Visalia, CA. - Thanks to a strong start from Nick Wells, the Modesto Nuts took game one of a four-game series with a 5-3 win over the Visalia Rawhide on Monday night at Recreation Park.
Wells (W, 2-2) did not record a perfect inning but was able to scatter six hits while walking one and striking out five. The only run he surrendered scored in the fifth when he balked home Jason Morozowski.
Gareth Morgan spotted Wells an early lead when he crushed a two-run homer in the second inning against Riley Smith (L, 4-5). Smith retired ten in a row after the homer before the Nuts pushed across two more runs in the sixth against the Rawhide (46-43; 9-10) starter.
Luis Liberato walked, Evan White reached on an error and Kyle Lewis singled to load the bases. Anthony Jimenez drove in a run on a fielder's choice that could have been a double play. After Jimenez beat out the potential double-play ball, Kevin Santa laid down a suicide squeeze to score Lewis.
Pavin Smith made it interesting when he ripped a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth. Liberato added a sac fly in the top of the ninth for insurance.
Anthony McIver (S, 1/2) worked around two errors by striking out the final two batters in the scoreless ninth inning to nail down the Nuts' second straight win.
The Nuts continue their four-game series with the Rawhide on Tuesday night. First pitch for game two is set for 7:00 p.m. Coverage on ModestoNuts.com will start at 6:55 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.