VISALIA - The Rawhide blanked the Bakersfield Blaze 4-0 on Monday night at Rawhide Ballpark behind a dominant pitching performance to improve to 2-3 on the season.
The Rawhide got on the board early thanks to a little help from Bakersfield starter Rhadames Quezada (0-1). After issuing five straight walks, excluding a sacrifice bunt from Gerson Montilla, the Rawhide were granted a free run via a walk to Matt Helm with the bases loaded. Tom Belza added to the scoring with a two-RBI single to centerfield to give Visalia an early 3-0 lead.
Rawhide hurler Andrew Barbosa (1-0) found himself in trouble in the top of the 2nd inning when he issued a lead off base hit followed by two straight walks to load the bases with no outs. He was able to escape unscathed however, striking out Sean Buckley, getting Chris Berset to pop up to shallow right, and striking out Juan Perez to preserve the 3-0 lead.
Other than that little hitch, Barbosa was rather dominant in his first outing of the season. Barbosa pitched 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out a team-high 11 batters on the evening.
The Rawhide got more help in the bottom of the second inning when Jake Lamb singled sharply to left field over the head of the shortstop. Evan Marzilli was running on the pitch and Blaze left fielder Kyle Waldrop did not handle the ball properly which allowed Marzilli to come all the way home on the error to extend the Rawhide lead to 4-0.
That's all the offense the Rawhide would require, as Conrad Flynn, Patrick Schuster, and Jake Barrett contributed four scoreless innings out of the bullpen to secure the victory. Barrett was summoned in the 9th and recorded his second save of the season. With the win, the Rawhide improve to 2-3. Visalia will be at it again tomorrow evening at 7 pm as they try to improve to .500 against the Blaze for the second game of this three game series.
Tickets are available at the Rawhide ticket office and online at www.RawhideBaseball.com.