Visalia, CA - The Visalia Rawhide took a step towards proving that their young, prospect-laden lineup is ready for the California League competition. On back of two three-run rallies and eight doubles, Visalia (1-0) outlasted the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes by a score of 11 to nine.
The Rawhide fell behind 1-0 in the top of the 1st inning, but the Rawhide struck back for three in the bottom of first and never surrendered the lead. Marcus Wilson started the rally with a two-out gift double that left-fielder Donovan Casey lost in the lights. Wilson sped his way to second and, a Daulton Varsho single and Drew Ellis double later, the Rawhide had a 3-1 lead.
Visalia scored in every inning except for the third and eighth, countering for at least one run every time the Quakes scored. The Rawhide plated three in the fourth on RBI singles by Jason Morozowski and Camden Duzenack.
Ellis led the team with three RBIs, doubling twice. Duzenack and Raymel flores drove home a pair, and Morozowski, Wilson, and Daulton Varsho each drove in one run.
Rancho Cucamonga (0-1) fell victim to Sam McWilliams (W, 1-0), who took the ball for the first time in a Rawhide uniform and delivered a solid start, going five innings while allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
His counterpart, Dean Kremer (L, 0-1) was chased with one out in the forth and was tagged for six runs on six hits, three of which were doubles, and walked two with four strikeouts. The Rawhide also got to Parker Curry to the tune of three runs on four hits through an inning and two-thirds and scored one run off of Stetson Allie and Ryan Moseley out of Rancho Cucamonga's bullpen.
Wei-Chieh Huang labored through one-plus innings and gave up four runs on two hits while walking three. Austin Mason pitched a perfect eighth to secure his first hold of the season and, while Josh Taylor (SV, 1) made it interesting in the ninth, he stranded the possible tying run on base to secure Visalia's second consecutive when hosting Opening Day.
The Rawhide host the second-game of the four-game series tomorrow night with 2017 California League All-Star RHP Bo Takahashi (0-0, -.-) tabbed to start for Visalia. RHP Andrew Spoke (0-0, -.-) will take the pearl for the Quakes. First pitch is at 7 PM and tickets are available online at rawhidebaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.