VISALIA, CA - Trialing 1-0 in the second, a bad hop helped Pavin Smith to a leadoff single. Then on the first pitch, Drew Ellis hit a high, arcing blast down the left field line.
There was no question of whether it would be gone, only if it would stay fair. Ellis's blast (11) hooked just inside the foul pole and put the Rawhide up 2-1. Jason Morozowski tacked on with a solo shot of his own three hitters later, giving Visalia (49-49/12-16) a 3-1 lead.
The Rawhide would add on with an RBI single by Renae Martinez in the fourth and a sacrifice fly by Pavin Smith in the eighth to cruise to a 5-2 victory.
Clay Buchholz dished six strong innings in his first rehab start while coming back from a strained oblique muscle. Buchholz (W, 1-0) surrendered just two runs on four hits while striking out six. He set down seven straight between the second and fourth innings and induced a double play in the fifth to escape a jam from a leadoff single.
Once Buchholz handed the lead off to the Rawhide bullpen, the game started to feel like a familiar script. Junior Garcia and Tyler Mark both struck out a pair over scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth respectively. Then Tommy Eveld (SV, 12) put up a perfect ninth to lock down a 5-2 Visalia win.
The Rawhide won for just the second time in the second half while totaling fewer than ten hits. Buchholz, Garcia, Mark, and Eveld combined to hold Inland Empire (47-51/14-14) to just six hits.
Dominic Miroglio once again led the charge for the Rawhide offense, doubling in a two hit night and scoring a run. Renae Martinez singled in the fourth to pick up his sixth RBI and Arizona's third-ranked prospect Jasrado Chisholm tripled into left-center to open the eighth in his Rawhide debut.
66ers starter Adrian De Horta (L, 0-1) was tagged for four runs on five hits over five innings.
The Rawhide will look for their first series win since July 4 tomorrow night in the rubber match of the series. Visalia will start RHP Matt Peacock (3-0, 4.09) against Inland Empire RHP Simon Mathews (1-3, 5.46). First pitch is at 7:00 PM and tickets are available on rawhidebaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.