MODESTO, CA (September 5th, 2013) -- The Nuts gave everything they could to keep their season alive, but in the end lost to Visalia 3-2 in 12 innings on Thursday night at John Thurman Field.
With the defeat, Modesto's season comes to an end following a two game sweep by the Rawhide in the best-of-three North Division Mini Series. The Nuts went 75-65 in the regular season.
Tied at two in the top of the 12th, Rawhide first-baseman Tom Belza hit what ending up being a game-winning double against Patrick Johnson (0-1). Conrad Flynn (1-0) worked a perfect bottom of the inning to nail down the victory for Visalia.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Nuts catcher Will Swanner dramatically kept the season alive by swatting a game-tying solo home run against Rawhide closer R.J Hively. Matt Wessinger followed with a bloop double to give Modesto a chance to win it, but Hively got Massey to ground sharply to second to send the game to extras.
Flynn took over the the 10th and after allowing a one-out single to Brian Humphries, retired Modesto in order the rest of the way.
Bruce Kern worked around a lead off single in the the 10th to fire a scoreless inning, and Patrick Johnson struck out Kevin Medrano with the bases loaded in the 11th to keep it tied. Johnson returned in the 12th, and after giving up a lead-off single to Kevin Medrano, retired the next two hitters before giving up the fateful double to Belza.
Nuts starter Chris Jensen battled through five innings, allowing just two earned runs on five hits. Nelson Gonzalez, Kraig Sitton, and Scott Oberg combined for four scoreless innings to keep it tied heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Visalia's Andrew Barbosa carried a shutout into the sixth until the exited with runners at the corners, with Simon's RBI single coming against Seth Simmons to get Modesto on the board.
The game featured a whopping 33 strikeouts, with Modesto racking up 17 on the mound. Both teams had plenty of offensive chances as Visalia went 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position, while the Nuts went 2-for-10.
For information on the 2014 Modesto Nuts, including season tickets, you can call (209) 572-HITS. The schedule for next season will be available soon on ModestoNuts.com.