VISALIA, CA - Nathan Bannister joined the ranks of Nick Neidert, Pablo Lopez, and Reggie McClain from the series in Modesto last week as a Nuts starter that has dealt one of his season-best games against the Rawhide this year.
Bannister (W, 4-5) dealt a career-high eight scoreless innings tonight, scattering nine hits and striking out seven to give Modesto (48-36, 9-5) their ninth win against Visalia (41-43, 5-9) this season. He pitching only two scoreless innings, once in the first and again in the sixth, and allowed as many as two hits in an inning twice. But was able to work his way through the traffic and silence the Rawhide bats for his second shutout performance in his past three trips to the mound.
Jose Almonte (L, 5-7) was the tough luck loser tonight, as he only made one true mistake: a seeing-eye single by Gianfranco Wawoe that found its way up the middle to plate both Modesto runs in the third inning. Almonte set down the Nuts in order twice, striking out seven hitters over his six-innings to bump his league-leading mark to 107 punch outs on the season. Only one man reached second base after the third against Almonte.
After a power surge beginning in Stockton over the weekend, Visalia's bats were quiet tonight. The Rawhide totaled nine hits tonight, all of which were singles. Marty Herum and Matt McPhearson led the way for the Rawhide with two hits apiece. Every hitter in the Visalia order tallied at least one base knock with the exception of last night's heroes, Grant Heyman and Matt Jones, who both had no hits in four trips to the plate.
Visalia had the tying run on base in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh and eighth. But they were unable to come up with the clutch hit to put a run on the board.
Yoan Lopez made his Rawhide debut by tossing two shutout innings of relief and J.R. Bradley worked a perfect seventh inning, striking out two.
This is the fifth time in the past six meetings with Modesto that the Nuts have held the Rawhide to one run or fewer, and is the first time that they have shut out the Rawhide this year. For Bannister, who is making his pro debut after missing 2016 with arm soreness and a heavy workload in the College World Series with the University of Arizona, it was his second shutout performance of the year and his second win against Visalia this season. Almonte is now winless in three starts against the Nuts, but pitched his best start against Modesto tonight.
The Rawhide will look to win their second series of the season against Modesto tomorrow night and will send RHP Nick Baker (1-0, 3.68) to the mound against Seattle Mariner's third-ranked prospect RHP Nick Neidert(6-3, 3.10). First pitch is at 7:00 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.