Stapler delivers quality start despite bad luck
By Vinnie Longo
VISALIA – The Modesto Nuts took an early lead and held on, using a five-run eighth inning to put the game out of reach and beat the Rawhide 8-4.
Modesto (50-68/20-28) never trailed at any point in the game and recorded six infield singles, including four in the second that gave them their first lead of the game. The Nuts plated two in the frame against Rawhide starter Cole Stapler and added on a third run in the fourth.
Stapler (L, 0-4) pitched better than the numbers indicate, going a career-high 6.2 innings while holding Modesto to three runs on nine hits with five strikeouts.
Mason McCullough and Erbert Gonzalez combined to face ten hitters in the eighth and the Nuts blistered them for five runs on six hits, including a Nick Zamarelli double that was the only extra-base hit of the game.
Visalia (57-61/20-28) scored in the second inning thanks to a single by Luis Alejandro Basabe, but were held quiet for most of the game after that. Nuts starter Reggie McClain (W, 4-10) allowed four hits over his first two innings but surrendered no more after that, dishing six innings while striking out a season-best nine Rawhide hitters.
Chisholm put up two hits and drove home a pair for Visalia while Adam Walton and Basabe also added a pair of hits.
The Rawhide turn to RHP Riley Smith (6-5, 3.66) tonight, Aug. 11, for the middle game of the series. Modesto will counter with LHP Nick Wells (4-3, 6.05). First pitch is at 7 p.m. and tickets are available on rawhidebaseball.com.