Photo by Shawn Jonas
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – What would have been an excellent backhanded play by Sacramento River Cats’ first baseman Adam Duvall turned instead into a contender for the play of the season for Sacramento. Duvall combined with second baseman Brandon Hicks and pitcher Brett Bochy to turn a sure base hit into what was likely the out of the year.
Bochy entered the game in the top of the 8th, taking over for River Cats’ starter Tommy Hanson. On Bochy’s fifth pitch of the night, El Paso’s Alex Dickerson smashed a hard groundball to Duvall’s right. The first baseman moved quickly to his backhand, looking to snag a tricky hop, only to watch as the ball ricocheted off his glove and high into the air.
The ball shot out into shallow right field where Hicks came sprinting across. The second baseman plucked the ball from the air and, on the run, spun and fired the ball toward first base.
His throw was a bullet, but placed perfectly. Bochy, who started the whole thing with his pitch, had moved to cover first on contact. Seeing the ball careen off Duvall’s mitt, the right-hander started to slow, but resumed his sprint as Hicks moved on the ball. Bochy caught the throw in stride, hitting the bag just a split-second before Dickerson came down on the base.
“They’ll be talking about that play for years,” said long time River Cats broadcaster Johnny Doskow. “That was one of the best plays I’ve ever seen,” he added. Doskow has been calling games professionally for almost 20 years, 15 with the River Cats. “I’ve seen a lot of really great plays, but that was definitely one of them.”
On the other side of the ball, third baseman Kevin Frandsen went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. His three hits snapped a three-game skid, during which Frandsen had been hitless in 11 at bats.
His seventh inning double just missed leaving the ballpark, hitting high off the wall in deep left-center. The hit scored Mac Williamson all the way from first and gave the River Cats their first run of the night. Sacramento scored again in the inning as Hicks singled Frandsen home.
Hanson (0-3, 6.41) had his longest outing of the season, going 7 innings while taking his third loss with Sacramento. He gave up 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits and a walk while striking out 2. The one walk was a new best for Hanson since joining the River Cats. Bochy and Erik Cordier combined for two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The River Cats head to Albuquerque next to take on the Pacific Southern’s Isotopes. The River Cats are 4-4 against the ‘Topes this season, splitting one series at home and one on the road. RHP Clayton Blackburn (4-3, 3.97) will kick off the four-game stint for Sacramento while Rockies prospect Jon Gray (5-56, 4.57) goes for Albuquerque. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. (PT).
Game Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations