Legends On Deck

Diamondback’s Prospects Perfect, Almost

In the days of innings limits and pitch counts, its hard for the lower level minor league pitchers to go out there and complete a game they start.  Even if they are perfect.  Three pitching prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization found that out on Wednesday night.

The Visalia Rawhide, Class-A affiliate for the Diamondbacks in the California League, squared off against the Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego Padres) in league action on Wednesday.

Joel Payamps got the start for the Rawhide and was mowing them down through five innings.  He didn’t allow a single base runner and struck out eight along the way.  With a perfect game going, Visalia’s manager Shelley Duncan had to do what no manager ever wants to do.  He had to take Payamps out of the game.

Duncan handed the ball over to 25-year old Kirby Bellow who responded by throwing 2.1 perfect innings of his own.  Below kept the Storm of the bases and added three more strikeouts to the Rawhide’s growing total.  Once again Duncan was forced to remove a pitcher that was perfect, and this time called upon Cameron Gann.

Gann, who is in his second season with Visalia, has two wins to his credit in 2017 already.  With the score still knotted at 0-0 in the eighth inning, He fired off 1.2 innings of perfect ball also striking out four giving the Rawhide 15 on the night.

After Visalia broke onto the scoreboard in the top of the 10th inning on the strength of a Matt Jones two-run homer to brake the tie.

With nine innings of perfect baseball on the line, the Rawhide turned the ball over to Bud Jeter to try and keep it in tact.  With one out in the bottom of the tenth, Jeter serves up a triple to Lake Elsinore’s Chris Baker ending the perfect game.

Now with the perfect game broken up, Visalia still had work to do to secure the win.  Jeter was able to get the next two Storm batters out giving the Rawhide the win while picking up his second save of the season.

John Ginder
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