VISALIA, CA - Visalia staged a comeback after falling behind early, but a six-run deficit proved to be too much and the Rawhide fell 8-6 in the series finale against Inland Empire.
The 66ers held a 7-1 lead as late as the fourth inning and, with a bases-loaded walk to Mark Karaviotis and a two-run single by Ramon Hernandez, the Rawhide started to claw their way back into the contest.
By the bottom of the seventh, Visalia trailed 7-6 and had runners on second and third with one out. But a stout 66ers bullpen held the line by striking out Luis Alejandro Basabe and inducing a groundout from Raymel Flores to end the threat.
Inland Emipre (24-23) tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth to take an 8-6 lead. Drew Ellis walked for Visalia (25-22) in the bottom of the ninth but was left on as Aaron Cox (SV, 2) shut the door in the midst of a six-out save.
Luis Silverio paced the Rawhide offense with his first three-hit game of the season, smacking two doubles while driving home two runs and scoring two of his own. Basabe and Pavin Smith added a pair of hits as well and Basabe added a RBI.
Smith, Silverio, and Basabe, who batted sixth, seventh, and eighth, combined to go seven for fourteen, accounting for more than half of the Rawhide hits and half of the club's RBIs.
Inland Emipre got to starter Tyler Keele (L, 1-0) early by scoring seven runs, five earned, in four innings to spoil Keele's Rawhide debut. Wei-Chieh Huang took over in the fifth and turned in his best outing of the season: pitching three shutout innings with five strikeouts.
Zac Ryan (W, 2-0) came on for 66ers starter Nate Bertness in the fourth and held the Rawhide to one run over 2.1 innings.
The Rawhide will hit the road for a seven-game road trip tomorrow, starting with a three-game set in Modesto. First pitch will be at 7:05 PM and will feature RHP Emilio Vargas (3-0, 0.98) against Nuts RHP Reggie McClain (1-2, 5.08).
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.