Lancaster, CA. - Thanks to some heavy lifting by the offense, the Modesto Nuts were able to weather a six-run ninth to defeat the Lancaster JetHawks 13-6 on Tuesday night at The Hangar in game one of the 2017 California League Championship Series.
A trio of doubles in the second inning sparked the Nuts' (4-0) offense to send Modesto to their seventh straight win dating back to the final three games of the regular season. Donnie Walton started the rally with a hustle double before scoring the first of his three runs. Joey Curletta drove him in with a RBI double. Curletta added a two-run double in the fifth.
Joe Rizzo completed that stretch with a RBI double of his own. Rizzo finished 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI.
Luis Liberato capped the second with a two-run homer. The Nuts beat Peter Lambert (L, 1-1) for seven runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings.
The Nuts continued the blowout in the sixth with six runs taking advantage of three walks and two HBPs.
Meanwhile, Nathan Bannister (W, 2-0) dominated the JetHawks (3-2) over six shutout innings. He got the help of three double plays while working around just five hits with one strike out and no walks.
In the ninth, Marvin Gorgas and Matt Walker struggled to throw strikes. As a result, three walks came into score including two on Sam Hilliard's three-run homer. Chris Rabago added a RBI double, but after ten hitters in the inning, the Nuts finally shut the door to take game one.
Game two of the California League Championship Series is Wednesday night against the JetHawks. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. Coverage on ModestoNuts.com will start at 6:15 p.m. Listen live online on your phone, tablet or PC by CLICKING HERE.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.