STOCKTON, Calif. - It's been a season of challenges for Stockton Ports pitcher Josh Bowman. On Tuesday night, Bowman enjoyed his best outing of the year at Banner Island Ballpark. The right-hander matched a career-high by tossing eight innings as he helped the Ports to a 7-2 win over the Visalia Rawhide.
Visalia put runners at second and third with nobody out after an infield single and a double opened the first inning. David Nick gave the Rawhide their first run with a sac-fly to center, but Bowman was able to limit the damage by getting Jon Griffin to ground out and Tom Belza to strike out to end the frame.
The Ports returned fire in the first inning. Myrio Richard led off with a single and Addison Russell followed with an RBI double that tied the game at 1-1. Stockton built on its lead in the second as Dusty Robinson doubled with one out and Wade Kirkland followed with a two-run homer to left to make it a 3-1 game.
Rawhide starter Eddie McKiernan (1-2) held the Ports scoreless in the third, but Stockton got back in the run column in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by Richard, who went 4-for-5 on the night. B.A. Vollmuth homered off McKiernan in the fifth to stretch the Stockton lead to 5-1.
McKiernan suffered the loss, going five innings and allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out five.
Meanwhile, Bowman would scatter seven hits, six of which were singles, over eight innings of work and keep Visalia out of the run column after the first inning. He matched a career-high with eight innings pitched and allowed just the lone run while striking out six in his best outing of the season.
Stockton added a run in the sixth as they loaded the bases while facing Rawhide reliever Matt Sample. With the bases full and one out, Sample hit Vollmuth with a pitch to make it 6-1. In the seventh, Anthony Meo came on in relief and gave up a two-out RBI single to Richard that extended the Ports lead to 7-1.
Blake Hassebrock took over for Bowman as he came on to pitch the ninth and gave up a leadoff home run to David Peralta, but finished the frame with no further damage.
After going 4-2 on their six-game homestand, the Ports head to Modesto to begin a three-game series with the Nuts on Wednesday at John Thurman Field. Michael Ynoa (0-0, 11.25 ERA) makes his second start of the year for Stockton, opposed by Nuts right-hander Ben Alsup (5-8, 5.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.