MODESTO, CA - Visalia trailed Modesto 5-2 at the start of the eighth inning and the Nuts had seized all of the momentum by scoring five unanswered runs. Modesto called upon submariner Jack Anderson, who had surrendered two runs to the Rawhide in his last outing against them, and Anderson quickly fell into trouble.
Anderson walked Jason Morozowski, representing the top of the order, and Mark Karaviotis followed with a line drive single up the middle. With two on and nobody out, Grant Heyman, who had struck out in his prior three at bats, hit a ground ball single through the vacated left side of the infield to bring home Morozowski and cut the deficit to a 5-3 Modesto lead.
Austin Byler followed with a soft grounder to first that moved both Karaviotis and Heyman up 90 feet for Henry Castillo, who singled through the right side to score two and knot up the score 5-5. Anderson (L, 0-3) was left in to face Tyler Baker, who tallied his first hit of the game by going the other way with a line drive double to left center that scored Castillo from first and gave Visalia (69-68/33-34) a 6-5 lead.
Colin Poche took over in the bottom of the eighth and retired Modesto (71-66/32-35) in order. Poche (SV, 2) hung around for the ninth and pitched a perfect frame to secure his second save of the week, and his first six-out save of the season.
Visalia had sprung out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Morozowski singled, Karaviotis tripled him home, and Byler grounded out to second, scoring Karaviotis. However, Nuts starter Reggie McClain settled down and didn't allow a run over the final five innings of his appearance. McClain set down eight straight Rawhide batters between the second and fifth innings and worked out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the fifth by inducing a double play ball.
Rawhide starter Cody Reed pitched well through two innings but labored in the third and was tagged for three runs, including a two-run homer by Logan Taylor. Reed was lifted after the third inning with 65 pitches under his belt. Nick Baker took over in the fourth and, with two on and two outs, got ahead of Jordan Cowan by two strikes. But Cowan took a couple of waste pitches and fouled off three of Baker's offerings to eventually draw a walk, which Eric Filia followed with a two-run single to put the Nuts on top 5-2.
Wei-Chei Huang took over for Baker and delivered three no-hit innings of relief. Huang (W, 1-0) retired the side in order in the fifth and seventh and struck out four. The only baserunner he allowed was a hit batsman when he plunked Arturo Nieto to begin the sixth.
With the win, Visalia remains tied with Stockton for first place in the Cal League North Division second half standings. Visalia can make the playoffs by winning more games than Stockton over the final three contests or, if the Rawhide and Ports remain tied at the end of the regular season, by defeating Stockton in a one-game playoff that would be held at Banner Island Ballpark on September 5.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.