STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports' longest nine-inning game of the season did not wind up in the win column on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark. The Ports surrendered a season-high 16 runs on 16 hits in a 16-8 loss to the Inland Empire 66ers that lasted nearly four hours.
Inland Empire kicked off the scoring in the first inning with a two-out, two-run homer by Michael Barash off Ports starter Dalton Sawyer (1-3). Three innings later, Jordan Zimmerman had an at-bat extended on a dropped fly ball in foul territory by first baseman Sandber Pimentel. Zimmerman went on to triple and score on an ensuing groundout by Jared Walsh to make it a 3-0 66ers lead.
Sawyer would suffer the loss, going five innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while walking two and striking out four.
Stockton's first runs came in the fourth off 66ers starter Jesus Castillo (6-2). With two on and one out, Seth Brown singled to center field to drive in the first of his five runs on the night. Mikey White followed with a sac-fly to right to cut the Ports deficit to 3-2.
Beginning in the sixth inning, the 66ers would score 13 runs over two frames. Jared Lyons came on in relief of Sawyer to start the inning and gave up an infield single to Zimmerman. Two batters later, Keith Grieshaber hit a two-run homer to left to increase the Inland Empire lead to 5-2. After a Jake Yacinich bunt-single and walk issued to Brennon Lund, Troy Montgomery hit an RBI single to center to make it 6-2 and chase Lyons from the contest. Andrew Tomasovich took over and after a fielder's choice groundout on which an out was recorded at home plate, Barash walked and Kyle Survance, Jr. delivered a three-run double to right field to make it 9-2. Zimmerman followed with an RBI single to balloon the 66ers lead to 10-2, at which point Tomasovich came out of the game due to injury.
The seven runs in the inning was the most allowed by the Ports in an inning on the season. Lyons allowed five runs on four hits over a third of an inning while Tomasovich allowed two runs on two hits in a third of an inning.
Stockton fired back with a five-run bottom of the sixth. With two on and one out, Pimentel lined an RBI single to right to make it 10-3 and knock Castillo from the game. Jhondaniel Medina came on in relief and gave up a three-run homer to Brown, followed by a solo blast to White that cut the 66ers lead to 10-7.
Castillo was charged with three of the five runs that scored in the inning but would go on to earn the win, allowing five runs (four earned) on three hits while striking out four over 5.1 innings pitched.
The 66ers got all those runs back plus one in the seventh facing Joey Wagman. Grieshaber led off with a double and, two batters later, scored on an RBI single by Lund. With two outs, Wagman issued a walk to Taylor Ward followed by an RBI single to Barash. After a walk to Survance loaded the bases, Zimmerman delivered the decisive blow in the contest with a grand slam to left make it a 16-7 66ers lead.
Wagman allowed six runs on four hits over an inning pitched. Nolan Blackwood and backup catcher Argenis Raga would combine to pitch the final inning-and-a-third scoreless for Stockton.
Medina would pitch 2.1 innings for the 66ers and give up two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out two. Jonah Wesely would get the final out of the eighth and pitch into the ninth where he gave up a leadoff single to Nate Mondou, who scored later in the inning on an RBI single by Brown to make it 16-8. Wesely, however, would record the final two outs of the ninth to close out the game and seal the victory for the 66ers.
After dropping three of four to Inland Empire, the Ports head back to Southern California to begin a three-game series with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Sunday. Kyle Friedrichs (1-0, 6.75 ERA) makes the start for Stockton in the series opener, opposed by Quakes left-hander Caleb Ferguson (5-4, 3.13 ERA). First pitch at Loan Mart Field is set for 5:05 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.