MODESTO, CA - For the first time this year, the Rawhide were sent to extra innings and, by virtue of a fielder's choice, Modesto walked off to defeat the Rawhide 4-3.
The Rawhide carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the tenth and, in accordance with the new rules adopted by Minor League Baseball, Modesto's Donnie Walton began the inning on second base. After Keegan Long issued a walk to Manny Pazos to lead off the frame, Bryson Brigman laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt that moved Pazos and Walton to second and third respectively.
Evan White followed by hitting a soft chopper to short that was going to score Walton from third. But Camden Duzenack attempted to catch Pazos at third with a basket-style toss. Pazos beat the tag of Ramon Hernandez, putting the winning run at third with one out.
Two pitches later, Joe Rizzo chopped a grounder to second that was hit too softly for Raymel Flores and Duzenack to turn a double play, with Rizzo beating Duzenack's throw by a step. Pazos came home to score, sending Modesto (3-6) to a walk-off victory.
Long (L, 0-1) didn't give up a hard-hit ball or a hit in the inning, but was saddled with the loss for Visalia (5-4). It was the first trip to extra innings for the Rawhide this season, and their first look at the new rules that place a runner at second base to begin each inning after the ninth. Visalia had cashed in on the advantage when Ramon Hernandez singled home Pavin Smith in the beginning of the frame off of Seth Ellidge (W, 1-0).
Riley Smith delivered a solid start in his second turn through the rotation, striking out six Nuts hitters over 5.2 innings. Smith had cruised through five innings without allowing a Modesto hitter to pass first base. But with Visalia leading 2-0 in the sixth, Modesto put together a rally to load the bases with nobody out.
Smith struck out Logan Taylor for the first out of the inning, but Nick Zamarelli hit a sacrifice fly to bring in one run and Johmbaker Morales blooped a double into short right to tie the game at two.
The Rawhide offense had provided Smith with a run of support in both the fourth and fifth innings when Flores singled home Stephen Smith and Hernandez hit a solo homer respectively. Visalia put a runner on base in every inning against Modesto starter Danny Garcia, but Garcia was able to hold off the Rawhide hitters from getting the one big hit to break the game open.
Austin Mason and Josh Taylor were both solid for the Rawhide out of the bullpen. Mason went 1.1 innings and a struck out three while allowing only run hit and Taylor struck out four over two strong frames.
Visalia continues the series in Modesto tomorrow night and will match up RHP Connor Grey (1-0, 1.50) on the mound against Nuts RHP Darren McCauchan (0-1, 1.93). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM and the live radio broadcast will be available on rawhidebaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.