Portland shows depth on Sunday

Freddy Guzman

After a night of poor hitting and pitching on Saturday, Portland rebounded Sunday afternoon with solid performances in both categories.

The Beavers showed their strength and their depth behind the bats of eight players able to connect bat to ball, and with a sound showing by starter Seth Etherton, who pitched four innings, giving up two runs on only three hits to his former team.

The Beavers scored three runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings plus two more in the sixth. Three Beavers, Freddy Guzman, Bobby Hill, and Jack Cust, extended on-base streaks for every game this season: Guzman went 3-for-6 with a solo homer in the third, Hill went 3-for-4 and Cust went 2-for-3.

Guzman, the leadoff hitter, showed bunt for his first at bat. He had better luck swinging though, as he went deep on his second at bat, hit a double on in the fifth and a single in the sixth.

"I'm gonna bunt a lot this season," Guzman said. Aside from the first inning, he proved reluctant to swing at any first pitch strikes. "Sometimes I swing at first pitch strikes," he claims. "I just do what it takes to get on base." Guzman had two or more hits in eighteen games in 2004 and made it to base consecutively in 23 games from July 4 to August 1, 2004.

Bobby Hill, who was blanked the day before, had his most productive game of the season making it to base five times with two singles, a double and twice on balls. " You have good days and bad," he said. "Both teams can hit, but last night it seemed like everything was going against us."

Cust who has been hitting well but came up empty on Saturday, rebounded tonight making it to base four times with two singles and twice on balls.

"Yesterday I didn't get much to hit," he said. "Today I did and I put them in play. You have to take advantage of their mistakes."

Other notable contributions came from a home run by Dave Matranga in the fourth and a three RBI double in the fifth by Jon Knott who ended the game with five RBIs. Knott had five RBIs in two games in 2004. Walter Young was the only Beaver not to get a hit in the game despite a drive to deep right in the seventh.

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