VISALIA, CA - Immediately following a bases-loaded walk to Marcus Wilson, and with the bases still loaded, Ramon Hernandez crushed the first pitch he saw form Lancaster starter Trey Killian into left. The ball skipped past Lancaster left fielder Vince Fernandez and kicked up against the wall, clearing the bases and putting the Rawhide on top 4-0.
Hernandez pounded out two more hits, one of which was a solo home run to left, and the Rawhide rolled to a 10-5 win.
Visalia (12-8) continued to drive in runs against Lancaster, the top offensive team in the California League. Hernandez blasted his solo homer (3) in the fourth inning and Camden Duzenack drove in a pair of runs with a double in the fifth. Duzenack later came home to score on an infield single by Hernandez.
Pavin Smith added a solo shot (3) in the sixth inning, his third home run in his last five games, to cap the Rawhide scoring. He also ignited the five-run second inning for the Rawhide by drawing a walk off of Killian.
Killian (L, 0-2) labored in the second inning and lost command of the zone. He walked three hitters and hit one before Hernandez cleared the bases with his double. Killian lasted through the fourth and was on the hook for six runs, marking the second time this season he has allowed six runs.
Visalia starter Connor Grey (W, 4-0) danced in and out of trouble, but gave up a season-high four runs over his 5.1 innings. He benefitted from JetHawks baserunning errors in the first and second innings that both resulted in fly-ball double plays. Grey struck out four Lancaster batters.
Lancaster (10-10) strung together four doubles off Grey in the fourth inning and had Manny Melendez on second base representing the tying run with two outs. But Melendez was caught trying to steal third to end the inning.
The JetHawks added a run in the seventh when Max George hit his second home run of the series off of Tyler Mark. Josh Taylor locked down the ninth after allowing a leadoff single by inducing a 3-6-3 double play to end the game.
Every Rawhide hitter had at least one hit while Hernandez led the way with the first four-hit game by a Rawhide player this season. Mark Karaviotis collected his second three-hit game of the year, capping it off with an eighth-inning double to left center.
The win keeps the Rawhide on pace with the San Jose Giants atop the Cal League North division, as Visalia trails San Jose by a half game going into the series finale against Lancaster tomorrow. With the Giants taking a day off, the Rawhide have a chance to move into a tie for first.
Visalia will conclude the series against Lancaster with a rubber match tomorrow evening, with RHP Sam McWilliams (1-1, 2.25) starting against Lancaster RHP Rico Garcia (2-1, 3.27). First pitch is at 7:00 PM and tickets are still 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.