By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Kyle Waldrop of the Bakersfield Blaze doubled in the ninth inning and scored to break a tie on Marquez Smith's single in a 10-9 victory over the host Modesto Nuts at John Thurman Field.
Reliever Carlos Gonzalez (1-0) struck out the side in the 9th, securing the wild win and three-game series sweep for Bakersfield, which is five games up on second-place Visalia in the Californian League's North Division race.
The Blaze held on for dear life in this one, having built an 8-3 lead after six innings.
But the Nuts benefited from three doubles, a single, a walk and a hit batter to rally for five eighth-inning runs, with Sean Dwyer's RBI infield hit tying the game at 9.
Wright and Smith led Bakersfield's 14-hit attack with three hits apiece. Smith had two doubles and two RBIs and Waldrop added two hits and two RBIs for Bakersfield, which has won four straight.
Jon Mathews, Wa;drop, Smith and Chris Berset scored two runs apiece for the Blaze.
Bakersfield opens a seven-game homestand tonight, beginning a four-game series against Inland Empire, to be followed by a three-game set against Visalia.
Tonight at Sam Lynn Ballpark, tickets and hot dogs are $1 apiece, and special adult beverages will be discounted to $3 apiece. Gates open at 6:15 p.m. The game will start at 7:15.
Ex-Cowboy Novacek to appear in Bakersfield
Former NFL tight end Jay Novacek, who earned three Super Bowl rings with the Dallas Cowboys and was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, will be an NFL draft day guest of the local Cowboys Country 661 booster club from 2-4 p.m. Thursday at the Firehouse restaurant, 7701 White Lane.
Doors will open at noon, and Novacek will sign autographs from 2-4 p.m., according to Mando Oliveros, president of the four-year-old booster club. The event will include raffles and prizes during the draft, which will be on multiple TV screens
In his 11-year career, which ended after the 1996 season, Novacek made 422 catches for 4,630 yards and 30 touchdowns.