By Justin de Haas
DANVILLE, Ca – The pitching staff for the Walnut Creek Crawdads bounced back in a major way to get their revenge against the Bay Area Admirals.
After giving up 10 runs to the Admirals on Tuesday, Walnut Creek pitchers Ryan Spalliero and
EJ McGrew combined for six innings with one earned run off three hits and three walks to start
the game for the Crawdads. These pitchers also had plenty of run support in what led to a
dominant 11-1 victory for the Crawdads over the Admirals.
It seemed like Bay Area starting pitcher Nick Gonsalves was also going to cruise in this one as
he was perfect through his first two innings, but the third was not so kind to him. Gonsalves
allowed six Crawdads on base in seven plate appearances to start the inning with three earned
runs to his ledger.
Walnut Creek second baseman Griffin Harrison was a major part of the action with a hit, RBI
and run in the third inning. Harrison made his season debut and he rewarded Walnut Creek
manager Brant Cummings after he was put in the ninth spot of the lineup. The second baseman
ended up leading the Crawdads with two hits as the second leadoff hitter of sorts.
Harrison was able to set the table for Walnut Creek center fielder Casey Cummings, who
continues to be an on-base machine in the leadoff spot with the Crawdads. The center fielder hit
his first home run of the season and walked to get on base multiple times, which has happened in
all three games this season. Cummings talks about his role as a leadoff hitter for this team.
“I think a big part of it is getting comfortable in that position. Knowing your role. Getting on
base anyway you can. The hit-by-pitches are timely. You can use them to your advantage when
you get the steals opportunities. Of course I try to take advantage of that all the time. The
relaxation in knowing that it is your box and feeling comfortable.”
Cummings alluded to those hit-by-pitches, which has been a problem for him this summer. The
Chabot College standout was hit four times in his first two games with the Crawdads and he
spoke about how that affects him in the box.
“I got hit by like 25 different pitches in my junior college season. It’s something we had to deal
with there. It takes the bat of your hands and makes it real quick. It’s definitely good to get
settled back in and get the feel of getting the barrel out and getting a couple balls in play.”
Cummings won Player of the Game, but it seems the reigning Player of the Game in Walnut
Creek left fielder Joey Donnelly enjoys playing at home after winning the honor in the home
opener and he played well again at Monte Vista High School against the Admirals. Donnelly
helped manufacture a run by stealing second, advancing to third on a ball in the dirt and scoring
off an RBI single from Walnut Creek catcher Sam Gilliam. This baserunning was the catalyst for
the Crawdads to put a crooked number of five runs on the scoreboard.
The Crawdads had a lot of parity in their lineup with seven different guys getting hits, but that
was not the case for Admirals. Bay Area left fielder Kenny DeCelle had three of the five hits for
the Admirals, which is no surprise considering his track record against the Crawdads. Decelle
has been known as a “Crawdad killer” after wreaking havoc against Walnut Creek last year as a
Walnut Creek is probably hoping that DeCelle is not in the lineup tomorrow when the Crawdads
face the Admirals in the rubber match on Thursday at Solano College. The Crawdads now have a
2-1 record and would love to add on with a win on Thursday to give themselves a winning record
in the CCL after the first series of the season