MODESTO, CA (June 24th, 2012) -- After five hours and five minutes, with a combined 15 pitchers used in the game, including three position players, Helder Velazquez drove in Dustin Garneau from third base to send the Nuts to a 7-6 victory in 18 innings over the Stockton Ports.
Josh Whitaker (0-1), a Ports outfielder, tossed a scoreless 17th inning before giving up a lead off single to Garneau in the 18th. Casey Frawley then bunted Garneau to second, with a balk by Whitaker moving him to third. With one out, Velazquez hit a deep fly ball that sailed into right field that the Ports conceded for a hit with Garneau likely to tag from third anyways.
Nuts first-baseman Jared Clark (1-0) took over in the 16th inning, and tossed three scoreless frames for the win.
Stockton third-baseman Tony Thompson retired all six of the batters he faced in the 15th and 16th innings.
Both teams had multiple scoring chances in extra innings, with the Nuts leaving a man at third base in the 17th, and the bases loaded in the 14th. Stockton left two on the bases in the 13th and 14th innings.
Modesto held a 6-4 lead in the ninth inning, when the Ports rallied against Nuts reliever Chad Rose to force extras. Rose walked the bases loaded, and after striking out two batters, Ports catcher Beau Taylor bounced the first pitch he saw into right-field to plate two runs, tying the game at six.
Nick Schnaitmann went 3 2/3 innings to start extras, walking three and giving up just one hit, while striking out two. Isaiah Froneberger went 2 1/3, walking two and striking out three.
Modesto trailed 3-1 until plating four runs in the fifth inning against Ports starter Jake Brown. After Stockton got a run back in the sixth, the Nuts added an insurance run in the eighth inning on a pair of Ports errors to go up 6-4 into the ninth.
The Nuts only managed 10 hits in the game, while the Ports had 11. Velazquez led both teams with a 3-for-7 game, joining Garneau as the only other Nuts player with a multi-hit night (2-for-7). Taylor, B.A. Vollmuth and Mitch LeVier all had two hits for the Ports, who also drew 12 walks in the game. The Nuts had 10.
Modesto (37-36) is now 3-0 to start the second half, and sit in first place in the North Division for the first time in 2012. They will have a chance to sweep the Ports on Sunday night as the two teams wrap up their four-game series. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. from John Thurman Field.