VISALIA, Calif. - In their attempt to take two of three games from the Visalia Rawhide, the Stockton Ports ran into Visalia outfielder David Nick, who had perhaps his best series of the season. Nick hit two home runs on Wednesday night and four total in the series as the Rawhide bested the Ports in the finale by a final of 7-4.
Both teams traded early home runs as Nick hit a solo shot to lead off the second off Ports starter Raul Alcantara. Alcantara would leave the game later in the inning after Sean Jamieson hit a line drive off his left knee. Myrio Richard hit a solo homer with two outs in the third inning that tied the game at 1-1.
Stockton took the lead for the first time in the fourth as Antonio Lamas led off with a double and Rashun Dixon doubled him home with one out to make it a 2-1 ballgame.
After Alcantara left the game due to injury, Blake Hassebrock came on in relief and pitched 2.1 scoreless innings. T.J. Walz (4-1) came on to record the final out of the fourth and pitched into the fifth. Visalia loaded the bases with nobody out on two singles and a walk to start the inning. Nick came to the plate and hit a grand slam to left-center to give the Rawhide a 5-2 advantage.
Walz would suffer the loss after going 1.1 innings and allowing four runs on here hits.
Rawhide starter Rob Coe (2-3) gave up a single to B.A. Vollmuth to start the sixth. Three batters later with two outs, Dixon hit a two-run homer to left that brought Stockton to within a run at 5-4.
Coe went on to receive the win, going six innings and allowing four runs on six hits while matching a season-high with seven strikeouts.
After two scoreless innings from Jake Brown, Pedro Vidal took over in the eighth and ran into trouble with two outs and the bases empty. Evan Marzilli reached on an infield single, stole second and scored on an ensuing infield single by Kevin Medrano. Two batters later, Jon Griffin singled to score Medrano and stretch the Rawhide lead to 7-4.
After Tyler Green and Patrick Schuster combined on a scoreless seventh inning, Seth Simmons pitched a scoreless eighth and R.J. Hively (SV, 2) tossed a scoreless ninth to notch is second save of the season.
After going 2-5 on their seven-game road trip, the Ports return home to take on the Modesto Nuts as part of a six-game homestand. Josh Bowman (2-2, 9.39 ERA) makes the start in the series opener for the Ports, opposed by Nuts right-hander Dan Winkler (11-2, 2.02 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.