For the second time in the last three games, the Quakes won a game by a 12-11 score on Wednesday night at Recreation Park in Visalia.
But unlike Saturday’s 12-11 win over Modesto when the Quakes rallied from deficits of 9-1 in the sixth and 11-7 in the ninth, this time the Quakes were trying to hold on.
J.T. Wise’s three-run homer in the seventh gave the Quakes a 10-8 lead. But the Rawhide scored a run in the eighth to make it 10-9. The Quakes got two important insurance runs in the top of the ninth to make it 12-9, then turned the game over to new closer Logan Bawcom.
Bawcom allowed two runs with one out, with Yucaipa High product Matt Davidson’s RBI single pulling the Rawhide to within 12-11. After a walk put runners on first and second, Bawcom retired Jon Mark Owings on a fly ball and he struck out Angel Marte to earn his second save.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Quakes (54-42 overall, 16-10 second half).
The 66ers (44-52, 12-14) meanwhile, won their third straight game, 5-3 over Lake Elsinore at Arrowhead Credit Union Park. Jon Karcich drove in three runs, including a two-run double that snapped a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning. Dillon Baird, in his first game off the disabled list, had an RBI single to tie the game earlier in the inning but was picked off third base.
Ariel Pena (8-3) struck out 10 (with no walks) and allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings, giving him 126 strikeouts for the season. That moves him past Tyler Skaggs (now in Double-A) and Modesto’s Chad Bettis (who had five strikeouts Wednesday) into first place in the league.
Buddy Boshers (double-play grounder on his only pitch), Fernando Rodney (with the team from the Angels on a rehab assignment) and Mike Kenney (earning his first save) did not allow a baserunner the rest of the way to preserve the victory.