Highlights: Christian Arroyo got on base three times and the San Jose Giants came back three different times to make this game competitive.
San Jose lost to Visalia (Diamondbacks), 6-5 in Game 1 of their 5-game Series; Visalia leads, 1-0
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It was a rough opener for the San Jose Giants in their Best of 5 series with the Visalia Rawhide. After surviving a rough start, the Giants had crawled back into the game multiple times, but had the rug pulled out from under them.
San Jose starter Jordan Johnson had trouble right from the get-go. The second batter of the game, Visalia second baseman Jamie Westbrook, homered to put Visalia up 1-0, and a two-out single and double had the Rawhide up 2-0. But San Jose would fight back.
In the third, Chuckie Jones doubled to lead off the inning, advanced to third on Christian Arroyo's fly ball, and scored on a Daniel Carbonell ground out. In the fourth, Brian Ragira and Jonah Arenado hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, and a sacrifice bunt and then a sacrifice fly by Ty Ross scored a runner and tied the game.
However, the bottom of the fourth saw Johnson give up a sacrifice fly to tie the game. San Jose bounced back again in the top of the fifth, with Arroyo walking and Angel Villalona doubled him home to tie the game again at 3. The bottom of the fifth saw the Rawhide repeated what the Giants did, with a walk setting up an RBI double, to put Visalia back up 4-3.
The score remained until the 7th inning, when Seth Harrison led off the inning with a single, and came around on an Arroyo sacrifice fly. Once again, the score was tied.
In the 8th, reliever Carlos Diaz came in, and gave up a one-out triple. He gave up an RBI single to give Visalia the lead again. After a walk, he was replaced by Jeff Soptic. Soptic gave up a single, letting a second run score, and Visalia went up 6-4.
In the top of the ninth, and down once again, the Giants had a two-out rally. Chuck Jones hit a single with two out, and after advancing to second on defensive indifference, scored on an Arroyo single. But Daniel Carbonell struck out to end the game with that tying run left on base.
Game 2 will be played Sunday in Visalia. Christian Jones has been announced as the starter for San Jose, his first start of the playoffs. He had a 3.50 ERA for the season in San Jose, but only made three starts for the team, 34 appearances in relief.
For the Rawhide will be 26-year old Luke Irvine, who has had an interesting career path. A 27th round pick by Tampa Bay in 2011, he played just one year with the Rays organization, before moving to Indy ball for two years. He spent 2014 in Japan, and pitched for the independent Somerset Patriots this season before the Diamondbacks purchased his contract. He had a 3.41 ERA in 22 starts with Somerset, and a 2.13 ERA in two starts with Visalia this season.