Cats rallied late to defeat the Tacoma Rainiers Monday night by a score of 7-5 at Raley Field.
After walking the first batter of the game, Cats starting pitcher Graham
Godfrey gave up a quick two-run home run to Rainiers left fielder Matt
Tuiasosopo, putting the Rainiers on the scoreboard first. Godfrey then
proceeded to retire the next three batters to get out of the inning without
any further damage.
The River Cats were able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the
second inning when Cats center fielder Matt Carson sent a pitch soaring over the wall in left-center field for a one-run home run.
It did not take long for the Rainiers to get that run back, quickly scoring
another run in the top of the third inning when the Rainiers' David Winfree
grounded out into a fielder's choice scoring shortstop Chris Woodward.
Steven Tolleson was able to hit his sixth home run of the season to open up
the bottom of the fourth inning, making the score Rainiers 3, River Cats 2.
Cats left fielder Matt Watson led off with a single to right field.
Designated hitter Dallas McPherson was then able to advance him to third
base with a single of his own to right field. With one out, Carson hit an
RBI single to right field, scoring Watson. The inning ended with the next
batter, Josh Donaldson, striking out swinging and Carson being caught
stealing second base by the Rainiers’ Adam Moore.
With the score tied at three, the Rainiers were able to pull away from the
River Cats yet again in the top of the eighth inning.
After a lead-off single by the Rainiers’ Tuiasosopo, Cats reliever Jamey
Wright walked Brad Nelson to put runners on first and second. Winfree then
advanced both runners with a ground out to Wright. After intentionally
walking Mike Carp to load the bases, the Rainiers' Moore singled to right
field, scoring Tuiasosopo. Wright then walked Jack Hannahan to walk in
Nelson for another run to put the Rainiers up 5-3.
At this point, Cats manager Tony DeFrancesco had seen enough and needed a mound visit to bring in reliever Michael Benacka. With the bases loaded, Benacka struck out the next two batters to get the Cats out of the inning and only down by two runs.
The Cats' Tolleson then led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a
single, prompting the Rainiers to put Billy Traber on the mound instead of
Yusmeiro Petit. The Cats' Watson was then able to reach first on a fielding
error by Woodward, advancing Tolleson to second base. With two runners on base, McPherson found a good time to hit his seventh home run of the season, adding three runs to the River Cats’ total.
With two outs, and on a 3-2 count, Cats catcher Josh Donaldson sent his 10th home run over left-center field to put the River Cats up 7-5.
With the lead, the Cats sent out newly acquired reliever Ross Wolf to close
the game. Wolf closed the game smoothly, striking out the first two batters
and getting the third to ground out to third base, securing a 7-5
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on June 18, 2010
The Sacramento Kings brought in six more prospects for a pre-draft workout at their practice facility Friday.
University of Oklahoma's Tiny Gallon, University of Connecticut's Stanley Robinson, Arizona's Nic Wise, Baylor's Tweety Carter, Boise State's Ike Okoye, and St. Mary's Omar Samhan were all in attendance to show the Kings' coaches and scouts what they could bring to the team.
Of the six prospects in attendance, Robinson is projected to be drafted the highest: somewhere in the middle of the first round.
Robinson averaged 14.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1 assist per game during his senior year at Connecticut. He largely played small forward during his tenure there, but feels he can come in and play any position that is necessary, while bringing his intensity to the court.
“I'd just do whatever the coach tells me to do, what ever position,” said Robinson, “I'm hungry, aggressive, and I do everything.”
Robinson believes that his style of play can best be compared to current NBA star Gerald Wallace.
“I feel like I can fill up the stat sheets; I can score, rebound, whatever it takes,” says Robinson.
Carter is another prospect who brings a reputation of being a leader. In his senior year, he averaged 15.0 points, 5.9 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game, on his way to leading his the Baylor Bears to an Elite Eight appearance against Duke.
“I can be that guy that can come in and always bring in energy," he said. "Everytime you step on the court, you got to have fun.”
Another intriguing prospect and California favorite in attendance was Samhan. He became a crowd favorite during March's NCAA Championship Tournament with strong performances against Richmond and Villanova.
In the tournament, Samhan dropped 29 points and 12 rebounds against Richmond, and then followed that performance with 34 points and 7 rebounds against a strong Villanova team.
Samhan believes that if there is one value that differentiates himself from other big men in the draft, it is his desire to succeed more than others.
“I think I want it more," he said. "I lost 60 pounds. I think that's good evidence right there. If nothing else, a lot of bigs don't work very hard. So I think that's part of wanting it more, I wanted to work really hard to get the job done.”
