VISALIA, CA - Emilio Vargas set the tone by striking out the side in the first inning and, from there, the Rawhide pitching staff kicked into gear.
Vargas delivered five innings and struck out a season-high 13 Modesto hitters while allowing two runs on just three hits. His 13 punchouts were more than any other Visalia pitcher had dished out this season and fell four shy of his career-high mark of 17.
Despite a late Modesto comeback attempt, the Rawhide held on to win 6-4.
Matt Brill struck out four, Junior Garcia fanned three, and Tommy Eveld struck out one out of the bullpen. Visalia combined to strike out 21 Nuts hitters, which fell within one strikeout of the California League record set on May 20, 1964 between Salinas and Santa Barbara.
Visalia (47-43/10-10) had previously struck out as many as 16 batters in a game twice this season. Rawhide pitchers recorded at least one strikeout in every inning, struck out the side five times, and punched out two hitters in two additional innings.
Meanwhile, the Visalia offense had turned an early Nuts error into a four-run first inning and a lead that would span the whole game. Modesto (36-54/6-14) struck for a run against Vargas (W, 7-4) in the top of the first, but after an Anthony Jimenez error put two runners on and nobody out in the bottom of the frame, the Rawhide erupted.
Drew Ellis grounded out to bring a run home, then Dominic Miroglio came through with a two-run single up the middle to give Visalia their first lead. Ramon Hernandez followed by shooting the gap in left center to score Miroglio and put the Rawhide up 4-1.
Two innings later, after Luis Liberato had tagged a solo homer for the Nuts, Adam Walton hit a clutch, two-out double off the base of the wall in left center to score Miroglio and Camden Duzenack, which gave Visalia a 6-1 lead and chased Nuts starter Darren McCaughan.
McCaughan (L, 4-7) lost his second straight start and, with only three innings of work, was held to his shortest start of the season. Vargas's win ended a three-start losing streak and was his first win of the second half.
Manuel Pazos hit a two-run shot off of Brill in the seventh to bring Modesto within striking distance, 6-4. Brill walked a pair of Nuts hitters in the seventh and Garcia allowed an infield single to Even White to load the bases for Mariners top prospect Kyle Lewis.
Lewis hit a flyout to left, then Garcia and Eveld (SV, 10) dealt perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively.
Miroglio had a pair of singles, drove home two, and scored a pair of runs while Renae Martinez and Jason Morozowski also contributed two-hit nights. Seven different Visalia hitters recorded a hit.
The Rawhide continue their start against Modesto tomorrow night. RHP Connor Grey (6-5, 5.49) will take the bump against Modesto RHP Ashton Goudeau (0-0, 4.50). First pitch is at 7 PM and tickets are available on Rawhidebaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.