Wandy Peralta tossed a gem, Jeff Gelalich provided the offensive spark, and the Bakersfield Blaze kept their postseason alive with a 7-3 road win over the Visalia Rawhide on Monday night.
For the first time in the series, the Blaze drew first blood against Rawhide vaunted starter Brandon Sinnery (L, 1-1), when Marquez Smith drilled an RBI single to score Beau Amaral and the Blaze led 1-0.
Two innings later, Bakersfield added a run on a Sean Buckley double for a 2-0 lead.
The Rawhide came back with a run in the home half, breaking up Wandy Peralta's (W, 1-0) bid at a shutout on a solo homer.
The 6th, however, turned out to be the big inning. The Blaze forced Sinnery out of the game after just 5.0 innings, and the Rawhide had to turn to middle relief. Johnny Shuttlesworth was the first man out of the pen, and he ran into trouble. A double and two walks loaded the bases, and after the Blaze were unable to capitalize on Sunday, Jeff Gelalich made sure that would not be the case on Monday. The former Bruin drilled a three-run double to right, and the Blaze led 5-1.
Visalia nibbled a run back in the 7th to make it 5-2, but Gelalich smacked a solo homer just moments later to put Bakersfield back up by four, and a final run in the 9th gave the Blaze their seven, that final run coming on a Sebastian Elizalde base hit.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Moran worked two innings of relief, and El'Hajj Muhammad finished it off with a one-run 9th.
The Blaze season continues thanks to the Monday evening win, as the Rawhide now lead the Northern Division Finals 2 games to 1.
Game 4 is set for Tuesday night in Visalia. Another 6pm start will pit Layne Somsen against Andrew Barbosa.
The broadcast is available online at 5:55pm. Dan Besbris has the call via BakersfieldBlaze.com and TuneIn Radio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.