The Nuts pulled out a ninth inning nail-biter of a win to stay alive in the chase for the Cal League Championship. Starter Josh Mueller didn't feature great control, walking three and striking out just one over four and two thirds, with three hits on top, but the damage was limited to the two Bakersfield runs scoring in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the inning, Delta Cleary Jr. singled in Juan Crousset, and the two outfielders would repeat this in the sixth to tie the game. Cleary Jr. had three hits in the game.
Craig Bennigson, Kurt Yacko and Adam Jorgenson put together three and two thirds innings of solid relief through the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, Timothy Smalling recorded his third hit and would score on a Dallas Tarleton single. Isaiah Froneberger closed the game out with just a single allowed. Other notes include a multi-hit game for Joey Wong and two Modesto runners being thrown out at home in the game. The final game of the series is played today in Modesto; the winner advances to the final series.
In contrast to the Modesto game, Asheville clobbered their opponents, nearly shutting them out 10-0, with Greensboro scoring three runs off Tyler Gagnon in the ninth. Daniel Winkler hasn't gotten a lot of prospect attention from those of us here at Purple Row, but last night he demonstrated why he's captured the attention of some other evaluators in the webverse. He allowed five hits and a walk over seven innings while notching 12 strikeouts. William Rankin pitched a clean eighth.
Taylor Featherston and Trevor Story led the offense to success. Featherston was 4 for 4 and scored three of the Asheville runs. Story homered and doubled, and scored four more runs, reaching base in a variety of ways. The bottom of the lineup succeeded at bringing in the runs, with Samuel Mende, William Swanner, Jared Simon and Ryan Casteel combining for eight runs batted in. The South Atlantic League Championship series is now tied 1-1. The teams are off today as they travel to Greensboro for the final games of the series.