STOCKTON, Calif. - Marcus Wilson decided Game 1 of the California League North Division Championship Series with one swing of the bat Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Wilson hit a two-out, three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning that broke a 2-2 tie and helped the Visalia Rawhide to a 5-3 win over the Ports in the opener of a best-of-five series.
Visalia opened the scoring in the top of the first inning when, with runners at the corners and two outs, Camden Duzenak scored on a passed ball charged to Ports catcher Collin Theroux that put the Rawhide in front 1-0.
Stockton claimed the lead in the bottom of the second on a two-out, two-run homer by Brett Siddall off Visalia starter Riley Smith. Those were the only runs allowed by Smith as he did not factor into the decision, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on five hits while striking out seven. The Ports had two on with one out in both the fourth and fifth innings and both times hit into inning-ending double-plays.
Ports starter Matt Milburn, beginning with the first out of the eighth inning, set down 10 consecutive batters to take him one out into the sixth. The stretch was ended by back-to-back singles by Wilson and Pavin Smith. After Milburn walked Ramon Hernandez to load the bases, he was lifted for Sam Sheehan. Sheehan issued a bases-loaded walk to Renae Martinez that scored the tying run but would then induce an inning-ending double-play to avoid further damage.
Milburn did not factor into the decision, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing two runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four. Sheehan did not pitch beyond the sixth inning.
Andrew Triggs took over for Stockton in the seventh on a Major League rehab assignment Triggs pitched around a two-out walk in the seventh and worked into the eighth, where he gave up a single and a walk with one out. After a wild pitch put runners at second and third with one out, Triggs struck out Martinez on a 3-2 pitch to finish his outing. Pat Krall (0-1) came on and got Anfernee Grier to ground out to end the inning and the Visalia threat.
Triggs went 1 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed one hit while walking two and striking out two. He threw 34 pitches, 18 for strikes.
Krall worked into the ninth inning where he allowed back-to-back singles to Duzenak and Jazz Chisholm to start the frame. Angel Duno was summoned at that point from the bullpen and he got back-to-back flyouts to left. Wilson came up next with two outs and drove a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence for a three-run homer that gave the Rawhide a 5-2 advantage. The first two runs were charged to Krall, who suffered the loss on the night as Duno went on to finish the ninth.
After Breckin Williams and West Tunnell (1-0) combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, Matt Brill (SV, 1) entered to pitch the ninth and allowed a solo home run to Viosergy Rosa. The blast was the only hit allowed by Brill, who struck out three of the four batters he faced to close out the game and earn the save. Tunnell, who pitched a perfect eighth, picked up the win for the Rawhide.
The Ports and Rawhide play Game 2 of their best-of-five series on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark. Wyatt Marks (2-0, 3.58 ERA) makes the start for Stockton, opposed by Visalia right-hander Jeff Bain (4-2, 4.03 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.