STOCKTON, Calif. - After dropping their first game of the season to the High Desert Mavericks on Sunday, the Stockton Ports reasserted themselves on Monday night. Stockton got a pair of home runs and 11 hits total in a strong offensive effort en route to a 9-7 win over the Mavericks at Banner Island Ballpark.
The Ports struck first in the bottom of the third. Billy McKinney led off with a single and Bobby Crocker followed and reached on a fielder's choice play on which a throwing error was committed by Mavs second baseman Tim Lopes. With two on and nobody out, Daniel Robertson singled to load the bases and Chad Pinder drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to center field. Two batters later with runners at second and third and two out, Matt Olson hit a two-run double to left-center to make it a 3-0 lead.
High Desert answered quickly in the top of the fourth. After retiring the first nine batters he faced, Stockton starter Hunter Adkins (2-3) allowed a leadoff double to Travis Witherspoon, a single to Tyler Smith and then a three-run homer to D.J. Peterson that tied the game at 3-3.
Stockton grabbed the lead back in the top of the fifth. Crocker led off with a home run off Mavericks starter Scott DeCecco (2-6) to make it 4-3. High Desert once again answered back with the home run in the ensuing half inning as Witherspoon led off with a solo homer off Adkins to make it a 4-4 game.
The Ports used the long ball to take the lead back in the bottom of the sixth. With two on and nobody out, Bruce Maxwell hit a three-run homer of DeCecco into the High Desert bullpen to give Stockton a 7-4 lead and chase DeCecco from the game.
DeCecco suffered the loss, going five-plus innings and allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits while striking out three.
Adkins escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and saw his outing come to an end after that. Adkins picked up the win, going six innings and allowing four runs on five hits while striking out four.
Austin House took over in the seventh and gave up a solo home run to Brock Hebert that cut the Ports lead to 7-5. It was the only run allowed by House in two innings of relief as he walked one and struck out five.
The Ports plated two more runs to take their largest lead of the night. With runners at first and second and two out, Ryon Healy doubled off Mavericks reliever David Holman to bring in two more runs. The second runner, Olson, was safe at home plate as the catcher Steve Baron dropped the relay throw for which he was charged an error. The two runs were the only runs allowed by Holman in three innings of work, with the second run being unearned.
Nolan Sanburn took over in the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Tim Lopes. With two outs in the inning and Lopes at second, Witherspoon came to bat and hit his second home run of the night out to right field to cut the Ports lead to 9-7. Smith followed with a double to bring Peterson to the plate as the possible-tying run. Sanburn would go on to strike out Peterson to end the ballgame.
After taking three of four games from High Desert and following a day off on Tuesday, the Ports head to San Jose on Wednesday to begin a four-game series with the Giants that will close out the first half of the season. Tim Atherton (5-2, 5.18 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by San Jose right-hander Kendry Flores (3-4, 5.87 ERA). First pitch is set for 7 p.m. PDT.