VISALIA, Calif. - One big inning took the Visalia Rawhide past the Stockton Ports on Tuesday night at Recreation Ballpark. The Rawhide scored five runs in the sixth inning and it carried them to a 7-5 win over the Ports, evening their three-game series at a game apiece.
The Stockton offense was working early as Ryan Gridley, Jameson Hannah and Alfonso Rivas all singled to load the bases with nobody out. After Lazaro Armenteros struck out, Trace Loehr walked on four pitches to bring in the first run of the game. Jeremy Eierman came up next and tapped into a 1-2-3 double-play to end the inning.
Stockton widened its lead in the third as Gridley reached on a fielding error committed by third baseman Alex King. Hannah and Rivas followed with back-to-back RBI doubles to make it a 3-0 advantage. Those were the last runs allowed by Rawhide starter Jeff Bain, who did not factor into the decision after allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits in four innings.
Ports starter James Kaprielian did not allow a run in his three innings of work. He worked around three hits while striking out six, including the last four batters he faced.
Jared Poche'' (0-6) took over for Kaprielian in the fourth and allowed his first two runs in the fifth. Tim Susnara reached on a leadoff walk and scored on an RBI double by King to put the Rawhide on the board. After Jorge Perez laid down a sacrifice bunt, L.T. Tolbert hit a sac-fly to right field to make it a 3-2 game.
The Ports got a run back in the sixth as Loehr doubled to start the inning and scored two batters later on a single by Jonah Bride to make it 4-2. It was the only run allowed by Rawhide reliever Jayson McKinley (2-0), who earned the win after going two innings and allowing two hits while striking out four.
In the sixth, Poche' issued a leadoff walk to Camden Duzenack and then gave up an RBI double to Jake McCarthy, followed by an RBI single to Anfernee Grier that gave Visalia its first lead of the night. Two batters later, Susnara hit a two-run homer to right field to make it a 6-4 game. After King doubled, Poche' was lifted for Jake Bray, who saw Tolbert hit a sac-fly to center to make it a 7-4 contest.
Poche' suffered the loss, going 2 1/3 innings and allowing seven runs on six hits while walking two and striking out three.
The Ports got a run closer in the seventh as Hannah doubled to open the inning and was driven in by an ensuing single from Rivas to make it 7-5. It was the only run allowed by Visalia reliever Luis Castillo, who went two innings and allowed three hits while striking out one.
Breckin Williams (SV, 7) set the side down in order in the ninth and recorded a pair of strikeouts to close out the ballgame and earn his seventh save of the season.
The Ports and Rawhide play the rubber game of their three-game series on Wednesday night at Recreation Ballpark. Brady Feigl (5-3, 3.13 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Visalia right-hander Justin Vernia (3-0, 3.62 ERA). First pitch is set for 7 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.