FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – From 1946-1988, both Fresno and Visalia played in the California League. In 1998, Fresno joined the Pacific Coast League and for the next 22 years, the two teams were no longer league rivals.
That changed about five months ago.
During a complete reorganization of Minor League Baseball, Fresno dropped down from Triple-A to Single-A and returned to the California League. On Tuesday, the Grizzlies played their first home game of 2021 and, as luck would have it, their opponent was Visalia.
Fresno won the game, 9-2, renewing the old rivalry.
The Grizzlies’ Mateo Gil got the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning when he singled to center field, scoring Drew Romo. Grant Lavigne followed with an RBI single of his own, scoring Colin Simpson. And then Daniel Montano brought home Fresno’s third run with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Visalia would cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth inning before Fresno tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning, three runs in the seventh inning and one more run in the eighth inning.
Fresno (4-3) and Visalia (1-6) will continue their six-game series on Wednesday.