VISALIA, CA- 2021 is the first season in which the previously High-A California League now operates as the Low-A West League. If Fresno is Visalia’s biggest rival in this new era for Central Valley baseball, then Rancho Cucamonga is their greatest nemesis. In the previous 13 games versus the Low-A
VISALIA, CA- 2021 is the first season in which the previously High-A California League now operates as the Low-A West League. If Fresno is Visalia’s biggest rival in this new era for Central Valley baseball, then Rancho Cucamonga is their greatest nemesis. In the previous 13 games versus the Low-A affiliate of the World-Champion Dodgers, Visalia went 2-11 heading into Wednesday night’s game. All 13 contests, however, weren’t with the new Visalia roster that was constructed after the 2021 MLB draft.
Almost everything seemed to go right for the Rawhide during their 5-2 victory Wednesday night, especially pitching with Adrian Del Moral. He went five innings with seven strikeouts and only two earned runs in perhaps his finest performance of the year so far, almost neutralizing a team with seven of the Dodgers top-30 prospects including five who played Wednesday.
Scott Randall, who came into the game in relief of Del Moral, pitched 2.2 innings of zero run, one-hit ball, and earned the win in the 2021 7th round pick’s first appearance with the team. Hugh Fisher, another pitcher who has seen his performance skyrocket over the last month, closed out the game pitching 1.1 innings with only two hits and zero runs given up. Fisher picked up the first save of his career.
Fielding was more than just “not a problem” for the Rawhide on Wednesday, it was a complete strength. Leaping catches to rob the Quakes of potential doubles and triples, scooping up groundballs as soon as they became live and overall communication among the defense led to zero errors by the Rawhide.
The longball was a common theme throughout the second game of the final series versus Rancho; both teams combined to hit four homeruns with Visalia knocking in three, thanks to three familiar faces: Ramses Malave, Glenallen Hill Jr. and Jeferson Espinal. All Rawhide batters besides Ryan Bliss managed to get a hit, and even he was able to get on base after getting walked in the bottom of the 1st, one of a mere five combined walks given up by both teams.
Visalia plays Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night in game three of the six-game series at 6 PM pacific time.