Hidden Ball Trick and Walks Doom Pacifics
Pittsburg, CA – Last year as a member of the Lake County Captains, Pittsburg Diamonds’ second baseman Ordomar Valdez made news by pulling off a rare hidden ball trick to end a game. Last night in the top of the ninth with the tying run on second, Valdez executed the play again, tagging out a stunned Josh Eatherly.
Despite recording just four hits, the Diamonds took advantage of eight walks issued by Pacifics pitching, scoring three runs from those walks to edge San Rafael 3-2.
“Having the hidden ball trick pulled on us was unfortunate, but when you walk eight as a staff you put yourself in a tough spot” said Pacifics manager Matt Kavanaugh. “Every run that scored for them reached base on a walk, so that shows how important it is for us to command the strike zone.”
San Rafael starter Dakota Freese and Pittsburg starter Tyler Stirewalt kept the game scoreless in the first two innings, but the Diamonds struck first thanks to walks and good fundamental baseball. Freese walked the first two he faced and Jose Garcia sacrificed both runners up to second and third. With the infield back, Ordomar Valdez grounded out to short, bringing home the first Pittsburg run without the benefit of a hit.
The Pacifics tied the game in the fifth, after Eatherly singled, stole second and scored on a one out single from Kyle Adie.
Pittsburg retook the lead in the seventh in large part due to more walks from Dakota Freese. With one out, Freese issued two walks and surrendered a single to load the bases for J.J. Wagner, whose groundout brought home the go ahead and making it 2-1 Diamonds.
San Rafael tied the game for the second time in the eighth. Jake Taylor started things with a single and moved to third on Michael Rizzitello’s double down the left field line. With one out, Brandon Montalvo pinch hit and hit a fly out to medium left. Taylor barely beating the throw in with a head first slide, locking the game at two apiece.
In the bottom of the eighth, Pittsburg unlocked the tie, as Michael Holback issued a leadoff walk to Caleb Bryson, who scored three batters later on another RBI ground out from Wagner.
Josh Eatherly laced a leadoff single against Pittsburg closer Jordan Brink and then stole second with one out.
With Eatherly representing the tying run, Brink and the infielders conferenced on the mound, but as Eatherly a short lead from second, Valdez put a tag on Eatherly and showed the ball to field umpire Danny Speck, who called Eatherly out.
“I won’t say how I feel about it right now,” said a clearly exasperated Kavanaugh after the game. “It shouldn’t have happened. Let’s leave it at that.”
Kyle Adie grounded out to end the game.
The Pacifics return home tomorrow for a weekend series against Sonoma.
Friday’s 7:05 P.M. start is Lung Cancer Awareness Night, presented by Marin Cancer Care, and the first 250 fans will receive knit Pacifics/Lung Cancer Awareness beanies.
Saturday, June 17th is our “Best Team on Grass” tee shirt giveaway courtesy of Scot Candell and Associates, and on Sunday it’s our annual Fathers’ Day celebration. Kids and parents can play catch on the field before the game with the Pacifics players and the first 250 dads will get a beer mug courtesy of Budweiser.
For tickets, go to pacificsbaseball.com.