VISALIA, CA - Brandon Gold and Emilio Vargas were locked in a pitcher's duel for the first three innings before Wes Rogers took Vargas deep to put Lancaster on top.
Behind Gold, the JetHawks cruised through the first seven innings and used a four-run seventh to beat the Rawhide 6-1.
Gold (W, 7-6) tossed seven strong innings and held Visalia to one run on just five hits while striking out seven. He set down the Rawhide in order four different times and retired each of the final four Visalia hitters he faced. Gold has now faced Visalia three times this year and has held the Rawhide to a combined two runs over 21 innings.
Vargas dealt one of his best starts of the second half, but made one mistake that cost him the decision. With a runner on third and two outs, Vargas (L, 7-5) took a full count to Rogers. On the payoff pitch, Rogers blasted a two-run shot over the left field wall, putting Lancaster (50-50/17-13) on top for good.
Vargas went 5.2 innings and allowed just three JetHawks hits while striking out seven and walking one. He departed after striking out Luis Castro with his 98th pitch of the night.
The lone Rawhide offense came from Jasrado Chisholm, who launched a solo home run to right in the sixth inning. At the time, it cut the deficit to 2-1. But the JetHawks rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh to put the game away.
Visalia (49-51/12-18) peppered the ball around the ballpark but mustered six hits. Chisholm and Adam Walton both collected a pair of hits for the Rawhide.
The loss marks the seventh straight series opening loss for the Rawhide. Vargas has now lost three decision where he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in the second half.
The Rawhide continue the series tomorrow night. RHP Connor Grey (7-6, 5.48) will start for the Rawhide against JetHawks LHP Ty Culbreth (5-3, 5.19). First pitch is at 6:00 PM and tickets are available on rawhidebaseball.com.
The Visalia Rawhide are a professional baseball team in the Class A Advanced California League and are the only professional sports team in Tulare and Kings counties. The team has been an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2007 and is entering their 72nd year of play in 2018. The Rawhide renovated their home at Recreation Ballpark in 2009 and have since become the largest gathering of individuals in Tulare County, having set an attendance record for the seventh time in the past eight seasons in 2017. In 2018, the Rawhide look to continue their reputation for hosting competitive baseball while providing affordable family entertainment. To be a part of the 2018 Visalia Rawhide season, please contact the Visalia Rawhide Ticket Office at 559.732.4433, visit us online at rawhidebaseball.com, or follow us on Facebook (TheRawhide), Instagram (@VisaliaRawhide), and Twitter (@VisaliaRawhide).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.