At this rate, Gianfranco Wawoe soon will become a fan favorite of the Modesto Nuts.
He might already be there, in fact.
Wawoe’s crisp single to left chased home Austin Grebeck in the bottom of the 11th, giving Modesto an 8-7 win over the Stockton Ports on Tuesday night as the remainder of a crowd of 1,876 cheered at Thurman Field.
Wawoe, from Curacao, has produced Modesto’s two biggest hits of the young season. He also drove in the go-ahead run in the 14th inning of the Nuts’ season-opening win at Lake Elsinore.
Arturo Nieto worked a walk off Stockton reliever Joey Wagman (1-1) to lead off the 11th. After Eric Filia (4-for-5) popped up, Braden Bishop grounded out as pinch-runner Grebeck advanced. Chris Mariscal walked, setting up Wawoe’s single on the first pitch.
The Modesto bullpen, which struggled during Monday night’s 12-4 loss to the Ports, bounced back. Art Warren (1-0) struck out five during three hitless innings for the win. Lukas Schiraldi also came through with six strikeouts to keep the Nuts close during the seventh and the eighth.
7-5 The Modesto Nuts’ record
The Nuts (7-5) gave up an early lead for the second straight game. Logan Taylor doubled home a run in the first and tripled home two during the third to vault Modesto in front 3-0. But Stockton, which trailed 4-0 on Monday night, dominated the middle innings and built a 6-3 lead.
Filia’s solo home run in the fifth and Wawoe’s RBI double launched the comeback. Still, Modesto needed two unearned runs in the ninth to force extra innings.
Singles by Filia and Bishop and a passed ball gave the Nuts a chance. Mariscal closed the deficit with a sacrifice fly, but Stockton third baseman Mikey White III booted Wowoe’s two-out grounder to bring in the tying run.
Modesto knotted the four-game series at a game apiece.