VISALIA, CA - After putting the tying run on base yesterday, the Rawhide still battled back after suffering a seven-run top half of the 12th inning from Lake Elsinore. Thanks to singles by Henry Castillo and Matt McPhearson and a walk by Sergio Alcantara, the Rawhide were able to load the bases with nobody out for Grant Heyman, trailing 9-2 in the bottom of the 12th.
Heyman muscled a bloop-single to center to bring in one run and then Galli Cribbs grounded out softly to short to bring in a second run and shave the deficit to 9-4. Matt Jones then hit a broken bat flare to left to score both Alcantara and Heyman and make it a 9-6 game. Just like that, the Rawhide had the tying run on deck with Austin Byler at the plate. Jones took second on defensive indifference and third on a wild pitch when, with two strikes, Byler smoked a line drive up the middle. Storm second baseman Chris Baker got a good jump and then leapt into the air to make a snow-cone catch to end the ballgame.
Lake Elsinore (43-44/8-9) sent the Rawhide to their fourth straight loss and put Visalia (41-46/5-11) five games below the five-hindered mark for the first time this year as well as seven games out of first in the Cal League North Division second-half standings.
The Storm put up a seven run top of the 12th inning against Keegan Long (L, 1-1) who suffered no earned runs due to a game changing error. With a 2-2 score, a man on first, and nobody out, Wilfri De La Cruz hit a tailor-made double play grounder to third that slipped under the glove of Fernery Ozuna and into left. Kyle Overstreet then singled to left to give the Storm their first lead since the seventh inning. Long would get two of the next three hitters, and intentionally walked Taylor Kohlwey in between the two outs, to load the bases with two outs for Javier Guerra. Guerra worked an 11 pitch at bat and walked to bring in another run to end Long's night. Austin Mason came on and allowed a two-run single to Michael Gettys and a towering three-run home run to Austin Allen to give the storm a seven-run inning and a 9-2 lead.
Neither starter factored in the game as Storm southpaw Logan Allen went 6.2 innings and allowed only a two-run homer to Fernery Ozuna in the seventh. Tyler Badamo gave up a two-run shot to De La Cruz in the second inning but then settled in to go seven strong for the Rawhide to earn his first quality start.
The Rawhide had the go-ahead run in scoring position in the eighth inning when Marty Herum hit a one-hopper to the wall in left-center, but Jones and Byler would strike out. McPhearson doubled down the line to begin the tenth inning to put the winning run in scoring position, but once again the Rawhide couldn't bring home the run.
The Rawhide will continue the series against the Lake Elsinore Storm (A-Advanced, San Diego Padres) tomorrow night. It will match up Visalia RHP Justin Donatella (4-8, 3.84) and Lake Elsinore RHP Jake Esch (1-0, 3.60). First pitch is at 6:00 and tickets are still available on rawhidebaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.