Modesto, CA. - A four-run first-inning rally gave the Modesto Nuts a lead they would not relinquish in an 8-3 win over the Visalia Rawhide on Tuesday night at John Thurman Field.
With the win, the Nuts (59-75; 29-35) move into a tie for second with the Rawhide (66-68; 29-35) sitting one game back of the Ports with six games to go in the regular season.
After Darren McCaughan surrendered a pair of two-out runs in the top of the first, the Nuts came back with four runs in the bottom of the first against Rawhide starter Riley Smith (L, 8-6).
Kevin Santa and Jordan Cowan started the inning with singles. Luis Liberato drove in the first run with a RBI single. After Anthony Jimenez walked to load the bases, Joe Rizzo drove in a run with a RBI groundout.
The big blow in the first inning came from Manny Pazos. With runners at second and third, Pazos bounced a ball up the middle that the second baseman Luis Alejandro Basabe fielded in shallow center allowing Liberato to score. Jimenez continued around third while Basabe held the ball. His throw to the plate was high and Jimenez was able to score on a two-run infield single.
Smith went six inning allowing seven hits leading to five runs with five walks and three strikeouts.
McCaughan did not allow another run and left the game in the fourth with the tying runs in scoring position.
Jack Anderson (W, 2-4) entered and quickly got Drew Ellis to fly out to end the threat.
Spencer Herrmann (S, 1/1) checked into the game for the Nuts in the eighth inning with a pair of runners on and a three-run lead. He allowed a RBI infield single before getting the final out of the eighth and working a clean ninth.
The Nuts opened the game up in the bottom of the eighth inning when Santa drove home a run on a single and Jordan Cowan plated two runs with a double.
The Nuts host the Rawhide in game two of the three-game set on Wednesday night. First pitch in Modesto is at 7:05 p.m. Coverage on ModestoNuts.com will start at 6:50 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.