VISALIA, CA - Stockton blasted three home runs, tying the season-high for homers allowed by the Rawhide this season, and powered their way to a 7-3 win at Rawhide Ballpark to set up a series rubber match tomorrow evening. The homers accounted for five of the Ports' seven runs on the night, with the other two coming on RBI singles by Trent Gilbert and Sean Murphy.
Rawhide starter Ryan Atkinson (L, 2-2) kept the Stockton (42-45) hitters at bay for most of the night, striking out 10 over his 5.2 innings. He allowed a solo homer to Gilbert to start the scoring in the third and worked to minimize the damage in a jam in the fourth, where three straight singles from Seth Brown, Mikey White, and Murphy brought home the second run of the game. Atkinson gave way to Cody Clark with two outs in the sixth and two runners on, and Clark allowed both to score, one on a single from Gilbert and the other on a three-run homer by Brett Siddal to break the game open and give the ports a 6-0 lead.
Clark would allow one more run to score when Skye Bolt hit a solo shot to begin the seventh inning. Austin Mason and Keegan Long would both pitch a scoreless inning of relief, but the damage was already done.
Visalia (23-24) kick started their offense in the bottom of the sixth with a one-out double down the third base line by Marty Herum. Herum moved to third on a Francis Christy single and then four pitches later Henry Castillo plated both of them with a line-drive double down the right field line, putting the Rawhide on the board. Castillo put up his second consecutive multi-hit night and his second straight multi-RBI game as well, the first time this season he's accomplished the feat.
The Rawhide scored their final run of the night when Herum hit a hot-shot grounder through the legs of Brown at first, which scored Galli Cribbs all the way from second, pulling the Rawhide within four. Visalia was set down in order during the final two innings.
Right-hander Casey Meisner (W, 3-5) dealt another strong outing, going 6.2 innings, the longest by a Ports starter this year, and struck out seven. The 26th ranked prospect in the Oakland A's system danced in and out of trouble all night, scattering eight hits and walking two.
The Rawhide will conclude the three-game series against Stockton tomorrow evening and will look for their second consecutive home series win in the series rubber match. First pitch will be at 7:00 PM and will face off Visalia RHP Justin Donatella and Stockton LHP Evan Manarino. Tickets are still available on Rawhidebaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.