The Chico Heat were looking to stay perfect on the road but a late inning rally by the Portland Pickles resulted in the Heat’s first road loss of the year.
Matt Starcovic’s third hit of the night, a line single to right center plated two runs in the bottom of the 9th giving the Pickles a come-from-behind 8-7 win over Chico.
Chico had scored in six of the first seven innings but their inability to tack on runs proved to be their undoing. Justin Watari got the Heat on the board in the 1st with a solo home run. Jake Davison would hit a solo shot in the 3rd. Chico was scoring but also leaving a lot of runners on base as they left the bases juiced in both the 2nd and 5th innings. With that said, Chico led 7-3 going to the bottom of the 7th inning. That’s when the tables turned as the Pickles got to the Heat bullpen.
Portland would score three runs in the 7th. The rally was aided by a dusk-aided pop up double that was lost in the high sky by Heat fielders. Portland was also fortunate to see a popped up bunt land untouched on the wet turn between first and second that extended the inning.
The Heat still took a 7-6 lead to the bottom of the 9th but Tanner Clark walked the first two hitters in the 9th, after a SAC bunt moved the runners into scoring position, Clark would walk Bobby Kinne to load the bases setting the stage for Starcovic’s heroics.
Watari went 3-for-4 for the Heat with a double and a home run driving in two. Cole Lemmel went 3-for-5 and drove in a run.
Mikey Wright pitched great for Chico. The Chico State product twirled six innings scattering six hits giving up three runs while walking no one and striking out 7.
Chico and Portland will play game two of this three game series tonight at 7:05pm with our pre-game coming your way at 6:45pm on the KpaySports app and right here on KpaySports dot-com. Just hit the listen live tab to hear all the action