Samhan was born and raised in the San Francisco bay area, so he feels right at home in Sacramento.
“Growing up in Northern California, the Warriors haven't been great, but the Kings have had some success especially when I was younger. It was funny when I was driving up, I was looking at Arco Arena. I used to come here when I was a little kid, so it's great to be here working out for the Kings.”
For the prospects that do get drafted, their long journey to the NBA ends on June 24, during the 2010 NBA Draft. For the rest, they will have to work hard to get signed by an NBA team as an undrafted free agent.
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on June 6, 2010
The Sacramento River Cats beat the Tacoma Rainiers by a score of 10-2 at Raley Field behind solid pitching from starting pitcher Clay Mortensen (7-2).
In honor of Braden's perfect game on May 9, the River Cats invited his grandmother to throw out the first pitch, which sailed beautifully over home plate.
It was only fitting that the Cats were able to beat the Rainiers with solid pitching throughout the game.
Cats' starting pitcher Mortensen's only major mistake came in the top of the 2nd inning. With two outs and Rainiers' left fielder Mike Carp on second base, Matt Mangini was able to get his bat on a pitch and sail it over the right-center field wall for a two-run home run, giving Tacoma an early 2-0 lead.
It did not take long for the Cats to attack back, quickly getting their offense going against Rainiers' starting pitcher Ryan Feierabend (0-0) and having a big 2nd inning.
Feierabend started the inning by walking the first two Cats batters, designated hitter Josh Donaldson and first baseman Chris Carter. Cats' Michael Taylor was able to send Donaldson home with a one-out RBI single to left field, also advancing Carter to second base. Feierabend then walked catcher Anthony Recker to load the bases with only one out.
Shortstop Michael Affronti took advantage with a double off the left field wall to send home both Carter and Taylor, leaving Recker on third. Corey Wimberley then brought Recker home and advanced Affronti to third with an RBI single to left. With Eric Sogard batting, Feierabend committed a balk, scoring Affronti and advancing Wimberley to second. The sixth and final run of the inning came when Wimberley stole third base and then advanced to home plate on a throwing error by Rainiers' catcher Guillermo Quiroz.
Mortensen's only other scare came in the top of the 5th inning when he had the bases loaded with only one out. Mortensen was then able to strike out Rainiers' Brad Nelson and then get former River Cat Tommy Everidge to pop out to left fielder Matt Watson.
Already up by a score of 7-2 in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Cats were able to add one more run with a Matt Watson solo home run, and two more runs in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Mortensen finished with 7.0 innings of solid pitching, allowing just two runs before pitcher Marcus McBeth came in as relief. McBeth did not allow a run in two innings en route to closing the game for a River Cats win by a score of 10-2.
Photo by Ahsan Awan
Originally published on SacramentoPress.com on June 2, 2010
The Tacoma Rainiers got off to an early start and continued to score runs as they defeated the Sacramento River Cats 12-3 at Raley Field Tuesday.
The Rainiers (25-24) pounced early on River Cats' (25-28) starting pitcher John Halama, scoring four runs in the first. After getting the first two batters to ground out, Rainiers' Tommy Everidge was able to reach first on a fielding error by Halama. After a walk to Mike Carp, Guillermo Quiroz singled to center field bringing home Everidge for the first run of the game.
With Carp on third and Quiroz on second and two outs in the bottom of the first, the Rainiers' right fielder Greg Halman hit a soaring three-run homerun over center field.
In the bottom of the second, Cats' catcher Josh Donaldson was ejected from the game immediately after complaining to home plate umpire Chris Tiller after being called out on strikes. Donaldson was replaced by catcher Anthony Recker.
The River Cats' first run of the game came in the same inning when Cats' center fielder Matt Carson hit a solo home run over the left-center field wall.
After little action in the third inning, there was an interesting play in the top of the fourth when the River Cats attempted to turn a double play.
As Cameron Wimbley attempted to turn the double play, his throw hit a sliding Halman and the ball was knocked down. Initially, the Cats were only awarded the out at second, until manager Tony DeFrancesco came out to argue, resulting in the umpires to meet and eventually award the Cats the double play.
Carson hit another solo home run for the River Cats in the bottom of the fifth inning, to virtually the same spot, pulling the Cats to a two-run deficit. But that was the closest they got as the Rainiers scored another three runs in the top of the seventh inning, led by a two RBI double by the Rainiers' Halman.
The Rainiers' offense was led by right fielder Greg Halman, who finished 3-5 with two home runs, a double and seven RBIs. The Rainiers' offense finished with a total of 12 runs off of 14 hits, four of which were home runs.
The River Cats were only able to produce three runs off of seven hits for the game and produced three errors on defense.