STOCKTON, CA - For the first time in several years, the possibility of a postseason for Visalia is looking extremely likely. Andrew Barbosa and the rest of the pitching staff stifled the bats of the Stockton Ports, securing a 3-1 victory in Stockton on Monday night to take three out of four game on the series. With the win, the "magic number" for the Rawhide has been reduced to 1. All that is needed is a Rawhide win or a Stockton loss over the next seven games and Visalia will find themselves in the postseason for the first time since 2007.
Kevin Medrano led off the game with a single and would score on a one-out single from David Peralta, giving the 'Hide a first inning, 1-0 lead over Raul Alcantara (L, 5-4) and the Ports.
Andrew Barbosa (W, 10-9) pitched a strong six innings, allowing zero runs just two hits while walking five batters and striking out seven. He ran into trouble in the bottom of the first when he issued three straight walks to load the bases with just one out. Luckily, he was able to get Antonio Lamas to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and keep the Ports off the board.
The Rawhide would load the bases in the third inning with nobody out, but could only come away with one run on a 6-4-3 double play. In a pitcher's duel, every run can prove to be extremely valuable. Alcantara pitched seven strong innings, giving up just two earned runs on six hits and three walks.
Visalia extended their lead when Jake Lamb hit an RBI-single off reliever David Mota, plating Kevin Medrano to give the Rawhide a 3-0 lead.
Barbosa finished his six-inning outing strong, retiring nine of the final 11 batters he faced. The Ports could only muster one more hit after Barbosa's departure, as the bullpen did an excellent job in holding on to the Rawhide lead. Seth Simmons and Kaleb Fleck combined for a scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively, allowing no hits and issuing just one walk a piece.
R.J. Hively (S, 12) came in to shut down the Ports in the ninth. He gave up a lead off triple to Antonio Lamas which threatened the shutout. Despite striking out the next two batters, Hively threw a wild pitch that allowed Lamas to come home and score. Hively struck out Phil Pohl to end the game and any chance of a comeback for the Ports.
The Rawhide will head to San Jose for the start of a three-game series against the Giants. They return home on Friday night for the final homestand of the regular season. Get your tickets now at RawhideBaseball.com!