After their team fell into a 2-0 series hole, Fred Lynn and Mark McGwire made sure it didn't get worse as they were the offensive catalysts in Southern California's 6-2 victory over Northern California at Dodger Stadium in Game 3 of the APBA best-of-seven I-5 series.
San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, who chose the Game 3 starting pitcher, went with CC Sabathia, bypassing Lefty Gomez and Dave Stewart in an intriguing decision. It did not pay off, as Sabathia did not get out of the second inning.
The I-5 Series is played on the APBA game engine. The 34-man rosters were chosen by fans via latimes.com/sports and sfchronicle.com/sports. More than 100,000 votes were cast. The NorCal team was managed by Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle and the SoCal team by Houston Mitchell of The Los Angeles Times.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Ted Williams walked. George Brett popped to third and McGwire homered to deep center, hopefully not demolishing the new beer garden that is part of Dodger Stadium's recent renovations. Ralph Kiner popped out to end the inning.
With one out in the second, Robin Yount doubled and Lance Parrish walked, bringing up Lynn, who batted leadoff after Jackie Robinson batted there in Games 1 and 2. Working the count full, Lynn deposited a fastball into the right-field bleachers for a 5-0 SoCal lead. After a walk to Williams, Sabathia was replaced by Gomez, who gave up a triple to Brett. That was all the runs Southern California scored, but that was all it needed.
Northern California scored a run in the fifth inning and another in the seventh. With the score 6-2 in the seventh, they had two runners on and Barry Bonds, who had four homers in the first two games, at the plate, but Trevor Hoffman struck him out on a changeup to end the threat. Jim Palmer, chosen by Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to start Game 3, gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings to pick up the victory.
Game 4 will be played Friday at Angel Stadium and Game 5 at Petco Park on Saturday. Games 6 and 7, if needed, would be played at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday and at Oracle Park on Monday.
“That was a nice victory,” Mitchell said. "If we can get McGwire heated up, this is a whole new series."