The Bakersfield Blaze collected their first series win of the year, knocking off the Inland Empire 66ers in two of three midweek games, capped by an easy 6-0 win on Wednesday night at Sam Lynn Ballpark in Bakersfield.
The Blaze desperately needed a low-stress ballgame, and thanks to starter James Allen (W, 1-1), they got just that. Allen came out of the gates quickly, and never slowed down, retiring the first six batters he faced on the night before allowing a harmless double.
Meanwhile, the Blaze bats came alive, and consistently, over the course of the entire night.
Bakersfield put the first run on the board in the 2nd inning, when Yorman Rodriguez lined a shot just over the wall in leftcenter. Then, in the very next frame, Chris Berset doubled, Juan Perez doubled him in, and Ryan Wright picked up his first of three hits on the night, scoring Perez, and putting the Blaze up 3-0.
The game turned to a battle of arms for the middle innings, with Allen slithering through the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th without event, and his counterpart, Kramer Sneed (L, 1-1), doing likewise through the 5th.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Blaze began to add to their lead. Ryan Wright began the inning with a mammoth homer to left, his first of the year, to put the Blaze up 4-0, and after a move to the pen, the Blaze tacked on two more in the 7th on a walk, a double, and a single. On the night, Juan Perez had two doubles, and has four in his last two games, and Ryan Wright picked up his first three-hit game of the year.
The game moved quickly to the finish from there, with Mike Dennhardt and El'Hajj Muhammad taking care of the 8th and 9th for the Blaze.
With the win, the Blaze improve to 3-11 on the season, and win their first series. The team now heads on the road for seven games - four in Lancaster and three in High Desert - beginning Thursday night at the Hangar. Make sure to tune in to the Thursday night action at BakersfieldBlaze.com, where Dan Besbris will bring you LIVE play by play ten minutes prior to first pitch at 7:00pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.