LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. - Casey Meisner had his best outing of the season on Saturday night at The Diamond and helped lift the Stockton Ports to their first win of the season at Lake Elsinore. Meisner spun a season-high eight innings and the Ports offense got a pair of runs that proved to be enough in a 2-1 win over the Storm to snap a five-game losing skid at The Diamond and a three-game losing streak overall. Stockton, however, saw its first half title hopes dashed as the Modesto Nuts beat the Inland Empire 66ers to claim the first half crown in the North Division.
Stockton's first run of the game came on back-to-back two-out hits in the second. Skye Bolt and Sandber Pimentel hit back-to-back doubles off Storm starter Joey Lucchesi (5-4) to give the Ports a 1-0 lead.
The Ports plated their second run in the fourth and took advantage of a Storm error in the process. Eli White drew a walk to open the inning and Brett Siddall followed and reached on a dropped fly ball by Storm right fielder Edwin Moreno. Two batters later, Pimentel hit into a fielder's choice groundout to score White from third and give the Ports a 2-0 lead.
Lucchesi would suffer the loss for the Storm, going five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out three.
Meanwhile, Meisner pitched around a one-out walk in the third, recording back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame. The only hit Meisner allowed was a one-out triple to Michael Gettys in the fourth. Meisner would strand Gettys at third as he struck out Josh Naylor and got Austin Allen to ground out to end the inning, the start of 12 consecutive batters set down by Meisner to take him one out deep into the eighth.
With one out in the eighth, Kyle Overstreet reached on a throwing error committed by third baseman Josh Vidales. Overstreet would advance to third on a wild pitch and score on a groundout by Peter Van Gansen that cut the Ports lead to 2-1.
Meisner would finish the eighth and go on to pick up his second straight victory, tossing a season-high eight innings and allowing an unearned run on just one hit while walking one and striking out seven.
Nolan Blackwood (SV, 8) came on to pitch the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Ruddy Giron. After Edwin Moreno flew out to right, Giron went to second on a wild pitch and arrived at third after a groundout by Gettys. With the possible-tying run at third and two outs, Blackwood got Naylor to ground out to first to end the ballgame and notch his eighth save of the season.
The Ports and Storm wrap up their four-game set and the first half of the season on Sunday afternoon at The Diamond. Brendan Butler (1-0, 1.54 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Lake Elsinore right-hander Cal Quantrill (3-5, 3.86 ERA). First pitch is set for 1 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.