MODESTO — Nick Neidert’s gutsy start and Luis Liberato’s show led the Modesto Nuts to a 3-2 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers on Monday night at John Thurman Field to snap a four-game losing streak.
Neidert (W, 10-3) labored through five innings for the Nuts (54-41; 15-10) but allowed just one run. Neidert worked around seven hits, three walks and one error to leave eight men on base while striking out three on 95 pitches.
Luis Liberato helped Neidert’s cause by gunning down Brennon Lund at second base in the first inning when he tried to stretch a single into a double. Lund would have likely scored later in the inning on a Taylor Ward single.
All the Nuts’ offense came in the third inning off 66ers’ (46-49; 15-10) starter Jose Rodriguez (L, 7-8). Eric Filia drove in Braden Bishop with a RBI double to tie the game; one of two doubles by Filia. Luis Liberato gave the Nuts the lead for good when he blasted a two-run shot over the center field wall.
Bryan Bonnell worked three strong innings out of the bullpen and allowed one run but got a little help from Liberato. In the eighth inning, Liberato and Mariscal teamed up to throw out Michael Barash at the plate to protect the one-run lead.
Marvin Gorgas (S, 3/3) worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning with the final out recorded by Liberato who had to gallop into the alley to haul in a long drive.
The rubber game of this three-game series with the Inland Empire 66ers is on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.