VISALIA, Calif. - Sunday's game couldn't have started any better for the Stockton Ports, and it couldn't have ended any worse. Stockton got out to a 7-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Visalia Rawhide scored 21 of the final 22 runs as they took the rubber match of the series from Stockton 21-8 at Recreation Ballpark.
Rawhide starter Daniel Watts struggled through the first inning as Stockton loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. B.A. Vollmuth drove in the first run of the game with a single to left. Antonio Lamas followed with a two-run double to the right field corner to make it a 3-0 lead. After a Phil Pohl sac-fly increased the lead to 4-0, Rashun Dixon walked and Dusty Robinson followed with his 20th home run of the year, a three-run blast to right that gave Stockton a 7-0 advantage.
Ports starter Shaeffer Hall, after keeping Visalia off the board in the first. Gave up a single with one out to Tom Belza in the second and then a two-run homer to David Peralta that cut the Ports lead to 7-2. With two away, Ronnie Freeman and Evan Marzilli reached on back-to-back singles. Sean Jamieson came up next and reached on a fielding error committed by Vollmuth that allowed another run to score. Gerson Montilla followed with an RBI double to left that made it a 7-4 game.
After loading the bases with nobody out in the second and failing to score, the Ports got a run back in the third. Dixon and Robinson started the inning with back-to-back singles that put runners at the corners. Myrio Richard drove in Dixon with a sac-fly to center to make it an 8-4 game. After Watts walked Addison Russell, he was lifted for Conrad Flynn (6-6) who hit Bobby Crocker to load the bases with one out, but got Tony Thompson to foul out to third and Vollmuth to fly to center to end the inning.
Watts received a no-decision, allowing eight runs on seven hits over 2.1 innings of work. Flynn went on to receive the win, tossing 3.2 scoreless innings in long relief and allowing just two hits.
Visalia didn't score in the bottom of the third, but went on to plate 17 runs over the final five innings. Hall issued a leadoff walk to Raul Navarro to start the fourth, and Navarro scored two batters later on a triple by Marzilli to make it an 8-5 game. Marzilli scored on an ensuing sac-fly from Jamieson, and Montilla followed with a solo home run to left to cut the Ports lead to 8-7, at which point Hall was lifted for Omar Duran (3-1).
Hall received a no-decision, going 3.2 innings and allowing seven runs (five earned) on eight hits.
Duran gave up the lead in the fifth as Visalia sent 10 men to the plate. Duran loaded the bases with one out on the walks. After Duran struck out Freeman for the second out, Marzilli hit a two-run single to left that put the Rawhide in front 9-8, at which point Jonathan Joseph took over from the Stockton bullpen. Joseph walked Jamieson and then allowed a two-run single to Montilla that made it an 11-8 ballgame. Jake Lamb came up next and hit a two-run double to right, increasing the Rawhide lead to 13-8.
Duran suffered his first loss of the season, allowing four runs on one hit while walking three over one inning of relief. Joseph gave up two runs on two hits in a third of an inning.
T.J. Walz took over in the sixth and allowed a run on a two-out RBI single to Freeman. Walz began the seventh inning, which began with a double by Jamieson. Montilla then reached on a throwing error committed by Russell, allowing another run to score. Walz went on to give up RBI singles to Joash Brodin and Belza, as well as a sac-fly to Peralta before being lifted for Darren Byrd, who allowed an RBI double to Marzilli who went 5-for-6 with five RBI on the night.
Walz allowed six runs (four earned) in an inning-and-a-third of relief.
Visalia got two more runs in the eighth off David Mota on RBI singles by Belza and Marzilli. Wade Kirkland took over for Mota to finish the eighth and got Jamieson to pop out to Russell to end the inning.
Seth Simmons and Anthony Meo combined to retire nine of the final 10 Ports batters to close out the ballgame.
The 21 runs and 23 hits allowed by Ports pitching are both season highs. The 3 hour, 44 minute affair marked Stockton's longest nine-inning game of the season, and the 7-0 lead blown by the Ports stands as their largest blown lead of the year.
After going 4-2 on their six-game road trip, the Ports return home for their final homestand of the year beginning on Tuesday at Banner Island Ballpark. The homestand kicks off with a three-game set versus the San Jose Giants. In the opener, James Simmons (7-6, 5.59 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose left-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-4, 9.72 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.