SAN BERNADINO, CA - Jordan Zimmerman hit a pair of home runs for Inland Empire and Julian Leon added a three-run shot as the 66ers shut out the Rawhide 7-0 tonight.
Inland Empire (36-39/3-2) got going early thanks to Zimmerman's first shot of the game, a two-run blast in the first off of Emilio Vargas. Vargas settled down after the first and made it to the fifth with the Rawhide trailing 2-0, striking out six 66ers hitters along the way.
But in the fifth top Angels' prospect Joe Adell tagged a two-out line-drive single over the leaping third baseman Drew Ellis to score Leon and put the 66ers up 3-0.
Vargas (L, 6-2) would surrender a solo homer to Zimmerman in the sixth and a subsequent single to Jonah Todd. Against his final hitter of the night, Vargas struck out Connor Justus swinging on a fastball. The punchout was the 400th of his now six-year career.
Carlos Bustamante relieved Vargas and walked David Mackinnon before allowing the three-run homer to Leon. The blast put the Rawhide behind 7-0 and they never recovered.
Vargas ended up being on the hook for a season-high five runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. Tonight's runs were the first that he had allowed in the month of June, ending a streak of 21 straight innings without a run allowed; Vargas also put up 22 straight scoreless innings in mid-May.
Visalia (40-35/3-2) never got the offense clicking, mustering just three hits. Pavin Smith provided two of the hits: a ringing double off the top of the right field wall to lead off the fourth and a two-out single in the eighth. Ellis hit a one-out single in the second.
Matt Brill also made his Rawhide debut on the mound and struck out the side in order in a perfect eighth inning.
The Rawhide will continue the four-game trip to Inland Empire tomorrow evening. RHP Connor Grey (5-4, 4.61) will be on the hill for the Rawhide against RHP Simon Matthews (0-2, 10.03). First pitch will be at 7:05 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.