W L Pct. GB
Victoria .... 2 0 1.000 —
Lewiston .... 2 0 1.000 —
Calgary ..... 2 0 1.000 —
Edmonton .... 1 0 1.000 —
Yakima ...... 1 0 1.000 —
Wenatchee ... 0 1 .000 1½
Tri-City .... 0 1 .000 1½
Vancouver ... 0 2 .000 2
Salem ....... 0 2 .000 2
Spokane ..... 0 2 .000 2
VICTORIA [Jim Tang, Colonist, April. 25]—Mike Williams, colored righthander who was obtained from Stockton in a trade for outfielder Walt Tyler, pulled one out for the Victoria Athletics last night—as an outfielder.
No one knows yet how Williams will do a pitcher but he earned his spurs last night with a sensational ninth-inning catch with the tying run on third and the winning run on second as the Tyees made it two in a row, 5-4, over Spokane Indians in a hair-raising climax.
The events which led up to the spectacular finish started in the seventh when Victoria manager Cec Garriott sent in Jim Clark to run for catcher Milt Martin with the Tyees trying to overcome a 4-3 Spokane lead.
That brought Sam Brusa in to handle relief-pitcher Bill Prior, who sailed through the eighth and was moving smoothly through the ninth with a 5-4 edge after his club had rallied for two runs in its half of the eighth.
Will Hafey was on first base as a result of a walk and two were out when Brusa through plate-umpire Emmett Ashford had missed a strike on Wilbur Johnson. Brusa tossed his mask to the ground in disgust and, although it appeared he had a beef, was justifiably thumbed out of the game.
With both their catchers gone, the Tyees had to call on handyman Don Pries to move behind the plate. Left-fielder Gale Taylor took over from Pries at third-base and Williams went into Taylor’s vacated spot.
Prior worked too carefully on Johnson and walked him. Carl Bush, a lefthanded sticker, was next and the situation didn’t look good when Pries left a ball get away from him and the runners moved up. It looked worse when bush sliced a short hit to left field.
Not very many, if any, in the smallish crowd expected that there was a chance Williams could come up with it, but he did—with a long belly-slide which saw him get his hand on the ball inches from the ground and hold on although he somersaulted after hitting the ground.
It marked the end of an uphill battle for the defending WIL champions, who left 15 runners stranded in the last six innings and had to contend with Spokane base-runners in all but one frame.
Held hitless for three innings by righthander Gordon Palm and trailing, 1-0, the Tyees broke through for three runs in the fourth with doubles by Joe Clardy and Lu Branham, a single by Martin and a base on balls doing the damage.
The Indians tied it in the fifth and went ahead in the sixth when Martin fumbled a perfect throw from Garriott which would have nailed the runner at the plate.
Tyees threatened in the sixth and seventh, when they left the bags loaded for the third time, and just made it in the eighth.
Garriott started it when he led off with his fourth walk. Taylor laid down a perfect sacrifice and Nap Gully tied it up by plating Garriott with a rousing double. Clardy walked and Ron Odekirk was nicked by a pitched ball to load the bags.
Brusa sent a short fly to centre-field and Gully raced in with the winning run as the strong-armed Ed Murphy uncorked what was for him a bad throw.
The win went to Prior, who looked great in a two-inning relief job. He didn’t give up a hit and struck out three of the first four men to face him. But for the chain of circumstances which deprived him of a regular catcher, he probably would have breezed through.
Prior took over from Bill Bottler, who indicated he would be of considerable help although in continual trouble. Bottler was a bit on the wild side but worked neatly out of every jam and might have gone the distance but for errors which cost him two runs. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh.
The series winds up today with afternoon and evening games starting at 2 and 7:30. It will be Don Hopp in the afternoon and Berlyn Hodges, young rookie southpaw from Victoria, in the evening for the Tyees. Claude DeWitt and Jack Spring, hard-throwing southpaw, will pitch for Spokane.
Spokane ............ 010 002 100—4 7 1
Victoria ............. 000 300 02x—3 8 3
Palm, Descalso (4), Franks (7) and Sheets; Bottler, Prior (3) and Martin, Bruca (8), Pries (9).
