Eighteen outs from elimination, things did not look good for Visalia on Tuesday night. But nobody told the Rawhide that.
"These guys are resilient. They've been resilient all year. They just keep battling," Visalia manager Bill Plummer said. "I mean, tonight they were down, 5-1, and they came back."
After a four-run fourth inning tied the game, David Peralta delivered a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth as the Rawhide beat San Jose, 6-5, to force a decisive fifth game in the California League North Division Finals.
Sean Jamieson smacked a three-run homer in the big fourth inning and Evan Marzilli added a solo shot three batters later.
"These guys did a great job," Plummer said. "They hung in after they were down early."
Seth Simmons replaced starter Andrew Barbosa after five innings and allowed one hit while striking out a pair over two scoreless frames. Kaleb Fleck stepped in and fanned three over two one-hit innings.
"The bullpen was outstanding. They shut them down, absolutely," said Plummer.
With the score still tied, Kevin Medrano led off the Rawhide ninth with an infield hit and moved to second on a sacrifice by Gerson Montilla. The Giants elected to intentionally walk D-backs No. 11 prospect Jake Lamb and Peralta foiled the strategy with a hit that Plummer was virtually sure would score Medrano. But things got interesting.
"Peralta hit the ball hard -- it was a line drive up the middle," the manager explained. "Medrano, he fell down, actually."
As Medrano gathered himself after slipping between third and home, Giants center fielder Jesus Galindo bobbled the ball.
"Fortunately for us," Plummer said. "It ended up working out."
Visalia was coming off back-to-back losses, including Monday's 9-2 home setback. Now the Rawhide go to San Jose for Game 5 on Wednesday.
"[Game 4] is a big win," Plummer said. "It gives a chance to move on to the next level, if we can get by them tomorrow. It's just one more game."
Ricky Oropesa helped build the Giants' early lead with a three-run homer, his third in as many games.
In other action:
Lancaster 6, Inland Empire 1 (10 innings)
The JetHawks also rallied to force Game 5 in the South Division Finals. Trailing, 1-0, heading to the eighth inning, Lancaster tied it on doubles by Joe Sclafani and Carlos Perdomo, who reached base four times.
The JetHawks batted around in the 10th, getting four hits, four walks and a sacrifice fly. Brandon Meredith, who finished 3-for-4, plated two runs with his second double of the night.