East County Sports

Stars get frustrating split with Waves

By Nick Pellegrino
Special to East County Sports

BARONA INDIAN RESERVATION (6-18-2017) – The San Diego Stars sprinted to a pair of early leads in Saturday’s (June 17) Western Baseball Association doubleheader with the San Diego (formerly North County) waves.
But when the bullpen struggled most of the afternoon, the Stars needed to settle for a twin bill split with their long-time rivals, maintaining a tight pennant race at the top of the WBA South Division standings.
The Stars mounted a 5-1 lead in the opener before hanging on, 5-4 to send the club from Escondido to their fourth straight setback. The second game saw the Stars score six times in the 1st inning, but the bullpen suffered severe problems in a 10-8 setback to the Waves., snapping the Stars’ 9-game winning streak.
Jeremiah Wylie, who pitched a complete-game in his first Stars start, tossed six solid innings to gain his second win in as many starts this summer. Unlike his 14 strikeout performance against the San Diego Mavericks, he only struck out three while instead gaining a ton of ground balls in the oppressive heat which hit 94 degrees.
The teams exchanged runs in the 2nd, including a RBI base hit by Ryan Culp, starting a string of four consecutive innings with a run for the Stars.
In the 3rd, Joey Krug doubled home Jeremiah Barr (walk), the 4th saw Michael Stowers double home both Shawn Knutson and Eric De La Rosa, then the 5th saw Michael Byerline line a single to right field to plate Aaron Barkley (safe on error).
In Game 2, the Stars scored six times in the 1st.
Four runs scored on a 3-run triple by De La Rosa, who was then awarded home when the play to get him at third base instead saw the ball sail into the Waves bench. Three batters later, Stowers tripled to score two more for a 6-1 cushion.
However, the bullpen saw one get injured and two others failing to throw strikes, forcing a pair of non-pitchers to the mound as the Waves score four times in the 9th to finally take the lead.
For the Stars, Hank Gonzales batted 2-for-3, including a key RBI single in the 8th for an insurance run, moments after crashing into the brick backstop in pursuit of a shallow foul pop. Aaron Barkley was one of five Stars with two hits each.
On Sunday, starting at noon, the Stars host the San Juan Capistrano Stars at Barona.

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