STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning on Wednesday night and made them stand tall. In a game where pitching shined, the Boys of Banner Island squeaked by the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes by a final of 2-1 and earned their first three-game series victory of the season.
Addison Russell reached on an error made by Quakes shortstop Darnell Sweeney to start the bottom of the first, and Antonio Lamas followed with an RBI triple to center to put the Ports in front 1-0. After the Lamas triple, Quakes starter Jarret Martin (0-5) retired the next 15 batters in a row. One of those batters, however, was Josh Whitaker with Lamas at third and one out in the first. Whitaker hit a sac-fly to center to score Lamas and make it a 2-0 Ports lead.
The Quakes came back with a run in the top of the second off Ports starter Drew Granier (3-2). Granier hit O'Koyea Dickson to start the inning and Angelo Songco followed with a single to left. Pratt Maynard came up next and hit into a fielder's choice force out that put runners at the corners. Noel Cuevas then reached on an infield single to third that scored Dickson and made it a 2-1 ballgame. Granier would walk the next two batters to load the bases with two outs, but he got Sweeney to strike out to end the threat.
Granier retired seven in a row beginning with the strikeout of Sweeney that ended the second. In the fifth, Scott Schebler led off with a double and was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Granier, though, struck out Sweeney and then got Scott Wingo to ground to second to end the inning.
Granier earned the win, going a season-high seven innings and allowed just one run on five hits while striking out five.
Martin, meanwhile, gave up a single to Bobby Crocker to start the sixth, breaking up a string of 15 in a row set down. Russell came up next and hit into a double-play, followed by Lamas grounding to second to end the inning and Martin's very strong outing.
Martin suffered the tough-luck loss, going six innings and allowing two unearned runs on two hits while striking out a season-high eight.
Seth Frankoff (SV, 1) came on to start the eighth for the Ports and set the side down in order. In the ninth, Dickson led off and hit a deep fly ball to center field. Crocker went back to the wall and made a tremendous leaping grab at the fence for the first out. Frankoff then struck out Songco and got Maynard to ground to first to end the ballgame, earning his first save of the season.
The Ports will go for a series sweep when they play the Quakes in the series finale of their three-game set on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Left-hander Jake Brown (1-0, 3.12 ERA) will make his first start of the season for Stockton, opposed by Rancho Cucamonga righty Duke von Schamann (2-1, 3.80 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.