Blaze drop the series to the Giants
The Blaze dropped 2 games of the 3 game series to the San Jose Giants which resulted in the Cal League Standings standing pat and squandering an opportunity for the Blaze to move up. The second game showed a lot of grit with the Blaze as they came back after losing 17-7 the night before to literally blast themselves to a win. Back to back homers by Eric Campbell and Henry Rodriguez bolstered the Blaze offense and Ryan LaMarre hit a long ball that he didnt even think was a homer until the umpires both re-assured him of the bomb. It had hit a sign and bounced back into play. Bottom line, it was a great effort by Bakersfield and they truly wanted to make up for the debacle of the previous night by swinging hard.
Defensively, LaMarre also added an amazing catch up against the wall in centerfield which is not a simple task in the lights of Sam Lynn. The ballpark has extremely low lights and outfielders quite frequently lose the ball above the lights during night games. Lance Janke also gave a stellar 6.2 inning performance on the mound allowing only 3 runs on 6 hits while striking out 7 and most impressively walking none. It was unfortunate that such a solid performance didnt result in a win for Janke, but his handling of the hot hitting San Jose Giants proved to be a difference maker in giving the Blaze the “W.”
Unfortunately on Sunday the Blaze were not able to take the series from the Giants, which would have been the perfect ending and response to the game one blowout. The Giants Chris Heston out duelled Josh Ravin by lasting a few innings longer. It’s a sad result for Ravin who carries a 3.31 ERA but a 1-2 record and no decisions in some of his greatest games of the season. Whereas the Blaze hit 4 homers on saturday, they only got two extra base hits and both were doubles. It wasnt a bad effort, but the Blaze just couldnt get enough offense together to compete with the Giants offensively.
All in all it was a very good series and a showcase of talent in the California League. The San Jose Giants have 9 of the Giants top 20 prospects, including the top two pitching prospects in the organization, Zach Wheeler and Jose Casilla. This team is obviously very good, especially in the pitching department and the team has won the last two California League Championships. The Blaze had some errors and some pitching that had rough innings but there is still a lot of baseball listen and it will be really interesting to see these two match up again at the end of the month.