STOCKTON, Calif. - On a night where the Stockton Ports had just one run-producing hit, it was a wild pitch that secured them a win on Tuesday at Banner Island Ballpark. Visalia Rawhide reliever Kyler Stout (3-1), after walking the bases loaded to open the bottom of the ninth, uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Jameson Hannah to score the winning run as the Ports sent the Rawhide to a 5-4 loss to even the series at a game apiece.
Visalia used the long ball to open the scoring in the third inning as Joe Robbins homered in his first at-bat in the California League to give the Rawhide a 1-0 lead. Visalia added to its lead in the fifth as Ports starter Mitchell Jordan issued back-to-back walks to open the inning. With one out, LT Tolbert doubled to right field to score Alex King and make it 2-0. Mark Karaviotis followed with a sac-fly to center to stretch the lead to 3-0.
The Ports answered back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Lazaro Armenteros drew a walk to bring in Stockton's first run. At that point, Visalia starter Shumpei Yoshikawa was lifted for Cole Bartlett. Facing Hunter Hargrove, Bartlett induced a ground ball back to the mound. Trying to start a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play, Bartlett made an errant throw to the plate as the ball sailed to the backstop and allowed two runs to score, knotting the game at 3-3.
Yoshikawa would not factor into the decision as he went 4 1/3 innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits while walking three and striking out four.
Jordan worked into the sixth for Stockton and, after allowing a single and back-to-back walks with one out, was lifted for Wandisson Charles. Charles struck out King for the second out, but as he was working to Robbins, he uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Jake McCarthy to score from third base and give the Rawhide a 4-3 lead. Charles would go on to strike out Robbins on the next pitch to end the inning.
Jordan would not factor into the decision, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs on six hits while walking four and striking out eight. Charles would go on to work 1 2/3 scoreless frames and strike out three.
The Ports tied it in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out RBI single by Nick Allen, scoring Jeremy Eierman who'd doubled to open the frame. It was the only run allowed by Bartlett in his 2 2/3 innings of work.
Stout came on to work the bottom of the eighth for Visalia and worked around a pair of singles. In the ninth, Stout issued three straight walks to Hannah, Alfonso Rivas and Armenteros to open the frame. After getting Hargrove to line out to the shallow infield for the first out, Stout, on a two-strike pitch to Trace Loehr, threw one past the glove of the catcher Renae Martinez and to the backstop, allowing Hannah to score the winning run and giving Stockton a 5-4 victory.
Seth Martinez, who came on to work the eighth and retired all six batters he faced while collecting four strikeouts, picked up the victory for the Ports.
The Ports and Rawhide play the rubber game of their three-game series on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Brady Feigl (3-2, 3.61 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Visalia right-hander Cole Stapler (3-3, 3.06 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.