Schmidt's Bat Leads Rawhide to 6th Straight W

The Visalia Rawhide scored at least a dozen runs for the second straight game as they defeated the Stockton Ports 13-8 Wednesday. The victory brings Visalia's win streak to six games and leaves them 3.5 games ahead of Modesto for first place in the California League's North Division.

Konrad Schmidt and the Visalia Rawhide offense overcame a shaky start from converted reliever Bryan Shaw by dropping 13 runs on the Stockton Ports.  Schmidt, a catcher normally known for his defensive contributions, played first base and batted cleanup on Wednesday. 

And boy, did he ever clean up.  Schmidt laced a two-run double in a five-run first inning in which he later scored on an Ed Easley groundout. Stockton retaliated with five runs of their own in the top of the third off Shaw, who was having problems with his command.  William Spottiswood got out of Shaw's jam in the third, but surrendered two runs of his own in the fourth.

After manufacturing a run in the bottom of the inning, the Rawhide would pull ahead for good in the fifth.  Four hits, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and a reach-on-error would all come around to score in an inning capped by Schmidt's two-out, three-run homer to left field.  In his last eight games, Schmidt has gone 12-for-33 (.364) with eight runs scored and nine driven in.

That go-ahead inning would give Spottiswood his third victory of the young season, as Chase Christianson and Jordan Norberto would combine for just one run allowed in the game's final four innings of play.  The Rawhide have outscored their opponents 50-18 on this six-game winning streak that has coincided with their homestand.  They are now 11-1 at Recreation Park for the season.

The Raw Facts

* Both teams batted .500 with runners in scoring position.  Visalia went 8-for-16 while Stockton went 5-for-10.

* Collin Cowgill had three hits, three RBI, and two runs scored hitting in front of Schmidt.  Cowgill is now third in the California League in both runs (24) and RBI (23).

* Spottiswood surrendered the Rawhide's 10th homer of the season, which is still the lowest total in the California League.  The Mavericks' Joseph Dunigan has hit 12 this year already by himself.

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