STOCKTON, Calif. -
The Stockton Ports appeared ready to concede Sunday's contest with the Visalia Rawhide after having just one hit over the first six innings. The Boys of Banner Island, however, trailing 8-2, scored seven runs over the final two innings to beat the Rawhide by a final of 9-8 and take a 2-1 lead in the final four-game series of the 2012 season.
Visalia scored two runs in the top of the first off Ports starter Max Perlman, with one of the runs being unearned after a fielding error committed by third baseman B.A. Vollmuth. Visalia made it 3-0 after grabbing a run in the third on an RBI groundout from Garrett Weber.
Stockton got in the run column in the bottom of the third as Dusty Robinson led off with a walk, stole second, went to third on a grounder to the right side, and scored on an RBI groundout from Yordy Cabrera to make it 3-1. The Ports cut the deficit to a run in the fourth when B.A. Vollmuth walked to start the inning, went to second on a fielding error made by shortstop Mike Freeman, and scored on a sac-fly from Ryan Ortiz.
Visalia starter Anthony Meo received a no-decision after going five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on just one hit while striking out five.
The Rawhide built on their lead in the fifth as Max Perlman allowed three straight singles to open the inning, the third from Garrett Weber which drove in a run and made it 4-2. Perlman was lifted after walking Keon Broxton to load the bases and Pedro Vidal entered the game. Vidal allowed a two-run single to Tyson Van Winkle that made it 6-2.
Perlman received a no-decision, going four-plus innings and allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits while striking out four.
Vidal allowed two runs of his own in the sixth when Weber came up with one on and two outs and hit a two-run homer to left that made it an 8-2 game.
Stockton, trailing 8-2, would rally beginning in the seventh against Rawhide reliever Kyle Winkler. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Winkler threw a wild pitch that scored Robinson from third and made it 8-3. With two on and one out, Myrio Richard hit a two-run single to left that brought the Ports two within three runs at 8-5.
The Ports completed their comeback in the eighth inning. Jeremy Erben, who'd come on to finish the seventh, started the eighth and with one out, walked Robinson and then gave up a two-run homer to Michael Gilmartin that made it a one-run game at 8-7. After Cabrera singled to right-center, Erben was lifted for Blake Cooper (3-7) who got Chad Oberacker to fly to left for the second out. Richard came up next and with one on and two out, hit a two-run homer to left that gave Stockton a 9-8 lead.
Erben received a no-decision after allowing three runs on two hits over an inning of work while Cooper took the loss as he was responsible for the go-ahead run scoring.
Jeff Urlaub (2-2) picked up the win for Stockton after tossing 2.1 perfect innings in relief.
Zack Thornton (SV, 16) came on to pitch the ninth and allowed a one-out double to Broxton. After Carter Bell reached on an error, Thornton got Van Winkle to hit into a game-ending 1-6-3 double-play to notch his 16th save of the season.
The Ports and Rawhide will close out the 2012 season on Monday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Nate Long (4-4, 5.12 ERA) will get the start for Stockton, opposed by Visalia left-hander Andrew Chafin (6-6, 5.07 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.