STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports led only one time on Tuesday night, and it was after the last swing of the ballgame. Ryan Ortiz led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a home run to left-center that gave the Ports a walk-off win over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the opener of a three-game series at Banner Island Ballpark.
The Quakes jumped in front early as they scored two runs on four hits in the top of the first inning off Ports starter Andres Avila. The Quakes got an RBI triple from Jonathan Garcia and an RBI single from O'Koyea Dickson to take the early advantage. Rancho Cucamonga made it a 3-0 lead in the third on a two-out RBI single from Pratt Maynard, scoring Garcia who'd walked earlier in the inning.
Stockton tied the score in the third inning with four hits of their own. With two on and nobody out, Addison Russell lined an RBI single to left to put the Ports on the board. Two batters later, Max Muncy knocked an RBI single to left and Josh Whitaker followed with an RBI single to center to knot the score at 3-3.
The Quakes scored a two-out run in the fourth on back-to-back singles from Rob Garvey and Darnell Sweeney to take a 4-3 lead. The Ports came back with the tying run in the bottom of the inning when Russell came to the plate with runners at second and third and one out and hit a sac-fly to left to make it 4-4.
Quakes starter Ross Stripling went four innings and allowed four runs on six hits while walking three and striking out six.
Avila would pitch into the fifth inning and, with one out, would hit Dickson and walk Maynard. After getting the second out, Avila was lifted for Omar Duran, who walked Ryan Mount to load the bases and then walked Scott Schebler to bring in a run and make it 5-4. Duran, though, would settle in and strike out Garvey to end the inning, and then go on to set the side down in order in the sixth.
Avila received a no-decision, going 4.2 innings and allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out five. Duran did not allow a run or a hit over 1.1 innings of work.
The Ports got the equalizer in the bottom of the sixth facing Quakes reliever Craig Stem. With two on and two out, Antonio Lamas delivered an RBI single to center to tie the game at 5-5. It was the only run allowed by Stem in two innings of work.
Pedro Vidal entered the game for Stockton and tossed two scoreless innings, pitching around a leadoff single in the eighth to keep the Quakes off the board. Owen Jones pitched a scoreless two innings for the Quakes beginning in the seventh, pitching around a two-out triple hit by Russell in the eighth.
Jonathan Joseph (3-0) pitched around a leadoff walk in the ninth to keep the game tied, and Pedro Baez pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth and stranded the winning run in scoring position to send the game into extra innings.
After Joseph set the side down in order in the top of the 10th, Juan Noriega (1-1) came on to pitch the bottom half of the inning. Ortiz stepped to the plate and hit Noriega's second pitch out to left-center field to give the Ports a 6-5 victory.
Joseph picked up his third victory for Stockton, while Noriega suffered his first loss for Rancho Cucamonga. The Ports are now 3-0 in extra innings on the season.
The Ports and Quakes play the middle game of their three-game set on Wednesday at Banner Island Ballpark. Drew Granier (2-2, 3.24 ERA) will make the start for Stockton, opposed by Rancho Cucamonga lefty Jarret Martin (0-4, 7.47 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.