Brian VanderBeek

Beek’s Blog: Nuts set to entertain two very special guests on Wednesday

I blogged about a month ago about 7-year-old Kaiden Pacheco of Hilmar, who is fighting cancer, and her angel, eighth-grader Erin Benning, who has devoted much of her final pre-high school spring and summer to raising funds to help the Pacheco family.

The Modesto Bee story that came out of the original blog post can be found HERE. The good news is that Kaiden is feeling well, and despite just coming off another five-day round of chemotherapy will join Erin on the mound Wednesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Nuts’ game against San Jose.

The Nuts, spurred on by first baseman Jordan Ribera - who is staying with the Bennings this summer - continue to support the cause, and there will be an auction of team-signed items at Wednesday’s game to continue the fund-raising effort.


The Modesto Nuts put together another month to forget in June, going 8-16 to post the league’s ninth-best record (out of 10). They won only one series in June, taking two of three in San Jose from June 23-25 to post their first road series victory of the season. The Nuts did not win back-to-back games in the month while posting a 6.09 team ERA.

There was some player movement during the road trip through San Jose and High Desert. As has been reported in The Bee, shortstop Trevor Story was promoted to Double-A Tulsa. Also, Sam Mende, who constantly battled the injury bug in his two seasons in Modesto, was released by the Rockies.

Joining the team was Mike Tauchman, a left-handed outfield from Bradley University. Tauchman hit .297 last season in Tri-City and was on the Dust Devils’ roster at the time of his promotion. He wasted no time making his mark with the Nuts, collecting his first career home run in his third game with Modesto.

It came on a line drive sliced down the left field line in High Desert on Saturday. The Mavericks’ left fielder not only failed to make the catch, but he ran into the short wall separating the field from the bullpen, and was dazed upon tumbling over. The ball remained in play and Tauchman circled the bases.

It was the third inside-the-park homer this season for Modesto. Juan Ciriaco’s lone home run this season was an inside-the-park job April 7 in Visalia, and Jordan Ribera sprinted around the bases during a home game against Bakersfield on April 24.