On the Brink of Extinction
No matter the level of baseball, every element in each game of a short series tends to be magnified.
The Bakersfield Blaze knows all about this now after they lost Game 1 at San Jose, 5-3.
A strong pitching staff has carried the Blaze in long stretches in '16, but the offense on Wednesday evening was unable to provide much along the way.
Osmer Morales set a new season-high by striking out 11 batters, but the Blaze couldn't manufacture anything after the third inning.
Drew Jackson's single and Chantz Mack's double in the opening frame got the team from Bakersfield in business, but Jay Baum's ground out to second base resulted in the only run scored against Jordan Johnson in a sketchy half inning.
Bakersfield then strung together two more runs on four hits in the third inning to extend their advantage to 3-0 as the end appeared to be close for Johnson.
With three runs on seven hits against in three innings of work, Johnson settled down and gave his team a spirited chance.
Like they have all season long, T.J. Bennett and Dylan Davis delivered some big body shots to get wake the home fans up.
Bennett's solo home run in the third inning was followed by Davis' solo blast in the fourth.
A 3-0 deficit didn't appear to be insurmountable after the two heavy sluggers helped San Jose crawl right back into the affair.
The sixth inning was the tipping point in a game that both clubs struggled to find traction in.
Morales walked the ninth batter in the lineup, Rando Moreno, before punching out Robbie Garvey and Heath Quinn.
Needing one more big pitch to get out of the frame, Morales couldn't find the mark.
A single by Bryan Reynolds, walk to Dylan Davis, and another single by Miguel Gomez got the Giants in front 4-3.
After 109 pitches, Morales was at the end of the rope and so were the Blaze.
Aramis Garcia's infield single against Kody Kerski was an insurance marker, but it was not necessary on a cool night in San Jose.
The Blaze staff struck out 16 Giants batters, had 12 hits on offense, but they couldn't muster up the crucial blow to take the first game of a best-of-3 series.
On the brink of elimination, Bakersfield will try to force a deciding Game 3 at Sam Lynn Ballpark as they send Zack Littell to the mound in Game 2.
Dan Besbris and David Gascon will provide all the action on TuneIn Radio and BakersfieldBlaze.com with first pitch scheduled for 7:15pm.
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California League Stories from September 8, 2016
- Chopper's Curse Still Hangs over Visalia 38 Years Later - Visalia Rawhide
- On the Brink of Extinction - Bakersfield Blaze
- Blaze Lose Opener, Thursday Could be Final Game EVER - Bakersfield Blaze
- Quakes Win Take 1-0 Lead in Best-Of-Three - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
- Giants Rally for Game 1 Victory over Blaze - San Jose Giants
- Jethawks Fall to Quakes in Game 1 Marathon - Lancaster JetHawks
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