After Bud Jeter had blown a three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, he was able to strand the go-ahead run in scoring position to keep the game tied up at five. His ability to hold the line was critical, as Henry Castillo smashed a lined shot into the left-center field gap to put the winning run in scoring position. With Daniel Lockhart up and a sac bunt on, Castillo advanced to third on a wild pitch, drawing the infield in and, in effect, giving the Rawhide three chances to score one run against lefty Carlos Diaz.
Two pitches later, Lockhart took a 2-2 hanging breaking ball from Diaz (L, 2-1) and blasted his second homer of the season off of the roof of the barn in right-center, sealing the second walk-off win for Visalia on the season, and their first by walk-off home run. The shot gave Visalia (1-0, 37-34) their season-best sixth consecutive win dating back to the end of the first half, and got them started with a victory in the second half standings. Visalia has now also won five of their six straight against San Jose (0-1, 30-41).
Jeter (W, 2-3) blew his third save of the season, holding a 5-2 lead heading into the ninth inning. He surrendered and RBI double to Dillon Dobson and a two-run homer to Gio Brusa with nobody out, but, even with two runners on, was able to preserve the tie.
Cody Reed was solid for Visalia, allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in six innings, walking just one. He left in line for the win. Matt Krook pitched his shortest outing in almost a month for the Giants, going 4 innings and allowing 5 runs on just six hits.
Visalia took a 5-2 lead despite two solo homers by the Giants from Ryan Howard and Jalen Miller thanks to an RBI single by Sergio Alcantara, an RBI double by Austin Byler, and a two-run double by Jason Morozowski. Alcantara also grounded out to bring home an insurance run in the fourth inning.
Visalia’s offense went quiet, not getting a hit between the third and sixth innings, until Byler slashed his second double of the game. He and Alcantara had multi-hit nights for the Rawhide.
The Rawhide will look for their seventh straight win tomorrow and will send RHP Justin Donatella (3-8, 4.33) to the mound against San Jose right-hander Jake McCasland (2-7, 5.61). First pitch is at 7:00 and tickets are still available at rawhidebaseball.com.