STOCKTON, Calif. - One day after sweeping a doubleheader, the Stockton Ports continued their winning ways on Sunday afternoon at Banner Island Ballpark. The Ports enjoyed their best offensive output of the young season, plating eight runs on 13 hits on their way to an 8-4 win over the Lake Elsinore Storm.
Stockton's offense got off to a fast start as Nate Mondou singled to open the first inning and scored three batters later on a double to right by Greg Deichmann to give the Ports a 1-0 lead.
Ports starter Matt Milburn (1-0) preserved the 1-0 lead through his five scoreless innings of work. Milburn pitched around two singles in the first, a two-out single in the third, a one-out double in the fourth and a leadoff single in the fifth. He would go on to earn the win in his season debut while racking up six strikeouts.
The Ports stretched their lead in the bottom of the fifth facing Storm starter Pedro Avila (0-1). Edwin Diaz led off the inning with his first home run of the season. After Mondou drew a walk, Avila retired back-to-back hitters. With two outs, Deichmann drew a walk to extend the inning for Will Toffey who singled into center to drive in the first of four runs on the day and make it a 3-0 ballgame. Avila was then lifted for Trevor Megill who gave up an RBI single to Dairon Blanco to make it a 4-0 game.
Avila would suffer the loss, going 4.2 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out three.
Lake Elsinore got back into the contest in the sixth facing Ports reliever Brandon Marsonek. After retiring the first batter he faced, Marsonek issued back-to-back walks and then gave up an RBI single to Hudson Potts that gave the Storm their first run. After striking out Jorge Ona, Marsonek walked Brad Zunica and then gave up a two-run single to Ruddy Giron that brought the Storm within a run at 4-3. Marsonek was then lifted for Boomer Biegalski, who struck out Eguy Rosario to end the inning and preserve the lead.
Marsonek allowed three runs on two hits while walking three in two-thirds of an inning.
Stockton got all three runs back in the bottom of the seventh facing Megill. With one out, Jonah Heim singled, Deichmann was hit by a pitch and Toffey drove them both in with a two-run double to left. Toffey scored two batters later on a sac-fly to center by Luke Persico to get the Ports lead to 7-3. Megill went an inning-and-two-thirds and allowed three runs on four hits.
The Storm got a run back in the eighth on a solo homer by Ona, Lake Elsinore's lone home run of the series. It was the only hit allowed by Biegalski who struck out five and did not walk a batter in two-and-a-third innings of work.
The Ports added an insurance run in the eighth as they loaded the bases facing Storm reliever David Bednar. With the bases loaded and two outs, Toffey hit a slow roller out in front of home plate that caused Bednar and catcher Luis Torrens to collide, resulting in no play being made and a run scoring, giving Toffey his fourth RBI of the afternoon.
Angel Duno came on to pitch the ninth and set the side down in order to close out the ballgame.
After taking three of four from Lake Elsinore, the Ports welcome the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes to Stockton for a three-game series beginning on Monday night. Left-hander Zack Erwin (0-0, 0.00 ERA) takes the ball in the series opener for Stockton, opposed by Quakes right-hander Imani Abdullah (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.