San Bernardino, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers fell behind 3-0 in the first inning to the Visalia Rawhide on Tuesday and had no answers for the opposing pitching staff en route to a 6-1 loss and a three-game sweep. Inland Empire mustered just two runs in the three-game set and fell for the fourth consecutive game dropping its season record to 27-32.
The Rawhide (29-30) got going in the first when leadoff man Sergio Alcantara's fly to right was dropped. After Inland Empire starter Luis Pena (2-6) struck out the next batter Tyler Baker then singled. After Alcantara was cut down at the plate on a fielder's choice Henry Castillo tripled in two runs and Grant Heyman doubled him home for a 3-0 lead. The runs were all unearned but it took Pena 40 pitches to get out of the frame. The Rawhide added two more in the third when Castillo delivered an RBI single and Heyman tagged another RBI double to chase Pena. Jeremy Rhoades settled things down for the Sixers on the hill tossing 2.2 perfect innings of relief with five Ks. He has been perfect over his last 4.2 IP with eight Ks.
The Sixers scored their lone run in the eight Jordan Serena reached on an infield hit and moved to second on Brennon Lund's infield single. Serena advanced to third on a fly ball and scored when Matt Thaiss legged out a potential double play ball for a RBI. Rawhide starter Justin Donatella (2-7) stifled the 66ers over 6.2 innings allowing no runs and just four hits and a walk with five Ks. At one point the former UC San Diego righty retired 14 consecutive batters.
The Sixers open a series Thursday at Lancaster with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm. The contest can be heard live at 66ers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.