VISALIA – Despite the threat of showers, a crowd of 1,865 came out to Rawhide Ballpark on Thursday night to watch the Visalia Rawhide beat the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 6-2 on Opening Day.
The story once again was pitching. Andrew Chafin (2-0) was brilliant in his second start of the season, tossing six scoreless innings, surrendering just three hits, and striking out nine batters. The Quakes (3-5) could not solve Chafin all night. The southpaw struck out the first five batters of the game and faced just two above the minimum.
Marc Bourgeois got the Rawhide (5-2) on the board in the bottom of the second inning with a little help from Quakes right fielder Nick Akins. With Raywilly Gomez on first base, Bourgeois doubled to right field and Akins had trouble fielding the ball, allowing Gomez to score to give the Rawhide an early 1-0 lead.
Visalia struggled to sustain any rallies for a while, as they kept missing out on scoring chances. After stranding 10 runners through six innings, the Rawhide finally cashed in on in the 7th. With two men on, Yazy Arbelo smoked a fastball in the gap in left-center field for a 2 RBI-double. Borgeois immediately followed with a well-hit ball of his own, as he legged out an RBI-triple, making it 4-0 Rawhide.
The Quakes finally got on the board in the top of the 8th via an RBI-double from Casio Grider. However, the Rawhide would respond right back in the bottom of the frame courtesy of back-to-back RBI hits from Jon Griffin and Bobby Borchering.
Rancho threatened to make it a game in the bottom of the 9th with three straight hits. But Tony Delmonico hit a line drive straight to first baseman Jon Griffin for an unassisted double play, killing any potential rally.
Both teams will go at it again tomorrow, pending any potential weather delays. Quakes starter Andres Santiago (0-0) is slated to square off against Rawhide starter Anthony Meo (0-0). Stick around after the game for the first post-game fireworks show of the season! Tickets are on sale at www.RawhideBaseball.com .
Courtesy: Visalia Rawhide