By Steve Wendt
The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino could not overcome four errors in a 6-5 loss to the Modesto Nuts on Wednesday at John Thurman Field. The 66ers pitching staff held the Nuts (12-8) to just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position but extended innings took their toll as half of the runs scored were unearned.
Inland Empire (8-12) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third when Matt Thaiss ripped a two-RBI single to center against Nuts’ starter Nathan Bannister. The liner came on the 11th pitch of the at-bat. Jared Foster then smoked a two-run double to the wall in left center to give the 66ers a 4-0 advantage. Modesto got three runs back in the bottom of the inning aided by a pair of errors by IE third baseman Jake Yacinich to make it 4-3.
Yacinich did his best to make it up in the top of the fourth when he blasted a ball off the wall in center that then kicked hard back toward the infield. Yacinich flew around the bases and slid in with an inside-the-park homer, his second HR of the year to make it 5-3.
The Nuts however got two run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game on sac fly by Braden Bishop and bloop double by Gianfranco Wawoe for a RBI. IE starter Austin Robichaux went 3.2 IP allowing three earned runs on five hits with one walk and one K.
The Nuts took the lead in the sixth when an errant throw to first by IE 2B Cody Ramer allowed a runner to score against Ty Barkell (0-1) in his 66ers’ debut. The righty from Aurora, CO went 2.1 IP surrendering the unearned run on two hits with a walk and two Ks. Joey Strain (1-1) earned the win out of the pen for Modesto with three shutout frames. Lukas Schiraldi tossed two scoreless innings for his first save of the year. Thaiss and Foster each had two hit games for Inland Empire.
The series concludes at 7:05 pm on Thursday. The contest can be heard live at 66er.com.
Press Release Provided by the Inland Empire 66ers