Blaze fizzles out

Designated+hitter+Justin+Seager+walks+off+the+field+for+the+final+time+as+a+member+of+the+Bakersfield+Blaze+organization.%0APhoto+by+Ben+Patton%2FThe+Runner

Designated hitter Justin Seager walks off the field for the final time as a member of the Bakersfield Blaze organization. Photo by Ben Patton/The Runner

Peter Castillo

Reporter

 

In the final game played at the historic Sam Lynn Ballpark, the Bakersfield Blaze were defeated by the Visalia Rawhide by a score of 6-3 in front of a crowd of 1,272.

Visalia swept the series 3-0.

There was a heightened sense of tension in the ballpark as players and fans were both well aware of the fact that this could be the last game played in Bakersfield.

Blaze’s Osmer Morales delivers a pitch against the Visalia Rawhide. Morales went 4 2/3 innings and had seven strikeouts in the game. Photo by Ben Patton/The Runner

The raw emotion from the fans was palpable.

“The support we’ve gotten from the fans was incredible,” said Blaze second baseman Jay Baum. “Tonight was another example they were louder than ever.”

The Blaze jumped out to a quick start with a first inning home run to straight away center field off the bat of shortstop Drew Jackson.

It was his first home run of the playoffs.

Although taking an early lead, Blaze starting pitcher Osmer Morales couldn’t hold it.

He allowed a pair of solo home runs in the top half of the third inning to allow Visalia to take a 2-1 lead.

Morales was chased in the fifth after allowing four more runs to score.

He pitched 4 2/3 innings, surrendered five hits allowed, six earned runs, one walk and finished with seven strikeouts.

He took the loss.

Outfielder Chantz Mack gives a fist bump to a Blaze fan following Monday's 6-3 loss to the Visalia Rawhide at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Mack went four of five hitting with a solo home run. Photo by Ben Patton/The Runner
Outfielder Chantz Mack gives a fist bump to a Blaze fan following Monday’s 6-3 loss to the Visalia Rawhide at Sam Lynn Ballpark. Mack went four of five hitting with a solo home run.
Photo by Ben Patton/The Runner

The Blaze had plenty of opportunities to score some more runs as they had 14 hits.

However, they could not cash in those baserunners in crucial situations. The team left 12 runners on base and grounded into two double plays.

The Bakersfield bullpen held Visalia scoreless for the rest of the evening.

After tossing an inning of scoreless relief in the ninth, pitcher Thyago Vieira, reflected on his time in Bakersfield.

“We feel bad because baseball has been played in Bakersfield for a long time, so we hurt for the fans,” said Veiria.

Although the season ended on a sour note, the Blaze players found many positives in their final season in Bakersfield.

“We had a really good year; we won the second half, and we won the wild card round. It was a lot of fun,” said designated hitter Justin Seager.

Seager is the older brother of Los Angeles Dodgers’ shortstop Corey Seager.

Visalia will now move on to the California League Finals.

They will play the winner of the Lancaster and High Desert series.