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The Bakersfield Blaze got hot, smoking a blistering five hits with runners in scoring position, and beat up on the Visalia Rawhide in an easy victory on Sunday night, 8-2, at Recreation Park in Visalia.
The Blaze began the scoring quickly, with a rapid burst in the top of the 1st inning. With one out, Juan Perez singled, Seth Mejias-Brean doubled him home for his third RBI in two games with the Blaze, and Juan Duran smashed a colossal two-run homer to dead center, all off Rawhide starter Keith Hessler (L, 7-6).
In the 2nd inning, the Blaze added one more. Local boy, Brent Peterson collected a one-out single, took second on a grounder, and scored when Junior Arias singled to centerfield, putting the Blaze ahead early, 4-0.
The Rawhide slashed one run off the lead in the bottom of the inning on a circus play. With one out and a runner at first, Ryan Stovall looped a shot down the leftfield line. Kyle Waldrop raced over to pick it up, spun around and threw to second base, but no one was there to cover the bag. The ball rolled forever, seemingly traveling through downtown Visalia, and the Rawhide scored a run on the kooky play.
Visalia tacked on another, their only other run, in the 3rd on Gerson Montilla's 19th homer of the year, that off Blaze starter Jacob Johnson (W, 7-6). From that point, however, the Blaze went to work.
A run in the 4th on a single, walk, and a wild pitch put the Blaze back up by three, and three additional single runs scored late - one each in the 7th, 8th, and 9th - to go up by the final margin.
The runs in the 7th and 8th came off Conrad Flynn. Juan Perez bashed an RBI triple to plate Junior Arias in the 7th, and Yovan Gonzalez came up with a key hit in the 8th to plate Juan Duran.
In the 9th, Cody Wheeler allowed the final run in the 9th. Arias tripled high off the wall in center, and Perez brought him in with a base hit to left.
For the Blaze, a relieving contingent of Ben Klimesh and Sean Lucas worked the final three scoreless innings to secure the win.
The victory is the third in four nights for Bakersfield, a team ending the season strong with a nice push.
The season comes to its conclusion on Monday afternoon with a 2:00pm start time in Visalia. Fabian Williamson gets the nod in the finale for Bakersfield, and Daniel Watts for the Rawhide.
Make sure to listen to the final game of the year, as Dan Besbris brings the call live over internet only at BakersfieldBlaze.com - the pregame show begins at 1:55pm.
Information provided by the Bakersfield Blaze.