Top Moments of 2005
# 10 – Blaze win 4 games in massive heat wave in AZ at Super Series Summer National Championships
The Blaze’s first major road trip took place in Peoria, AZ, at the MLB Spring Training home of the San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners. After an opening game 8-7 loss to the Dallas Drillers, the Blaze went on to win four of their next six games, including 5-2 and 15-5 wins over the Arizona Curve, a 9-5 win over the EJ Sports Warriors, and a 8-6 victory over the La Quinta Diablos, where the Blaze scored four runs in the top of the 7th after being down 5-4.
The trip was highlighted by some big pitching performances (Phillip Gonzales struck out 15 in one game!) and some timely hitting (tied 5-5 in the 7th to La Quinta, Jared Coleman, above, ripped a 2-RBI single to give the Blaze the lead). The trip lasted nearly 10 days and the game time temperature for nearly every game was 108 degrees. In the team’s 15-5 win over the Curve, the temperature reached 114 degrees.
#9 – Joey Kourafas throws a 2-hit shutout versus Madera
During the Madera Tournament, Joey Kourafas made it very clear he could only attend one game—he was set to go to Boston with his family to see Fenway Park and his beloved Red Sox. In his only game, Kourafas didn’t disappoint. The lefty pitched a two-hitter and struck out nine batters in a 1-0 victory over Madera High School. The Blaze scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 7th to win it.
#8 – Future MLB 1st Round Pick, Casey Weathers, in for battle against Blaze
Casey Weathers, who pitched at Sacramento City College and would eventually move on to Vanderbilt University and a career in professional baseball as the #8 pick of the 2007 MLB draft, was in for quite a fight against the Blaze. Pumping a 92-mph fastball, Weathers kept the Blaze at bay; however, the Blaze battled against Weathers. In the top of the 5th and down 2-0, Ryan Mulligan led off with a walk. Phil Boren then doubled him in to make the score 2-1. A batter later, Richie Mirelez smoked a line drive to center for a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2. Phillip Gonzales matched Weathers pitch for pitch and going into the bottom of the 6th, the game was still tied; however, House of Ruth, which also included future Arizona Wildcat catcher Dwight Childs, broke away for a 4-2 win.
# 7 – Four Gonzales brothers play together in same game!
Phillip and Gibby Gonzales had been mainstays with the Blaze all season long in 2005. However, when the Blaze were short a few players in late-August for a doubleheader, they knew just where to go to find some help. Brothers Manuel and Steven donned Blaze jersey’s, and in the 7th inning of the second game of the doubleheader against the Central Valley Fever, Phillip (P), Gibby (SS), Steven (3B), and Manuel (LF) all played on the field at the same time!
# 6 – Blaze take part in 34 hit, 35 run game!
Against the Sonoma Rebels, the Blaze were down early—it was 8-0 after two innings. However, in the bottom of the 2nd, the Blaze charged back and scored eight of their own. In the inning had two hits in the inning and Josh Franco, Adam Cardenas, Phillip Gonzales, Eric Alvarado, Joaquin Delarosa, and Jory Rothenfluh all had hits; in all, the Blaze scored eight runs on eight hits, all singles. Sonoma took control again, and after the top of the 5th, they were up 14-8. Unwilling to quit, the Blaze scored three in the 5th, and after Sonoma pushed one across in the top of the 6th to make it 15-11, the Blaze answered with four more. After six, it was a 15-15 game. Unable to hold down Sonoma, they scored five more. The final tally? The epic battle saw the Blaze pound out 15 hits to Sonoma’s 19 in their 20-15 loss. The Blaze’s top hitter was Ryan Mulligan who finished 4-4 with a triple, three runs, and four RBI.
# 5 – Wes Dorrel’s nine RBI in three straight wins in one day
Wes Dorrel, the future Cal Poly SLO star, played for the Blaze in 2005 during the Endless Summer Bash. The Blaze were faced with a big job, as a scheduling issue caused them to have to play and win three games on Saturday of the tournament. No problem according to Dorrel. All the big slugger did was bang out five hits and knock in 9 runs in back-to-back-to-back wins to help the Blaze finish 3-0 on the day. The first baseman’s Saturday linescore looked like this:
AB R H RBI
2 0 1 1 BB Blaze 7, Kingsburg Rival 3
2 1 2 5 HR, HP Blaze 12, Bakersfield Dogs 2
3 2 2 3 HR Blaze 9, Milpitas Red Devils 1
9 3 5 9
# 4 – Phillip Gonzales throws a complete game—using BOTH hands!
Phillip Gonzales, the powerful lefty with a good curveball, proved he was more than just a good lefty. Against the Fresno Red Wave, Gonzales gutted out a complete game 5-3 win in some intense heat at Washington Union High School. Gonzales threw the first six innings left-handed, and after reaching his pitch limit, decided to simply heat up the other arm! Gonzales “saved” his own game, finishing off the Red Wave by collecting the last three outs right handed. Gonzales finished the game with 11 strikeouts.
# 3 – Phil Boren hits .500 (9-18) in Arizona
A last second addition for the Blaze’s trip to Arizona proved to be quite an acquisition. Phil Boren, the right-hander from Kerman HS, joined the Blaze just two days before heading to the heat of the Arizona Desert. While there, he proved to be right at home with the Blaze. He finished as the Blaze’s leading hitter in the tournament, going 9-18 with seven runs and nine RBI. Boren also pitched a complete game win over the EJ Sports Warriors on elimination day.
AB R H RBI
2 0 1 1 BB Dallas Drillers 8, Blaze 7
2 0 0 1 SF Blaze 5, Arizona Curve 2
3 2 2 2 BB, 2B, 3B Blaze 8, La Quinta Diablos 6
3 1 1 0 BB IBAC 12, Blaze 7
2 3 2 2 HP, 2 SB’s Blaze 15, Arizona Curve 5
3 0 2 3 3B Blaze 9, EJ Sports Warriors 5
3 1 1 0 BB Dallas Drillers 9, Blaze 8
18 7 9 9
# 2 – Blaze get win in first game in franchise history
In June of 2005, at Selma High School, the Blaze played their first game in franchise history under the lights in front of a packed house. The game was one to remember, as a sound Selma squad and an excited group of Blaze players battled for nine innings, with the Blaze coming out on top for a 7-6 win. Phillip Gonzales tripled in his first two at-bats and Jared Coleman doubled twice. Ironically, Selma’s Josh Franco, pitching against his alma mater, struck out the side in the 9th for the save. The Blaze pounded out 14 hits and Washington Union’s Nick Hedden recorded the win on the mound.
# 1 – Phillip Gonzales dominates the Arizona Curve with 15 K’s in 114 degree heat
Arizona in the middle of the summer is no picnic—and this day was no exception. Pitching in 114 degree heat proved to be no match for Phillip Gonzales. The hard-throwing lefty led the Blaze to a 5-2 win over the Arizona Curve with a complete game 4-hitter in which he struck out a remarkable 15 batters. Gonzales didn’t let the heat affect him, as he got stronger as the game went on – he struck out 4 batters in the last two innings. A look at Gonzales record-breaking day:
Pitching Line IP H R ER BB/K
Gonzales, W 7 4 2 2 5/15
Strikeouts by Inning
Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Strikeouts 1 3 3 3 1 2 2