Ports on Wrong Side of Slugfest in Loss to Nuts
STOCKTON, Ca. - The Ports pounded out 19 hits but came up just short as the Modesto Nuts scored five times in the top of the ninth inning to defeat Stockton 16-14 in the opener of a six game series on Tuesday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
The Nuts (60-50) began a night of offense with four runs in the top of the first against Grant Judkins. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Robert Perez, Jr. lined a double down the left field line to score Milkar Perez from second base giving Modesto a 1-0 lead. Two batters later Eric Jones blasted his first home run of the season, a three-run shot to right field to give the Nuts a 4-0 advantage.
The Ports struck back with a run in the bottom of the first and four in the second to take a one run lead. Zack Gelof got the first inning started with a one-out single against Nuts' starter William Fleming and advanced to third on a double to left by T.J. Schofield-Sam. CJ Rodridguez then singled to right to score Gelof, getting the Ports on the board and making it 4-1. Kevin Richards led off the second inning with a solo home run to left field, and with runners on second and third and one out Gelof clubbed a three-run homer to left center to put the Ports on top 5-4.
Facing Ports' reliever Grant Holman, though, the Nuts quickly re-captured the lead in the top of the third when Spencer Packard hit a two-out, two-run home run over the Jackson Rancheria Back Porch in right field to make it 6-5.
With the score still 6-5, Robert Perez, Jr. led off the top of the fifth with a solo shot to right center off Holman to increase the Nuts lead to two. Robin Vazquez came on in relief of Holman after the home run, and after an error and hit by pitch James Parker lined a two-out double to the gap in right center field to score two runs and give the Nuts a 9-5 advantage.
In the bottom of the sixth the Ports put together a six-run rally to take the lead again. The Ports loaded the bases with one out on three straight singles for Schofield-Sam who lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to bring the Ports to within three. Nick Brueser and Rodriguez each lined RBI singles up the middle to make it 9-8 before Brayan Buelvas followed with the big blow of the inning, a three run home run to right field to give the Ports an 11-9 lead.
Tied at 11 after Modesto struck for two in the top of the seventh, Gelof put the Ports ahead once again in the eighth. Facing Nuts' reliever Juan Mercedes leading off the frame, Gelof homered to the berm in right center to put Stockton back on top 12-11.
But as was the case all evening, the Nuts answered back with a crooked number in the top of the ninth to take the lead again. Hunter Breault walked Packard with one out and after back-to-back singles loaded the bases, Brett Rodriguez hit a ground ball back up the middle that Breault knocked down but then threw errantly home allowing two runs to score to give the Nuts a 13-12 lead. Ed Baram came on and walked Milkar Perez to load the bases again, and Colin Davis followed with a groundout to shortstop to score another run giving the Nuts a two-run lead. With runners on second and third Trent Tinglestad blooped a single to left field to score two runs to make it 16-12 Modesto.
The Ports scored twice in the ninth on a balk and RBI groundout by Sahid Valenzuela, bringing Gelof to the plate as the tying run with two outs, but Mercedes struck out the Ports' third baseman to end the game.
Breault (1-1) took the loss for the Ports allowing four runs (one earned) in two innings, while Mercedes (7-4) got the win for Modesto allowing three runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched.
The Ports and Nuts continue their series with game two on Wednesday at Banner Island Ballpark, where it will be the first night of COPA Week 2.0 featuring the Caballos de Stockton. Tickets are still available at stocktonports.com.
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Low-A West League Stories from September 15, 2021
- Inland Empire Drops Opener at Lake Elsinore 6-4 - Inland Empire 66ers
- Giants Rout Grizzlies, Extend Win Streak to Six - San Jose Giants
- Ports on Wrong Side of Slugfest in Loss to Nuts - Stockton Ports
- Fresno Falters to San Jose on Tuesday - Fresno Grizzlies
- Nuts' Five-Run Ninth Secures 16-14 Win - Modesto Nuts
- Quakes Open Final Home Stand with Win - Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
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