Nuts sweep way to California League Finals

Mariners prospects DeCarlo, Curletta go deep in semis clincher

Modesto averaged 7.67 runs per game in the California League semifinals. (Meghan Camino/

By Alex Kraft / | September 9, 2017 1:04 AM ET

Three games into their California League playoff run, the Modesto Nuts are having a blast.

Mariners prospects Joe DeCarlo and Joey Curletta went yard as the Nuts bested Stockton, 8-2, on Friday night at Banner Island Ballpark to complete a three-game sweep of the best-of-5 semifinals.

Gameday box score

Kyle Lewis, Seattle's top prospect, had his second straight multi-hit game with two singles, two runs scored and an RBI. Eric Filia chipped in three hits, while Curletta fell a triple shy of the cycle.

Starter Robert Dugger limited the Ports to a run on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. Matt Walker (1-0) followed and gave up one run on three hits and a walk with four punchouts over two innings for the win.

"It's really exciting to watch all that come through, especially in the postseason," Modesto skipper Mitch Canham said. "Sometimes athletes will play all season and then get really tight in the postseason because it's added pressure and everything, but you can see watching these guys perform that they're having fun with it."

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The Nuts outscored the Ports, 23-11, in the series -- with 19 runs coming in the final two games. Modesto also outhit Stockton, 32-21, in the three games.

"I haven't seen a team come to the yard and prepare the way that they do, both pitchers and position players," Canham said. "If you focus on the process of getting better each and every day, good things will come.

"These guys have a lot of fun together, whether it's on the field or off the field. These guys love one another and they play for the guy next to them, no doubt about it."

Skye Bolt was 2-for-3 with his second homer of the series and two RBIs, while Evan Manarino (0-1) yielded six runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and fanned four in three innings for Stockton.

Modesto will face Lancaster or Rancho Cucamonga in the Finals.

MiLB include

In other California League action

Lancaster 8, Rancho Cucamonga 1

Wes Rogers collected four hits and 19th-ranked Rockies prospect Sam Hilliard chipped in three as the JetHawks surged to a 2-1 lead in the other best-of-5 semifinal. Right-hander Brandon Gold held the Quakes to seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts over seven scoreless innings. Game 4 is Saturday in Rancho Cucamonga. Box score

Alex Kraft is a contributor to Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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