VISALIA, CA - After missing a turn through the rotation, Emilio Vargas looked like he hadn't missed a beat on the mound: he set down the side in order in the first and then proceeded to deliver seven shutdown innings as the Rawhide cruised to an 11-0 win over Stockton.
Vargas (W, 4-1) set his season-high by lasting through the seventh inning and tied his season-best mark by striking out nine Ports hitters, including striking out the side in the third. Tonight was Vargas's sixth shutout appearance this season and his ERA now sits at a Cal League best 1.24.
The Rawhide have now won seven of the nine games that Vargas has started following a Visalia loss the day before.
Visalia (29-28) gave Vargas plenty of room to work early on. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Dominic Miroglio worked a tough count against Dustin Hurlbutt and eventually won the nine-pitch battle by taking a walk. Two pitches later, Daulton Varsho hit a high, arcing blast to left that landed in the Rawhide bullpen for his seventh home run of the season, putting Visalia up 2-0.
The Rawhide added two more in the second inning when, with two on and two outs, Camden Duzenack hit a chopper down the third-base line. Ports third baseman Edwin Diaz lost the ball in the setting sun and, once the ball got by him, both Ryan Grotjohn and Mark Karaviotis came around to score. Duzenack cruised into second with a standup, two-run double.
Grotjohn drove in his first run of the season with an RBI single off of Hurlbutt in the fourth inning to plate Karaviotis. At the time, the Rawhide led 5-0 and the end of the fourth spelled the end of the game for Hurlbutt (L, 1-1) who gave up his first earned runs of the season.
Visalia added insurance in the seventh inning on RBI singles by Duzenack, Miroglio, and Varsho. The Rawhide then capped their scoring with three more in the eighth inning: Silverio doubled home Karaviotis and, two batters later, Duzenack hit a two-run homer to left.
The Rawhide scored ten of their 11 runs with two outs and had six hits in ten at bats with runners in scoring position. Visalia had collected just five hits in their previous 21 at bats with runners in scoring position this series.
Duzenack had three hits, finishing a triple shy of the cycle, and drove in five. Silverio, Varsho, and Karaviotis all added two hits apiece and Varsho tallied three RBIs.
Stockton (35-22) lost their five-game winning streak, but still maintain a five-game lead atop the Cal League North with 13 games remaining in the first half.
The Rawhide take a day off tomorrow before starting a six-game road trip in Modesto on Tuesday. Tuesday's game will feature RHP Tyler Keele (0-1, 7.00) for Visalia against a to-be-announced Modesto starter. First pitch is at 7:05 PM on June 5 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.