STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports snapped a week-long winless spell on Sunday night at Banner Island Ballpark. In need of a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Ports defeated the Visalia Rawhide by a final of 10-8 in their second-to-last home game of the season.
The teams traded two-run homers in the first inning as Jake Lamb went deep for the Rawhide in the top of the first and Myrio Richard countered with a deep fly for Stockton.
The Ports grabbed their first lead of the series in the bottom of the third. Dusty Robinson singled to start the inning and stole second. With two outs, Bobby Crocker singled to right to score Robinson and give the Ports a 3-2 advantage.
Visalia countered with three straight hits off Ports starter James Simmons (8-7) to open the fourth. Sean Jamieson and Raul Navarro doubled back-to-back to tie the game, and Steve Rodriguez singled to right to score Navarro and put the Rawhide back in front.
Simmons would go on to retire 11 of the final 12 batters he faced en route to earning his first win since July 11th, going seven innings and allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out two.
Rawhide starter Brandon Sinnery (3-3) came out for the sixth with the Rawhide in front 4-3. Stockton started the inning with back-to-back singles from Bobby Crocker and Tony Thompson. After Antonio Lamas walked to load the bases, Bruce Maxwell lined a two-run single past first to put the Ports in front 5-4. B.A Vollmuth came up next and hit an RBI double to make it a 6-4 game and knock Sinnery from the contest. Antony Meo came on from the bullpen and hit Rashun Dixon to reload the bases. Robinson came up next and hit into a double-play that brought another run in to make it 7-4.
SInnery suffered the loss, going five-plus innings and allowing seven runs on seven hits while striking out four.
The Ports widened their lead in the seventh with two runs off Meo as he issued back-to-back walks with one out. Cody Wheeler came on in relief and gave up an RBI single to Vollmuth to make it an 8-4 game. The Ports added another run on a passed ball to increase their lead to 9-4.
Seth Frankoff came on in relief of Simmons in the eighth and issued a leadoff walk to Lamb. Two batters later, Tom Belza singled to center and Sean Jamieson walked to load the bases. Navarro came up with the bases full and reached on an infield single that drove in a run. Rodriguez followed and hit a grounder to third. Vollmuth threw to second for the force out, and Antonio Lamas' throw to first sailed into foul territory, allowing an additional run to score to make it a 9-7 game.
Stockton got a run back in the bottom of the eighth. Addison Russell singled to open the inning and scored on a two-out RBI single by Lamas to stretch the Ports lead to 10-7.
Frankoff came out for the ninth to try and close the game out, but gave up a leadoff single to Kevin Medrano and a groundrule double to Lamb two batters later that put runners at second and third with one out. Jonathan Joseph (SV, 6) came on to get the final two outs and got David Peralta to ground out to second, which drove in a run. With a runner at third and two outs, Joseph struck out Belza looking to end the ballgame and notch his sixth save of the season.
The Ports and Rawhide play the finale of their four-game set on Monday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Raul Alcantara (5-3, 3.55 ERA) will make the start for Stockton, opposed by Visalia left-hander Andrew Barbosa (9-9, 4.08 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.