LANCASTER, Calif. - The Stockton Ports returned to the site of their only loss of the season when leading after the eighth inning and came away with their first win when trailing after the eighth inning. The Ports rallied from down two runs in the top of the ninth inning, scoring five in the final frame to upend the Lancaster JetHawks by a final of 8-5 on Thursday night at The Hangar.
For a second straight game, the Ports scored two runs in the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Lazaro Armenteros grounded into a fielder's choice force play to bring the first run in. Jeremy Eierman followed with a two-out single to drive in a second run and give the Ports an early 2-0 advantage.
The JetHawks got a run back in the back in the bottom of the second on a leadoff home run hit by Todd Czinege, the first of four solo homers hit by Lancaster in the contest. Ports starter Mitchell Jordan would give up a leadoff home run to Luis Castro in the fourth that tied the game at 2-2.
Lancaster's lone run that didn't' come on a solo homer came in the fifth as the JetHawks put runners at first and third with one out and got a sac-fly from Ryan Vilade to take a 3-2 lead. The JetHawks increased their lead in the sixth when Castro led off with his second home run of the night and, three batters later, Ramon Marcelino added a solo blast to make it a 5-2 game.
Jordan would be rendered a no-decision as he went six innings and allowed five runs on seven hits, including a career-high four home runs allowed.
JetHawks starter Garrett Schilling did not allow a run outside of the two runs in the first inning. Schilling was in line for the win but was rendered a no-decision as he worked five innings and allowed five hits while striking out five.
After Moises Ceja pitched two scoreless frames starting in the sixth, Nick Kennedy took over in the eighth and saw Jameson Hannah lay down a bunt. Kennedy fielded the bunt and made an errant throw to first that allowed Hannah to get all the way to third base. Hannah scored on an ensuing sac-fly by Austin Beck that cut the JetHawks lead to 5-3.
Salvador Justo (1-1) took over for Kennedy to start the ninth and gave up a leadoff single to Trace Loehr followed by a one-out single to Robert Mullen. Nick Allen came up next and hit a sinking line-drive single to right that landed in front of the right fielder Marcelino and then skipped past him and to the wall, allowing both runners to score and Allen to get to third base. After the base hit and fielding error tied the game, Hannah came up and delivered the go-ahead single into center field that gave Stockton a 6-5 lead. Beck followed with a two-run homer that stretched the lead to 8-5.
Justo suffered his fourth blown save plus the loss, allowing five runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Will Gilbert (1-0), who pitched two scoreless innings beginning in the seventh, picked up the win for the Ports. Jake Bray (SV, 2) came on and worked a scoreless ninth to notch his second save of the season.
Beck went 3-for-4 in the contest with three RBI and came a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. It marked the second time in four days that Beck has missed just one element of the cycle as he needed the home run on Monday night versus Modesto.
The Ports and JetHawks play the second game of their four-game series on Friday night at The Hangar. Brady Feigl (3-2, 3.59 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Lancaster right-hander Antonio Santos (1-2, 4.20 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.