The Blaze got out to a quick start. After starter Daniel Renken cruised through the first, the Blaze got 2 quick runs. Then, 2 innings later, the Blaze added 2, and in the 4th, added 3 more, all off Ports starter Ian Krol. Then, the momentum turned.
In the top of the 6th inning, with Renken still rolling along, the Ports woke up. Renken was driven from the game after allowing 2 scores, and the first pitch from Jamie Walczak was deposited over the leftfield wall by Ports third baseman Tony Thompson for a 3-run shot. The Blaze escaped further damage in the inning, but Stockton picked right back up in the 7th, adding 3 more to take an 8-7 lead and force the Blaze into comeback mode.
Bakersfield was held quiet into the 8th, when Travis Mattair launched a leadoff homer off Jose Guzman (BS, W, 1-0) to tie the game at 8. The Blaze would add one more in the inning on an error, a single, and a wild pitch, and it seemed like perhaps Bakersfield might get away with a win. It was, however, not to be.
In the 9th, an infield hit, a blooper to left, and a walk loaded the bases for the Ports off Blaze closer Brian Pearl (BS, L, 0-1), and an RBI single and sacrifice fly put Stockton back on top, 10-9. The Blaze got out of the inning, but couldn't muster another rally in the bottom half, and suffered a difficult defeat.
The teams are right back at it Wednesday, when the Blaze wrap up the season-opening homestand with a noon affair. Chad Rogers (0-1, 0.00) gets the nod for Bakersfield, and Blake Treinen (1-0, 2.84) goes for the Ports. It's School Day and Goodwill Wednesday, so anyone bringing a donation item gets in for half price. Come to the park, or listen live at BakersfieldBlaze.com -- pregame show at 11:50am, first pitch at high noon.