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Ports Drop Series Finale To Mavs 4-305/18/2009 11:30 PM ET
ADELANTO, Calif. - Monday night marked an unfitting end to a seven-game road trip for the Stockton Ports. On a trip where the Ports offense sizzled and the team had tremendous success, the Boys of Banner Island lacked punch in their finale against the High Desert Mavericks. The Ports mustered just six hits and fell a run shy in Monday's 4-3 loss. Despite falling just short of their first series sweep, the Ports had a very successful road trip overall, taking five of seven games from their southern division opponents.
High Desert jumped in front with the game's first run in the bottom of the third. Carlos Peguero led off with a ground-rule double. Two batters later, he scored when Juan Diaz bounced into a fielder's choice, putting High Desert up 1-0.
The bottom of the fourth followed a similar format for the Mavs. This time, it was Jamie McOwen leading off with a ground-rule double to right. With two down, McOwen would uscore on an infield RBI single from Kuo Hui Lo, putting the Mavs up 2-0.
The Ports evened the score in the top of the fifth. Todd Johnson led off with a double to right. Two batters later, Yusuf Carter laced a single to left. Carter's single ended up getting past the left fielder Lo, allowing Carter to take second. He was credited with the RBI as the Ports cut the deficit to 2-1. Two batters later with two down, Shane Keough singled to left, scoring Carter and knotting the score at two.
The tie ballgame would be short-lived, however. Ports starter Craig Italiano (3-4) yielded back-to-back walks of Travis Scott and Diaz to start the fifth, then an infield single to Tyson Gillies which loaded the bases. Edilio Colina came up and knocked an RBI single to center, giving the Mavs the lead at 3-2. McOwen followed with a sac-fly to left, scoring Diaz and giving High Desert a 4-2 edge.
Italiano would come out of the ballgame after McOwen's sac-fly. He would end up with the loss on the night, going 4.1 innings and allowing four runs on six hits while walking three and striking out two.
Stockton's bullpen would take over with one out in the fifth and do a tremendous job the rest of the way. Nick Walters came on to face the league's leading home run man Joe Dunigan and recorded a strikeout. Justin Friend followed after that and got Alex Liddi to strike out to end the inning.
Stockton would score only once more off Mavs starter Donnie Hume (4-1). Jermaine Mitchell led off the top of the sixth with an infield single. After two outs were recorded, Johnson was hit by an 0-2 pitch, putting runners at first and second. Alex Valdez, who'd extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double in the second, came up and hit a ball down the left field line that scored Mitchell. Valdez was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a double, and Stockton came away with just the one run, cutting High Desert's lead to 4-3.
The sixth inning would be the final frame for Hume as he'd go on to pick up the win, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out four.
Both bullpens would take over for the remainder of the game. High Desert's pen-a combination of Travis Mortimore (1.2IP, 0H, 0R), Edward Paredes (.1 IP, 1K), and Steve Richard (SV, 1IP, 1K), would shut down Stockton's offense over the final three innings.
Friend pitched two innings for the Ports and recorded four strikeouts while walking two batters. Lance Sewell pitched an inning-and-a-third, walked to batters, but did not allow a hit or a run.
Following a lengthy road trip, the Ports will return home on Tuesday to start a seven-game homesetand beginning with three games against the Bakersfield Blaze. Scott Hodsdon (1-3, 6.48 ERA) will take the ball for Stockton, opposed by lefty Michael Kirkman (3-1, 2.41 ERA) for Bakersfield. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.