VISALIA, CA - The Rawhide came into last night's contest looking to stay hot and take sole possession of first place in the North Division. They were able to do just that thanks to some stellar pitching and timely hitting, as the Rawhide sunk the Stockton Ports 7-1 on Friday night at Rawhide Ballpark.
Rawhide starter Willy Paredes (W, 2-1) had his best outing of the season for Visalia, tossing a season-high 7.0 innings and allowing just one earned run on five hits. He worked efficiently all night, pitching to contact and trusting his defense behind him. The top of the 1st inning lasted all but 90 seconds.
Paredes found himself in a bit of trouble in the top of the 4th inning, as he gave up a lead off walk to B.A. Vollmuth and two straight singles to load the bases with no outs. However, he got Michael Gilmartin to ground into the much needed 4-6-3 double play, allowing Vollmuth to come home for the Ports lone run of the game.
Ports starter Josh Bowman (L, 4-9) had a solid outing as well, pitching 6.0 innings and allowing four earned runs. His defense did not offer much help behind him, as they committed three crucial errors which allowed the Rawhide to keep innings alive.
The Rawhide capitalized on the mistakes made by the Ports, as they left only three men on base and were 7-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Keon Broxton turned in another solid offensive performance for the Rawhide, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Broxton is now batting .361 since July 22nd and seems to be a lot more confident and disciplined at the plate then he was at the start of the season.
The Modesto Nuts lost to Bakersfield 5-1 last night, which pulls them one game back of the Rawhide for first place in the division. The Rawhide will look to maintain sole possession of first place on Saturday night for game 2 of the series against the Ports at 7pm.