STOCKTON, CA - Somebody forgot to tell Rawhide pitcher Connor Grey that the calendar changed over to September today. After putting up an outstanding 2.45 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP over five starts in August, Grey continued his late-season push by tossing another gm in Stockton.
Grey gave the Rawhide seven shutout innings while surrendering just one hit, a leadoff single to Viosergy Rosa in the second, and walking one. He struck out nine, falling just shy of striking out at least ten hitters for the fourth time this year.
Between the second and fourth, he made six consecutive outs by the strikeout. After a walk to Brallan Perez in the third, Grey didn't allow another baserunner, retiring each of the final 12 hitters he faced in succession.
But Visalia (68-70/31-37) gave Grey only one run of support despite some chances against Ports starter Kyle Friedrichs. The Rawhide put runners on in every inning until the fifth and were held hitless in nine at bats with runners in scoring position, stranding nine.
The lone Visalia run came on a solo blast by Jasrado Chisholm off of Friedrichs on the first pitch he saw in the first inning. It was Chisholm's ninth homer in a Rawhide uniform and his 24th this season between Class A Kane County and Visalia. From there, Friedrichs buckled down to deliver 6.1 solid innings, holding the Rawhide to four hits, walking two, and striking out five.
Once Grey left the game, Stockton (77-61/33-35) took advantage. Greg Deichmann took Jason Creasy deep for a solo homer to left to tie the game at one.
Patt Krall and Angel Duno (W, 3-2) combined to shut the Rawhide down in order in the ninth and tenth innings respectively.
Breckin Williams made short work of the Ports in the ninth to send the game to extras, but a controversial call to open the tenth opened the door for Stockton to win it. On a sacrifice bunt attempt by Luke Persico, Williams (L, 0-1) pounced off the mound, spun, and fired the ball to Drew Ellis at third. Though Chase Calabuig, who started the inning on second, beat the throw, he appeared to slide past the bag. Ellis kept the tag on, but Calabuig was ruled to be safe.
Rosa followed two pitches later with a line drive that hit off the webbing of Pavin Smith's glove at first and trickled into right. The Ports had walked off 2-1.
Rosa had two of Stockton's three hits, while no Visalia player put up a multi-hit effort. Chisholm's homer extended his hitting streak to eight games and Ramon Hernandez doubled off the wall for a hit in his sixth consecutive game.
San Jose walked off on Modesto at Municipal Stadium meaning that, despite Visalia's loss, the Rawhide have clinched a spot in the 2018 California League Playoffs. They will play Stockton in the Divisional Round as they look to end the franchise's 40-year championship drought.
The Rawhide will host at least one playoff game, starting with a contest on Friday, September 7. Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday night and special Playoff Push Ticket Packages are on sale now through rawhidebaseball.com.
The series in Stockton continues tomorrow night when RHP Cole Stapler (0-7, 4.80) takes the bump against Ports RHP Xavier Altamirano (5-5, 6.08). First pitch is at 7:10 PM and the live radio broadcast will be 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.