Clark, Nuts force decisive Game 3

Rockies farmhand hits go-ahead three-run double for Modesto

By Robert Emrich / Special to | September 6, 2012 9:55 PM ET

Jared Clark kept coming back to one word to describe the Nuts' win Thursday: Resiliency.

Clark's bases-clearing double gave Class A Advanced Modesto the lead for good en route to a 9-8 victory over San Jose to even up their best-of-3 first-round series.

With the Nuts trailing in the bottom of the sixth inning, 7-6, Clark -- a 12th-round pick by the Rockies in 2009 -- drove the ball into left field. The 26-year-old first baseman finished 2-for-5 on the evening.

"They brought in one of their guys that was throwing really hard and I was trying to put my foot down early. I put it down the line and that was it," Clark said. "I was trying to get a hit, I had bases loaded, one out. Worst-case scenario, I wanted to hit a fly ball. I really wanted to put a good swing on it and put it in the outfield and get that tying run home."

After dropping Game 1 on Wednesday, the Nuts fell behind twice in the game, and at one point, were four innings from elimination.

"We knew we wanted to get ahead of them early but we have a lot of fight in this club and we showed a lot resiliency tonight," Clark said. "Battling back, they took the lead, we took the lead and then they took the lead. We put up a lot of good at-bats.

"We were good, we were behind each other, is the best way to put it. We weren't down. If we're going to lose in the playoffs, we're going to fight. We showed a lot of resiliency tonight."

In a game that featured a combined eight relievers, Isaiah Froneberger's performance was a key component of the Nuts' victory. The 23-year-old left-hander entered the game after the club had scored in the sixth and allowed one hit over the next two innings, quieting a Giants' offense that had 11 hits over six innings prior to that.

"I even said in the dugout after we took the lead, that was the biggest inning of the game, the top of the seventh," Clark said of the reliever's performance. "Isaiah has been huge for us all year. He put up a zero, which was the most important thing, and kept the momentum in our direction, which was big."

Geoff Parker was credited with the win, allowing a run on three hits over 2 1/3 innings. Adam Jorgenson allowed an unearned run on a hit in the ninth to close out the game.

Timothy Smalling slugged a three-run homer and Rafael Ortega, the Rockies' No. 19 prospect, homered for the second straight game and scored three runs for Modesto.

Adam Duvall drove in a pair of runs and Joe Panik, the Giants' No. 6 prospect hit an RBI double for the Giants.

Modesto will host Game 3 on Friday, with the winner going on to face Bakersfield.

In other California League playoff action:
Lancaster 5, Lake Elsinore 1

Erik Castro snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the eighth inning as the JetHawks evened up their best-of-3 series. Jonathan Meyer added a two-run homer and Jiovanni Mier was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Everett Williams singled home the Storm's only run. Box score

Robert Emrich is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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