STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports have scored 10 total runs over their first two games with the Bakersfield Blaze. Eight of those runs have been the product of home runs. With Friday night's game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Tony Thompson hit a two-run homer that gave the Ports a 4-2 lead and ultimately the win over the Bakersfield Blaze at Banner Island Ballpark.
The Ports were first on the board in the second inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Ryan Delgado became the third Ports player this season to homer in his first at-bat of the year, launching a solo shot to left and putting Stockton in front 1-0.
Bakersfield countered in the third with a pair of runs off Ports starter Blake Hassebrock. With one on, Chris Berset doubled to center to tie the game at 1-1. Berset would later score on a two-out RBI single by Kyle Waldrop to give the Blaze a 2-1 advantage.
Following the Waldrop single, Ports pitchers would combine to retire the next 12 consecutive hitters. Hassebrock went 4.2 innings and allowed two runs on three hits while striking out five. Jake Brown came on in relief and retired all five batters he faced before turning the ball over to T.J. Walz (1-0).
With the Blaze in front 2-1, the ball was turned over to reliever Brooks Pinckard to start the seventh inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Wade Kirkland singled to center and Addison Russell followed with an infield single to put runners at the corners. Pinckard (0-1) then hit Bobby Crocker to load the bases and hit Josh Whitaker to bring in the tying run, knotting the game at 2-2.
Tied 2-2 in the eighth, Pinckard walked Dusty Robinson to put one on with one out. Pinckard was then lifted for Kyle McMyne, who faced Thompson to open his outing. Thompson drove a two-run homer over the wall in left to put Stockton in front for good at 4-2. It was Thompson's lone hit of the night as he finished 1-for-4.
Pinckard was charged with the loss as he was responsible for the go-ahead run that came across.
Jonathan Joseph (SV, 1) came on to pitch the ninth and set the side down in order, including back-to-back strikeouts of Dominic D'Anna and Juan Duran to end the ballgame.
The Ports and Blaze continue their four-game set on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Sean Murphy (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will toe the rubber for Stockton, opposed by Bakersfield right-hander Jonathan Moscot (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.