STOCKTON, Calif. - For the second straight night, the home run ball accounted for all the runs the Stockton Ports scored at Banner Island Ballpark. Three home runs led to six total runs as the Ports defeated the Visalia Rawhide by a final of 6-1 to even their three-game series at one game apiece.
Stockton struck its biggest blow in the second inning. With two on and two out, Dusty Robinson hit a three-run homer off Rawhide starter Keith Hessler (3-0) to put the Ports in front. Hessler, in his first start off the disabled list, took the loss and went three innings, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out two.
Visalia got its lone run of the contest in the third. With Evan Marzilli at second and two outs, Gerson Montilla singled to right to make it a 3-1 ballgame. Ports starter Raul Alcantara (3-0) would go on to retire 11 of his next 13 batters to finish his outing, taking him one out deep into the seventh. Alcantara picked up the win as he tossed a season-high 6.1 innings and allowed one run on three hits while striking out a season-high seven.
Seth Frankoff took over for Alcantara with one out in the seventh and he and Ryan Dull combined to retire the final eight Visalia batters in a row to end the ballgame. Frankoff recorded three strikeouts while Dull recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the contest.
Stockton's offense built on a 3-1 lead in the fifth as Myrio Richard hit a home run off Rawhide reliever Rob Coe to extend the lead to 4-1. Coe pitched the final five innings for the Rawhide and with one on and two out in the ninth, he allowed a two-run homer to Tony Thompson, his second in as many nights, that made it 6-1 Ports advantage.
The Ports and Rawhide play the finale and rubber match of their three-game set on Tuesday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Josh Bowman (2-2, 7.50 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Visalia right-hander Eddie McKiernan (1-1, 3.75 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.