VANCOUVER [Clancy Loranger, Province, April 25]—Vancouver Caps lost another ball game at Cap Stadium Friday night, but they proved one thing: they did learn more in California than how to treat sunburn.
The locals bowed for the second straight night to Lewiston Broncs, this time by a 5-4 score, but there was a 100 percent improvement over the horrible first-night performance.
In pushing Bill Brenner and his boys right down to the final wire before being nosed out, the Caps uncovered a power hitter, Gordie Hernandez, cut their errors down from five to none, and best of all, displayed the ability to come from behind.
Hernandez made up for his opening night misdemeanors by slamming out the first home run of the season and also contributed a double to bat in there of his club’s runs.
Gordie, who started out in the spring as No. 2 hitter in the battery order was moved down to No. 6 and finally earned the important No.5 spot in the lineup with some spectacular clouting, got a lot of distance on his two big blows—close to 400 feet.
The pitching looked better, too. Van Fletcher was doing nicely, holding a six-hit, 2-1 lead over Bill Brenner going into the eighth inning. Then, suddenly, he lost it, and Lewiston connected for five straight hits and three runs. Ancient Carl Gunnarson came in to put out the fire and was finally debited with the loss.
But not before Vancouver had given Brenner some anxious moments. Brenner, who Cap manager Harvey Storey says “could win in the Coast League,” gave up a single to Chuck Davis and doubles by Jim Wert and Hernandez in the eight, and the score was tied, 4-4.
WON IN NINTH
A hit batter and a walk set the stage for the Broncs’ winning run in the ninth, Artie Wilson sending the big run across with [his] fourth hit in as many tries.
PROVINCE STARS—Gordon Hernandez, who lived up to his promise as a power hitter; Artie Wilson, whose four hits accounted for three Lewiston runs, and Bill Brenner, who Storey says “makes pitching look easy.”
Lewiston .......... 010 000 031—5 12 1
Vancouver ....... 000 200 020—4 8 0
Brenner and Cameron; Fletcher, Gunnarson (8) and Lundberg.
KENNEWICK, April 24 — Edmonton made its Western International League debut Friday night with a 5-4 win over the Tri-City baseball team.
The Edmonton score included two homers. The first was by Andy Skurski, who made the circuit trip in the second inning bringing in one additional run. Lou Vitous got the next one in the fourth with no one on base.
Edmonton ......... 020 110 010—5 10 1
Tri-City ............ 000 010 300—4 10 1
Conant and Morgan; Dobernic, Turner (7) and Pesut.
SALEM, Ore., April 24 — Outfielder Charley Mead drove in the winning run in the 10th inning here Friday night to give Calgary a 6-5 victory and a clean sweep over Salem in a Western International League opening doubleheader here. The afternoon score was 5-4. Outfielder Gus Statos opened the 10th for Calgary with a walk. He advanced to second on an infield out and scored on Mead's drive.
Only 880 Salemites turned out in the afternoon but a large crowd of 3,652 saw the night game.
Calgary ....... 110 200 100—5 10 3
Salem .......... 310 000 000—4 8 5
Kapp and Bricker; Hemphill and Nelson.
Calgary ....... 012 100 010 1—6 9 4
Salem .......... 110 010 002 0—5 9 3
Hittner and Bricker; Bevens, Collins (5), Borst (8), Rick (10) and Masterson.
WENATCHEE, April 24 — The Yakima Bears crashed through for six runs in the 13th inning Friday night to defeat the Wenatchee Chiefs in their opening baseball game of the Western International League season.
Yakima ........... 001 130 001 000 6—12 14 5
Wenatchee ..... 410 100 100 000 0—6 13 7
Locke, Thompson (3), Schaening (9) and Day, Harford; Oubre, Klem (9) and Cuitti.
Ben Lorino Returning
[Victoria Colonist, April 25, 1953]
Victoria Tyees received good news yesterday from Sacramento Solons that the Coast League club was returning southpaw Ben Lorino.
Lorino, 24-game winner at Victoria last season, was with the Solons on a 30-day look, but failed to stick. He will be welcomed with open arms by the pitcher-shy Tyees. He will rejoin the club at Yakima on Tuesday.