Even Erma Bombeck in a bird suit wasn't enough to make Ventura County Gulls Manager Glenn Ezell laugh Tuesday.
Bombeck paraded down the first-base line in a Gull suit, filming a spot for ABC's "Good Morning America" during the fifth inning of the game with the Palm Springs Angels. Had the humorist wanted to, she could have also filmed "Good Night Gulls."
The Gulls were beaten by the Angels, 6-3, at Ventura College. The Gulls, who finished second in the season's first half, three games behind the Angels, fell to 9-13 in the second half.
"No, I didn't see anything funny in her program," Ezell said.
Nor did he find humor in the Gulls' four errors, the first of which was second baseman Omar Malave bobbling the first ball hit. Two other miscues led to Palm Springs' first two runs. As in Monday's 10-2 loss to the Angels, the Gulls fell behind early.
After Ty Van Burkleo reached on a fielder's choice, Palm Springs took a 1-0 lead when Gull center fielder Kevin Batiste let Dave Montanari's single roll past him. Van Burkleo scored and Montanari ended up at third. But Gull starter Todd Provence (3-6) got Erik Pappas to ground out to end the inning.
The Gulls tied it in the bottom of the first when shortstop Eric Yelding singled, stole second and scored on Luis Reyna's single.
But Yelding's error in the third inning, a wild overthrow of first, allowed Billy Geivett to reach safely. Doug Jennings doubled on the next pitch and the Angels took the lead for good, 2-1.
"The thing we were real capable of doing in the first half, and not able to do in the second, is come back," Ezell said. "We always seemed to know we could come back and win a ballgame. But it's a tough assignment for any team to battle your rears off to get back even. And then to get ahead is even tougher."
Trailing, 4-1, the Gulls nearly mastered that tough assignment in the sixth. Geronimo Berroa and Greg Myers, both of whom will start in the California League All-Star Game on Thursday in Fresno, belted solo home runs. Berroa's homer was his 12th of the season and Myers' was his 17th.
But the rally came up short and Palm Springs added two runs on a two-run home run by Jennings.
"We haven't been mixing our pitching with our hitting too much," Myers said. "Either we hit with no pitching, or we get pitching with no hitting."
Todd Eggertson (4-4) got the win for Palm Springs. The Angels improved their record to 14-10.
Palm Springs pitcher Scott Marrett, formerly of Calabasas High and Pepperdine, continued his impressive comeback from a neck injury suffered two months ago by going seven innings in the Angels 10-2 win over the Gulls on Monday. Marrett (4-4) gave way to left-hander Gary Lucas, the California Angel who is in Palm Springs on a 20-day rehabilitation assignment that ended Tuesday. . . . The Community Stadium Assn., which has been trying to raise money to build a stadium in Camarillo, has a new president--Shig Yabu--but was unable to give new information to Gull owners Jim Biby and Ken McMullen at a meeting Monday night. The group is trying to finance the building of a stadium on the northeast corner of Freedom Park but has been unable to come up with the necessary funds. McMullen said that unless a commitment for a lighted stadium is secured by Aug. 15, the Gulls will not play in Camarillo in 1987. . . . Biby, the Gulls general manager, did not announce an attendance figure Tuesday. The actual attendance was estimated at 60.