Jeff Gelalich was finished accepting congratulations and getting a well-earned drink of water when there was more cause to celebrate.
Gelalich and Blaze teammates Sean Buckley and Sebastian Elizalde blasted back-to-back-to-back home runs in a seven-run fifth inning, but Class A Advanced Bakersfield fell victim to a late Modesto rally in a 9-8 loss.
"I don't think I've ever been a part of that," Gelalich said. "You see it on SportsCenter and stuff, but to be a part of it was really cool. While it was happening, you don't believe it that it was actually happening. You always hear about it, but you never see it."
Bakersfield trailed, 5-1, entering the fifth inning against Modesto's Ben Alsup. Yovan Gonzalez doubled home a run and Zach Vincej reached on a run-scoring fielding error by shortstop Patrick Valaika. That brought Gelalich to the plate with two men aboard, and the right fielder belted his first home run at the Class A Advanced level to right field. Buckley followed with a shot to right.
"It was the first pitch of his at-bat that I saw and he hit it, and we thought it had a shot," Gelalich said. "It barely squeaked over the fence, but it was pretty cool."
Just moments later, the Blaze struck again.
"Me and Buckley were talking, 'Hey, back-to-back, that's awesome,'" Gelalich said. "We didn't even think we were going to go back-to-back-to-back. I was getting a cup of water and the next thing you know, a crack, and [Elizalde's] goes out. Everyone in the dugout was going crazy."
Despite the big inning, Bakersfield couldn't hold off Modesto's charge. Sean Dwyer cranked a two-run homer for the Nuts in the top of the sixth, and Jordan Ribera mashed a two-run shot in the ninth to take the lead.
Jon Keck (1-2) picked up the win after allowing one hit over one frame and Rayan Gonzalez struck out two in a perfect ninth to earn his sixth save.