Kings of the Hill: Fresno pitching baffles Visalia 6-1 in Jaden Hill’s debut
Visalia, CA (Wednesday, August 17) – The Fresno Grizzlies (65-45, 24-20) bewildered the Visalia Rawhide (39-71, 19-25) 6-1 Wednesday night from Valley Strong Ballpark. With the win, Fresno improved to 31-7 overall against Visalia in the last two seasons, outscoring the Rawhide 254-159. The Grizzlies have won nine straight against
Visalia, CA (Wednesday, August 17) – The Fresno Grizzlies (65-45, 24-20) bewildered the Visalia Rawhide (39-71, 19-25) 6-1 Wednesday night from Valley Strong Ballpark. With the win, Fresno improved to 31-7 overall against Visalia in the last two seasons, outscoring the Rawhide 254-159. The Grizzlies have won nine straight against their Highway 99 rivals and moved to 12-2 versus them in 2022. Fresno also improved to 14-6 in the second game of a series and 33-5 when allowing three runs or fewer.
In his Grizzlies debut, starter Jaden Hill was unstoppable. The Rockies #10 overall prospect twirled a career-high three scoreless frames, striking out seven consecutive batters. The other two outs he recorded were from an inning-ending double play. He allowed three hits and did not issue a walk (46 pitches, 28 strikes). Tyler Ras followed Hill with a clean fourth, fanning one. Cullen Kafka wrapped up the victory with five sensational innings. The righty permitted one run on four hits and no walks while punching out three. He relished his fifth triumph of the year.
Fresno’s offense supplied six runs on eight hits and four walks. For the second consecutive game, eight of the nine Grizzlies batters reached base safely. In the top of the first, Juan Brito pushed Fresno ahead with a two-run double to center field. It was Brito’s 26th double of the year. The Grizzlies extended their lead to 4-0 in the fourth when Zach Kokoska hammered an opposite field, two-run big fly. It was Kokoska’s 11th wallop of the season. A fielding error in the fifth plated Yanquiel Fernandez and a Cuba Bess sacrifice fly in the eighth provided the other two Fresno runs. Fernandez tallied a pair of hits and runs. Braxton Fulford waltzed home twice as well and threw out one attempted base stealer.
The Rawhide lineup notched seven hits, but only three players picked up those rips. Ivan Melendez and Josh Day roped two hits apiece while Manuel Pena spanked a game-high three hits. Melendez yielded the lone RBI and Pena was the recipient of the run. Peniel Otano (2-7) was tagged with the loss after four innings of work. He gave up a quartet of runs on six hits. The clubs are back in action tomorrow evening from Visalia.
Top Performers: Fresno Grizzlies (Colorado Rockies)
• RHP Jaden Hill (3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)
• Grizzlies bullpen (6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)
• DH Zach Kokoska (1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, SB)
• 2B Juan Brito (1-3, 2B, 2 RBI)
Top Performers: Visalia Rawhide (Arizona Diamondbacks)
• 3B Ivan Melendez (2-3, 2B, RBI, HBP)
• 2B Manuel Pena (3-4, R)
• SS Josh Day (2-4)
Thursday, August 18 @ Visalia Rawhide, Fresno RHP Brayan Castillo (2-4, 5.72) vs. Visalia LHP Yu-Min Lin (1-0, 3.29), 6:30 pm PT
ON THAT FRES-NOTE:
This was the second time this season that the Grizzlies played back-to-back games with the same score (May 26-27 vs. Stockton, L/W, 6-5). This was the only time though that Fresno won each contest with identical scores (6-1).