Cal League Baseball: Sixers Comeback Falls Shy… Nuts Sweep

By Steve Wendt
The Modesto Nuts downed the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino 8-7 on Father’s Day to complete a four-game sweep. It was the first time since the two teams began playing in 1987 that Modesto swept a four-game series in San Bernardino.

The Nuts took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first but Inland Empire (30-40) answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. With two outs Matt Thaiss and Michael Barash each singled and Jose Rojas’ ripped a two-run triple to right.

Modesto regained the lead with a single run in the third, another in the fourth and dropped four more in the fifth when Logan Taylor notched an RBI single and Luis Liberato tagged a three-run homer for the 8-2 lead. It was Liberato’s first Cal League homer; Taylor had two singles, a double and three RBI for Modesto (39-31).

Inland Empire got a run back in the bottom of the fifth on Brendon Sanger’s solo homer to right field making it 8-3. It was Sanger’s fifth homer of the season. Inland Empire cut the lead to 8-6 in the eighth inning when Troy Montgomery singled and Taylor Ward walked setting up a three-run home to dead-center. It was Thaiss’ team-leading seventh homer of the year.

The Sixers got another run in the ninth on Ward’s sac fly making it 8-7 and had runners at first and third but Nuts’ reliever Art Warren coaxed a ground out by Thaiss to end the game and earn his second save. Bryan Bonnell (2-2) was credited with the win for Modesto while Sixers’ starter Greyfer Eregua (0-1) took the loss allowing three runs in 2.2 innings.

The Sixers are off until Thursday for the California League All-Star Break. Inland Empire will host Lancaster on the 22nd at 7:05 pm; the contest can be seen and heard live at
Press Release Provided By the Inland Empire 66ers