VISALIA, CA - The Rawhide were down to their final strike three times against the Nuts in the bottom of the ninth, and twice a Visalia hitter reached to extend the game.
With two outs and a run already in, Stephen Smith tripled into left center field to bring home a run. Marcus Wilson followed by reaching on an error by third baseman Joe Rizzo that scored Smith. Despite trailing by five runs to start the frame, the Rawhide were behind by two runs and brought the tying run to the plate.
But down to his final strike, Camden Duzenack grounded out to short, the comeback was ended, and the Rawhide fell 8-6.
Visalia (34-32) never led thanks to early offense from the Nuts, who struck for a pair of runs in the second inning against Connor Grey. Modesto would tack an extra run in the third and fifth innings and put together a four-run rally in the seventh to put the game out of reach.
Grey (L, 5-4) retired one batter in the fifth and was tagged for four runs, three of which were earned, on 11 hits while striking out seven. He departed with two runners on base but neither scored thanks to Miguel Aguilar, who induced an inning-ending double play from Bryson Brigman.
Modesto (29-37) had at least one baserunner in every inning and tallied a season-best 17 hits.
Visalia's early offense came from the home run. In his first at bat since coming off the DL, Ramon Hernandez crushed his team leading ninth home run to left to get the Rawhide on the board in the third. Drew Ellis followed suit in the fourth inning by blasting a solo shot to left center.
Randy Bell lasted through six innings for Modesto and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits. Bell (3-3) earned his first win since May 17.
Stephen Smith, Pavin Smith, and Mark Karaviotis all put up multi-hit efforts for Visalia. Karaviotis hit a ground-rule double in the ninth inning. For the second straight night, eight different Rawhide players collected a hit and all nine position players reached safely.
Tomorrow the Rawhide will turn to LHP Robbie Ray on rehab assignment from the Arizona Diamondbacks against a still to-be-determined Modesto starter. First pitch is at 7 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.