STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports nearly blew a seven-run lead on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark, but when all was said and done they came away with their fifth straight victory. Leading 9-2 going into the sixth inning, the Ports saw High Desert score eight of the game's final 11 runs, but Stockton was able to hold on for a 12-10 victory before a crowd of 4,496.
High Desert opened the scoring in the third as they loaded the bases with nobody out. After Ports starter Manny Correa (2-2) got Pat Kivlehan to strike out and Gabriel Guerrero to pop out to second, he allowed a two-out, two-run single to Dario Pizzano that gave the Mavericks a 2-0 lead.
Mavericks starter Tyler Pike pitched into the fourth inning and allowed a single to Chad Pinder and a walk to Bobby Crocker before being lifted with one out for Seon Gi Kim (0-1). Kim entered the game and gave up an RBI single to Aaron Shipman that cut the Ports deficit to 2-1. After Daniel Robertson walked, Billy McKinney put the Ports in front with a two-run double to left-center to make it 3-2. Bruce Maxwell came up next and hit a two-run single to center to increase the lead to 5-2. After Ryon Healy singled to put two aboard, Matt Olson came up and hit a three-run homer to right ti make it an 8-2 advantage for Stockton.
Kim would pitch the fifth inning as well and allow another run on a sac-fly by McKinney that stretched the Ports lead to 9-2. Kim suffered the loss after going 1.2 innings and allowing seven runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two.
Correa picked up the win for Stockton after tossing five innings and allowing two runs on four hits while striking out six.
Stockton's bullpen took over in the sixth as Kris Hall came on in relief of Correa. Hall walked PIzzano and then allowed a triple to Jordy Lara that made it 9-3. Two batters later, Jabari Henry hit a two-run homer to left to cut the Ports lead to 9-5.
Jeremy Barfield came on to record the final out of the sixth and then pitched into the seventh where he struggled with his command. Barfield began the inning by issuing back-to-back walks to Guerrero and Pizzano. After recording back-to-back outs, Barfield walked Henry to load the bases and then gave up an infield RBI single to Tim Lopes hat made it a 9-6 game. After the single, Barfield issued back-to-back bases-loaded walks to Aaron Barbosa and Tyler Smith that made it a one-run game at 9-8. Barfield was then lifted for Austin House, who got Pat Kivlehan to hit into a fielder's choice force to end the inning.
Stockton got back in the run column in the seventh. Shipman started the inning with a double to left. Three batters later, Shipman was at third and McKinney was at first with one out. McKinney looked to be picked off of first and wound up in a rundown between first and second. Shipman then broke for home and scored as the throw from the first baseman Lara went to the backstop. McKinney wound up at third and would score on a two-out single by Healy to make it 11-8.
The Ports added another run in the eighth as Pinder greeted Mavericks reliever Andrew Kittredge with a home run to left to extend the Stockton lead to 12-8.
House came back out for the ninth to try and complete a save but he hit a few roadblocks. Henry walked to start the inning and Lopes singled to put two aboard. Three batters later with runners at second and third and two away, Kivlehan single to center to make it a 12-10 game. House then allowed a single to Guerrero which put potential tying run aboard, at which point Tucker Healy (SV, 2) was summoned from the bullpen. Healy struck out Pizzano swinging to end the ballgame and earn his second save in as many chances.
The Ports will look to complete their first series sweep of the season as they wrap up their three-game set with High Desert on Sunday afternoon at Banner Island Ballpark. Seth Streich (2-1, 1.71 ERA) will make the start for Stockton, opposed by High Desert right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 2:09 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.