Rancho Cucamonga, CA- The Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino matched a season-high in hits (11) and doubles (five) and surrendered just two hits in a series-opening 7-2 win over the Stockton Ports at San Manuel Stadium on Friday in front of 4,418 fans. The 66ers used a four-run sixth inning to take control of the game and have now won back-to-back contests on the heals of a five-game losing skid.
Inland Empire took a 2-0 lead in the third and received strong starting pitching from righty Cooper Criswell who faced the minimum amount of batters through three innings. In the fourth, Nick Allen opened with a triple for Stockton (14-21) and came home on a sac fly from Jameson Hannah trimming IE's lead to 2-1. Criswell did not allow another batter to reach in the remainder of his outing, a career-best 5.0 IP, and gave up just the one hit and one walk with three Ks. The Ports tied the game in the top of the sixth against IE reliever Andrew Wantz (3-2) when Hannah delivered his second sac fly of the night to tie the game. Wantz then rolled allowing just one more base runner the rest of his four-inning outing punching out five Ports. Inland Empire (16-19) got an RBI double in the sixth from Ryan Vega, RBI single from Zane Gurwitz and two run double from Leonardo Rivas in the sixth to take a 6-2 lead. The 66ers tacked on an insurance run in the eighth as the Sixers got multiple hits from Franklin Torres, Ryan Vega, Ryan Survance Jr. and Zane Gurwitz.
The series continues Saturday at 6:05 pm. The contest can be seen and heard live at 66ers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.