Visalia Rawhide Eliminated from Cal League Playoffs
Jun 19, 2014; Omaha, NE, USA; TCU Horned Frogs first baseman
(0) sits in the dugout after losing to the Mississippi Rebels during game ten of the 2014 College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha. Mississippi won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
On the same night the Missoula Osprey captured the Pioneer League Championship, another Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm team tried advancing in their title hunt. Unfortunately for the Visalia Rawhide, their season came to an early end. The Rawhide dropped a decisive Game 5 to the San Jose Giants by a score of 6-5 in 11 innings, thus falling short of reaching the California League finals. This comes after Visalia took a two games to none lead on Sunday.
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Visalia won the first game of the series by a score of 6-5. Anthony Banda allowed three runs over six innings with left fielder Stewart Ijames went 3 for 4 and second baseman Jamie Westbrook adding a solo home run. On Sunday, Visalia’s Lucas Irvine was brilliant, tossing a complete game shutout and striking out 12 hitters in lifting his team to a 1-0 victory. On Monday, the series shifted to San Jose where the Giants got even by scoring a run in the bottom of the ninth to win by a score of 5-4. Rawhide shortstop Domingo Leyba contributed a two-run homer in defeat. Game 4 was also decided in extra innings as Angel Villalona‘s solo home run in the bottom of the 13th gave San Jose another dramatic 5-4 victory and even the series. Westbrook blasted a three-homer, his second long ball of the series, in defeat. In the clincher, San Jose led 5-2 after five innings only to watch as the Rawhide chip away and finally tie the score in the bottom of the eighth inning. DH Gerson Montilla contributed a two-run blast and catcher Tyler Baker added a solo shot for Visalia. Unbelievably, Villalona won the game again for the Giants by hitting a tie-breaking home run.
Visalia finished with the best overall record in the league with a mark of 84-56. They won both halves of the North Division with an identical 42-28 record. The bitter, heart-breaking defeat should not detract from the great season skipper J.R. House (the Manager of the Year) and the rest of the Rawhide enjoyed.