STOCKTON, Calif. - On Friday night, the Stockton Ports remained unbeaten versus the High Desert Mavericks in 2014. Stockton broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the seventh inning as they defeated High Desert by a final of 6-3 and snapped a two-game losing skid.
High Desert scored the first run of the contest in the first inning as Gabriel Guerrero hit a sac-fly to left to score Travis Witherspoon who'd opened the ballgame with a single. Stockton, after failing to score with runners at the corners and nobody out in the first, loaded the bases with nobody out in the second. After Mavericks starter Jochi Ogando induced two unproductive outs, he walked Daniel Robertson to bring in Stockton's first run and tie the game at 1-1.
Ogando pitched just two innings for High Desert and did not factor into the decision as he allowed one run on three hits while walking three.
Ports starter Sean Murphy allowed his final run in the third. With Tyler Smith at second base and two outs, Guerrero singled to center to score Smith and give the Mavericks a 2-1 advantage.
Murphy went 4.1 innings and received a no-decision, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out seven.
The Ports tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth as Chad Pinder hit his second home run in as many games, a solo blast off Mavericks reliever Andrew Kittridge with one out. It was the only run allowed by Kittridge in three innings of relief.
After Jeremy Barfield worked a perfect inning-and-two-thirds, Eric O'Flaherty came on to pitch the seventh on a Major League rehab assignment and struck out the side in order in his lone inning of work as he picked up the victory.
Stockton broke the tie in the bottom of the seventh facing High Desert's Will Mathis (4-2). After a hit batsman and an error opened the inning, Matt Olson gave the Ports their first lead with an RBI double to the left field corner to make it 3-2. Ryon Healy followed with an RBI single to right field to extend the lead to 4-2. Renato Nunez then singled to right to bring in another run. Mathis got Bruce Maxwell to fly out to left and was lifted for Blake Hauser, who gave up a two-out RBI single to Billy McKinney to stretch the Ports lead to 6-2.
Mathis suffered the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits in an inning-and-a-third of relief.
Kris Hall pitched a scoreless eighth for Stockton. Hall struck out the first two batters in the ninth and then gave up a single to Luis Caballero. After defensive indifference moved Caballero up to second, Witherspoon drove him home with an RBI single to center to make it 6-3. After Smith drew a walk, D.J. Peterson came up as the possible-tying run and Hall got him to hit into a fielder's choice force out to end the ballgame and preserve the victory.
The Ports and Mavericks play the second game of their four-game set on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Seth Streich (6-4, 3.41 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by High Desert left-hander Tyler Pike (2-3, 5.61 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.