STOCKTON, Calif. - Friday night's contest between the Stockton Ports and Visalia Rawhide was decided on one big blow. Visalia's Evan Marzilli hit a three-run homer in the second inning off Ports starter Tanner Peters (11-7) and it proved to be the difference in Visalia's 4-2 win at Banner Island Ballpark.
The Rawhide plated their first run in the first inning. With one out, Peters walked Gerson Montilla and then gave up an RBI double to Jake Lamb to put Visalia on the board.
With one out in the second, Peters gave up back-to-back singles to Matt Helm and Ronnie Freeman, and then allowed the three-run homer to Marzilli out to right-center that gave the Rawhide a 4-0 lead.
Peters went on to pitch the final four innings of his outing without allowing a run, but would suffer the loss as he gave up four runs on eight hits while striking out five.
Rawhide starter Eddie McKiernan (7-3) kept Stockton off the board through the first two innings, but fell victim to an error in the third. With one on and one out, Dusty Robinson hit a double-play ball to short, but Sean Jamieson mishandled it, putting two on with one out. Two batters later, Antonio Lamas hit an RBI single to right that put the Ports on the board and made it a 4-1 score.
With one out in the fifth, Addison Russell hit a solo homer to left, his 17th of the season, cutting the Ports deficit to 4-2. It was the final run the Ports scored on the night and the final run allowed by McKiernan, who picked up the win after going seven innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out eight.
Kaleb Fleck pitched a scoreless eighth for the Rawhide and R.J. Hively (SV, 11) pitched around a leadoff single hit by B.A. Vollmuth in the ninth to pick up his 11th save of the season.
Trey Barham and Seth Frankoff combined to pitch the final three innings scoreless for the Ports.
The Ports and Rawhide play the second game of their four-game set on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Right-hander Ryan Doolittle (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his season debut for Stockton, opposed by Visalia right-hander Brad Allen (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.