STOCKTON, Calif. - The Stockton Ports saw extra innings for the first time on Saturday night at Banner Island Ballpark and snapped a five-game losing streak to the Modesto Nuts. Jeremy Eierman singled over the shallow infield in the bottom of the 10th to score the game-winning run and help the Boys of Banner Island to a 4-3 win over the Nuts to even their series at a game apiece.
The Ports opened the scoring in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded and two outs, Alfonso Rivas tapped an infield single to the right side of the infield. That coupled with a throwing error made by Nuts first baseman Eugene Helder allowed two runs to score and gave the Ports a 2-0 advantage.
Modesto fired back with one swing of the bat in the top of the fourth. With one on and one out, Joe Rizzo hit a two-run homer to right field to tie the game at 2-2. The Nuts grabbed their first lead of the game in the fifth. Jack Larsen led off with a single and, two batters later, scored on a double by Luis Liberato to put Modesto in front 3-2.
Ports starter Xavier Altamirano did not factor into the decision, going five innings and allowing three runs on eight hits while matching a career-high with nine strikeouts.
Nuts starter Ray Kerr would escape a bases-loaded jam with nobody out unscathed in the fifth to complete his outing. Kerr got a strikeout of Lazaro Armenteros, a groundout to the shallow in field from Rivas and a strikeout of Eierman to wiggle out of the jam. Kerr would be rendered a no-decision, going five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits while walking five and striking out two.
The Ports knotted the score at 3-3 in the sixth on a clutch hit by Nick Allen. With a runner at first and two outs, Allen lined a double to left field off Nuts reliever Kyle Wilcox that tied the contest. It was the only run allowed by Wilcox in two innings of relief.
After Pat Krall pitched two perfect innings beginning in the sixth, Seth Martinez (1-2) came on for the eighth and would work the next three innings without allowing a run. Martinez had a runner at third with one out in the top of the 10th and got a groundout to the shallow infield followed by a flyout to keep the score tied.
After Collin Kober worked two scoreless innings for the Nuts beginning in the eighth, Scott Boches (1-2) came on to work the 10th with Armenteros starting as the free runner at second base. After Rivas grounded out to first to advance Armenteros to third, Eierman came up and hit a broken-bat single over the shallow-playing infield to score Armenteros and win the ballgame for Stockton.
Boches suffered the loss, allowing an unearned run in the bottom of the 10th. Martinez picked up his first California League win for Stockton.
The Ports and Nuts play the rubber game of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Banner Island Ballpark. Kyle Friedrichs (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Modesto right-hander Ljay Newsome (4-1, 1.47 ERA). First pitch is set for 2:09 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.