Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pre-Season, April 8, 1951

Power At Plate Lifts Tri-City Club To Even 2-2 For Spring Tilts
Herald Sports Editor
LINDSAY, Calif., April 8 (Special) — Superb pitching and power at the plate lifted the Tri-City Braves into an even 2-2 in their spring exhibition baseball campaign here Sunday afternoon. The Bakersfleld Indians were on the short end of the 7-4 game.
A trio of veteran right handed artists Augle Zande, Sam Castro and Joe Nicholas, who toured the mound in that order gave up a total of but six base hits.
Again it was some wobbly fielding in the outer gardens that provided Bakersfleld with most of their runs.
But there was nothing synthetic about the Braves. Third baseman Artie Wilson proved that in the initial inning. With the sacks FOB (full of Braves) Wilson slashed a triple deep into left field to clear the sacks.
CLAUDE Buckley unloaded a triple in the third to account for two more while the others were the result of home runs. Clint Cameron opened the fifth for the Tri-Clty club by busting one over the 300 foot rlghtfield wall and Wilson got a round tripper with a ball that stayed in the park but was far, far behind the Indian outfielders. The Braves totalled 11 base hits.
Zande toiled the first 3 frames and gave up the four Bakersfield runs on three base hits. One run was unearned in the books and the other two scored only as a result of a misjudged fly ball which went for a triple.
Sam Castro took over for the next 4 Innings and gave up but 2 singles and striking out two. Aside from the two singles only one ball got Into the air with Sam forcing the batters to hit to the Infielders. The outfielders didn't have to work at all.
NICHOLAS was virtually in mid-season form the way he handled himself on the hill during the eighth and ninth innings. The side armer didn't allow a hit or a run through Clint Cameron deserves a lot of credit for Nicholas's showing. In the last inning Cameron raced deep into center field and made a great running one handed stab of a blow that, had It got past him would have gone easily for a double, and possibly a triple.
Meanwhile, Dick Richards the general manager, is keeping the wires hot looking for outfielders. Sunday he talked by telephone to Ken Penner, chief scout on the coast for the Cardinals, about the problem and on Monday will talk to St. Louis, the main office.
Mike Michelson handled the backstop assignment Sunday,and hammered out a single and a double to drive in one of the Braves runs, Frank Rossetti of Richland had to leave the game in the third inning when a pitched ball caught him on the hand hurting it painfully.

Spokane Wins
LEWISTON, Idaho, April 9. — Idaho nudged Northern Idaho College of Education 7-8 in a Banana Beit baseball game Thursday, putting the skids to a ninth inning rally.
Spokane's Indians, of the Western International league, turned up with a 10-3 spectacle over Washington State college in another league set to. Spokane is conducting its' spring training at Lewiston.

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [April 9/51]

"We've got a better team at this point in our spring training session than we had at the same time last year. Those were the encouraging words with which manager Charlie Petersen greeted us. There are only two problems right now, said the sunburned manager, and they are both in the outfield.
It's this way, said Charlie, glancing out the window, if Neil Bryant can make the change from third to left field that will clear up one of the questions. But that will still leave us with center field wide open. Of course if Bryant can make that switch and Artie Wilson comes through at third base, it will be a big step. The Cardinals have promised us outfield help. We're not looking for a home run hitter. There's as much, if not more, power on this club now than we had last year. But we are going to be weak defensively In the outfield unless we can land a fast man to patrol the middle garden.
"Ken Penner of the Cards tells me he's got a lot of good, fast boys. Well, if Penner can send one over we will be ail right. . .But if he doesn't I'd hesitate a long time before I would make a prediction at winning the flag.
The Braves have a big deal cooking right now for an outfielder who played in this league last year. We're not at liberty to reveal his name, but if Petersen and Dirk Richards car, put it over it's going to answer the outfield problems. It would be a trade invojving pitching help from the Braves. Fortunately that's one thing there is plenty of this year. . .and all of it good. BATTLE FOR RELIEF SPOT
However, with all that hurling talent the battle for the relief spot, one of the most Important in baseball today, may be a difficult one to decide. First of all there's Jim Olsen who did such an outstanding job for the team last year. Then there's Sam Castro and Augie Zande, either of whom could fill any starting or relief assignment. Castro already has the players baffled in spring practice which means that if he keeps getting in better and better shape he should have another good year.
Zande, too, comes highly recommended, from Ken Penner, the chief scout for the Cardinals on the coast. This big, "and he's really big" right-handed knuckleball artist had a good record in 1949. He was out most of last year because of an appendectomy. But in '49 he appeared in 42 games for Houston in the AA Texas league. He finished with an earned run average of 3.32, well up in the top 20 pitchers that year. From his record he's not a strikeout artist, but his control keeps the batters punching the ball on the ground.
If the working agreement that the Braves are supposed to have with Sacramento was going, the outfield problem would be settled. For instance Dick Faber who covered the left field pasture so capably last year has been sold by the Sacs to Norfolk of the Class B Piedmont league. Yet they didn't even bother to contact the Braves about the deal.
Meriel Michelson is definitely set as the number two receiver. What's more he has the solid backing of Nick Pesut, the front lino backstop. "My arm feels a lot stronger than it did last year," Ken said. "You can tell when you're getting a little something extra on the pitch and that's the way I feel."
So far Frank Rossetti of Richland has appeared in two pinch hitting spots and lashed out a single and a double. Harold Norris, another atom city product, while inexperienced shows great promise. Charlie is 'high' on the boy which means that if Norris doesn't stay with the Braves his contract will be assigned to another club as was Michelson last year.

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