STOCKTON, Calif. -The Stockton Ports fell to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2-1 on Saturday night despite a great start from Wander Guante. The right hander went five innings without allowing a run and only three hits but was stuck with a tough no-decision as the Ports fell for the second
STOCKTON, Calif. -The Stockton Ports fell to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2-1 on Saturday night despite a great start from Wander Guante. The right hander went five innings without allowing a run and only three hits but was stuck with a tough no-decision as the Ports fell for the second consecutive night.
Guante found himself in trouble in the second inning but worked his way out of a bases loaded jam. In total he struck out six Quakes batters while only walking one. Unfortunately for the Ports, Rancho Cucamonga starter Roque Gutierrez was even better, also going five innings and striking out six. The Quakes right hander only allowed one hit and left the game having completed his longest appearance as a pro.
In the top of the sixth inning Joe Vetrano reached on an infield single to the left side. One batter later Wilman Diaz doubled to right center field, scoring Vetrano from first and breaking the scoreless tie with the Quakes up 1-0.
In the seventh inning Rancho Cucamonga struck again when Sam Mongelli singled to lead things off. He advanced to second base on a Kendall George walk and then was driven in on a Thayron Liranzo ground ball single to right field, increasing the Quakes lead to 2-0.
The Ports answered the second run immediately in the bottom of the seventh inning when Myles Naylor hit a 424-foot home run off Quakes reliever Brandon Neeck that landed on the right center field grass berm in Banner Island Ballpark, slicing the lead in half.
Stockton almost had a thrilling walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth inning as Henry Bolte walked with two outs to give the crowd hope. Jose Mujica followed and hit a towering fly ball down the left field line that hooked foul and left the Ports down to their final strike. The distance on the foul ball was 329 feet, easily clearing the 300-foot distance down the line. That loud second strike of the at-bat was followed by a ground ball back to Rancho Cucamonga reliever Kelvin Ramirez, who was able to turn to first and throw out Mujica, ending the game. Ramirez collected his third save of the season and preserved the first win of the year for Gutierrez as Stockton fell short 2-1.
The Ports will try to preserve a series split tomorrow in the home finale of the 2023 season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 pm at Banner Island Ballpark.