It was Modesto who struck quickly in the top of the first. Juan Crousset opened the game with a single to center, and two batters later Dallas Tarleton singled to left. Bryce Massanari came up next and doubled to the gap in right-center, scoring both baserunners and giving the Nuts an early 2-0 lead.
After walking Jared Clark with two out in the first, however, Ports starter Blake Treinen would settle down and retire the next nine batters he faced.
Stockton's offense would reward Treinen, beginning with a pair of runs in the second. With two on and two out, Myrio Richard and Michael Gilmartin knocked back-to-back RBI singles to tie the game at 2-2. In the third, Miles Head led off with a solo home run to left off Nuts starter Josh Slaats to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
The Ports knocked Slaats from the game in the fourth. Nino Leyja led off with a bunt single and stole second, and Richard followed with an infield single to put runners at the corners. Leyja would score on a wild pitch, and Gilmartin would single to right, ending Slaats' night. Josh Hungerman came on in relief and would have an inherited baserunner score on a throwing error committed by second baseman Brett Tanos on an attempted turn of a triple play, giving the Ports a 5-2 advantage.
Modesto would knock Treinen from the game in the seventh. With one on and one out, Jayson Langfels hit an RBI double to right to make it a 5-3 game. Treinen would be removed in favor of Arnold Leon, who yielded an RBI single to Crousset which made it 5-4. Leon would give up a single to Scott Robinson, and then uncork a wild pitch to put runners at second and third with one out. Leon, however, would get Tarleton to foul out to third and Massanari to strike out swinging to escape the jam.
Treinen would go 6.1 innings and allow four runs on six hits while striking out a career-high six in a no-decision.
The Nuts would tie it in the top of the ninth and closer Zack Thornton (1-0) would suffer his first blown save of the season. Tim Smalling led off with a single and Langfels followed with a walk. Crousset came up next and hit a ground ball to short. After the out at second, Leyja's throw to first bounced in the dirt past first baseman A.J. Kirby-Jones, a throwing error that allowed Smalling to score the tying run.
Modesto, however, would hand the Ports the win in the bottom of the inning. With Chad Rose (0-1) on the hill, Head led off and hit a routine bouncer to second that was dropped by Tanos. A few moments later, Rose attempted a pickoff throw to first that went into foul territory, allowing Head to advance to second. After Petey Paramore grounded out to second to advance Head to third, Rashun Dixon came up and struck out, but on the third strike, the ball bounced to the right of the catcher Massanari, allowing Head to score the game winning run from third.
Rose would suffer the tough loss for Modesto, and after blowing the save, Zack Thornton picked up his first win of the season.
The Ports and Nuts will play the second game of their four-game set on Friday night at Banner Island Ballpark. A.J. Cole (0-1, 5.40 ERA) will toe the rubber for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander Josh Mueller (0-0, 2.25 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.