LANCASTER, Calif.- The Stockton Ports were two outs away from victory on Tuesday night at The Hangar. Before they knew it, they were watching the Lancaster JetHawks celebrate as they walked off with an improbable win. The Ports committed two errors in the ninth and saw the JetHawks score four runs down to their final two outs as Lancaster handed Stockton a 7-6 loss to open a six-game road trip.
The JetHawks opened the scoring in the second when, with the bases loaded and two outs, Carlos Herrera hit a two-run double to right to give Lancaster a 2-0 lead. The JetHawks added to their lead in the third when Luis Castro led off with a solo home run to make it a 3-0 game.
Stockton's big burst of the night came in the fourth as they opened the inning with six consecutive hits. Alfonso Rivas doubled, Lazaro Armenteros reached on an infield single and Austin Beck put the Ports on the board with an RBI single to left. Jeremy Eierman followed with an RBI single to left to make it 3-2. Hunter Hargrove came up next and put the Ports in front with a two-run double to left-center and Jonah Bride followed with an RBI single to center to give the Ports a 5-3 advantage.
JetHawks starter Will Gaddis worked into the fifth and gave up a leadoff home run to Rivas that made it a 6-3 Ports lead. Gaddis would get through the fifth and not factor into the decision as he allowed six runs on nine hits while striking out three.
Ports starter Mitchell Jordan kept the JetHawks off the board over his final three innings of work and would be in line for the win but ended up with a no-decision. Jordan went six innings and allowed three runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four.
Peter Bayer took over in the seventh and pitched 1 1/3 innings before being lifted with two on and one out in the eighth for Nick Highberger (1-1), who got back-to-back outs to preserve Stockton's three-run lead.
After the Ports loaded the bases with nobody out and came away empty-handed in the top of the ninth, Highberger came back for the bottom of the ninth ands truck out the first batter of the inning. Herrera came up next and hit a solo homer to right to make it 6-4. Ryan Vilade came up next and reached on a throwing error by the second baseman Eierman. After Castro was hit on an 0-2 pitch to put two aboard, Sean Bouchard walked to load the bases. Casey Golden came up next and hit a fly ball to right field. Jameson Hannah got camped underneath the fly ball but missed the ball on the way down. The error allowed two runs to score and tied the ballgame at 6-6. After an intentional walk loaded the bases and drew the infield in, Matt McLaughlin won the game with a base hit up the middle through the shallow infield, giving the JetHawks a 7-6 win.
Austin Moore (2-0), who pitched two scoreless innings down the stretch for Lancaster, picked up the win.
For the Ports, it marked their first loss in a game this season when leading after the eighth inning.
The Ports and JetHawks play the second game of their three-game series on Wednesday night at The Hangar. Brady Feigl (2-1, 3.82 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Lancaster left-hander Lucas Gilbreath (2-0, 3.33 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.