STOCKTON, Calif. - Errors and home runs told the story of Wednesday night's game between the Stockton Ports and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes-a story that lasted five hours and 14 minutes. Down to their final strike in the ninth, the Ports tied the game on a dropped fly ball by Quakes first baseman Pedro Guerrero. The Quakes, however, would score five runs in the 14th, including a grand slam off the bat of O'Koyea Dickson, to win the game, ultimately by a final of 11-8 at Banner Island Ballpark.
The teams traded early home runs as Bobby Coyle led off the top of the second inning with a homer and B.A. Vollmuth did the same in the bottom of the inning for Stockton. The Quakes took the lead back in the third on a two-run homer hit by Noel Cuevas that gave Rancho Cucamonga a 3-1 lead.
Stockton started the fifth inning with a double and a single off Quakes starter Freddie Cabrera that put runners at second and third with nobody out. Joel Lima was summoned from the bullpen to face Myrio Richard, who hit a ground ball deep to third. Third baseman Scott Wingo elected to throw home, but the throw was late as Dixon scored to make it 3-2. Two batters later, Josh Whitaker bounced an RBI single into center field to tie the game at 3-3.
Cabrera received a no-decision, going four-plus innings and allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out four.
Ports starter James Simmons hit Darnell Sweeney to open the sixth inning and with one out, hit Dickson to put two aboard. Pratt Maynard came up and hit a three-run homer to right-center to give the Quakes a 6-3 lead and knock Simmons from the ballgame.
Simmons received a no-decision, going 5.1 innings and allowing six runs on four hits while striking out five and allowing career-high three home runs. Upon Simmons exiting the game, Seth Frankoff, Tucker Healy, Ryan Dull and Blake Hassebrock would combine for 7.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Stockton shaved a run off its deficit in the seventh. Addison Russell doubled with one out off Quakes reliever Eric Eadington, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a two-out wild pitch to make it 6-4. It was the only run allowed by Eadington in his lone inning of work.
With the Quakes leading 6-4 going to the bottom of the ninth, Jarret Martin was summoned to try for the save. After retiring the first two batters, Martin issued back-to-back walks to Russell and Whitaker. With two on and two out, Vollmuth worked a full count and then hit a routine pop-up to first. Guerrero, who came on as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning, appeared to be camped underneath the ball, but then saw the ball fall off to his right and as it hit the ground, both baserunners scored to tie the game. Despite both runs being unearned, it was the first blown save charged to Martin. Raydel Sanchez came on to record the final out of the ninth and would go on to pitch two more scoreless innings in relief.
The Ports saw a chance to win the game in the 13th fall by the wayside as Dixon led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. Quakes reliever Dan Coulombe (1-2) would intentionally walk Myrio Richard and then get pinch-hitter Wade Kirkland to hit into a fielder's choice and Whitaker to ground out to end the threat.
Jonathan Joseph (5-5) took over in the 14th after three scoreless frames from Hassebrock. After recording back-to-back strikeouts to open the inning, Joseph induced a grounder to short off Cuevas' bat, but Kirkland had the ball get by him, an error that opened the door for a big inning for Rancho Cucamonga. Scott Schebler came up next and doubled to the gap in left-center to break the tie and make it 7-6. After back-to-back walks were used to Sweeney and Casio Grider, Joseph faced Dickson with the bases loaded and Dickson hit a grand slam to left to give the Quakes a commanding 11-6 edge.
Joseph suffered the loss, allowing five unearned runs on two hits while walking two in his lone inning of work.
Coulombe started the bottom of the 14th and allowed a one-out walk to Tony Thompson. Bruce Maxwell then reached on an error committed by the shortstop Sweeney that put two aboard and knocked Coulombe from the game. Blake Smith came on from the bullpen and, after getting Antonio Lamas to fly out, gave up a two-run double to Dixon that made it 11-8. With the possible-tying run in the on-deck circle, Smith got Crocker to fly to right to end the ballgame.
The Ports and Quakes continue their series on Thursday at Banner Island Ballpark. Tanner Peters (8-5, 4.50 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Rancho Cucamonga right-hander JonMichael Redding (3-3, 1.76 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.