Corey Wimberly had a big game against the Ports.
STOCKTON - In the first of back-to-back games between the two squads, the Sacramento River Cats picked up a 4-0 win over the Stockton Ports in a game played in less than two and a half hours on a cold and windy night. Paul Muyskens reports on the scrimmage between the Oakland A’s two California-based affiliates.
If you were one of the 1,461 in attendance at Banner Island Ballpark for Tuesday night’s game and were able to maintain a scorecard for the entire game without giving up and ripping it in half then kudos to you as the game featured too many defensive changes to count and double-digit pitching changes.
Wasting no time in taking the lead, the River Cats got a one-out walk from Eric Sogard, who would soon be back touching home as, in a sight familiar to Ports’ fans, Chris Carter followed with a deep fly ball to right-center for the game’s first run of the game, as Carter reached third base with a triple.
Ports starting pitcher Anvioris Ramirez settled down and pitched three scoreless innings before allowing a two-run double by Corey Wimberly in his fifth and final inning of work. The lead looked like it would be more as the speedy Wimberly stole third base with one out and Sogard followed with a fly ball to medium right field. However, Jeremy Barfield unleashed a throw that beat Wimberly by a good five feet leaving Wimberly to stop several feet from home plate to be tagged out and end the inning.
Lenny DiNardo took the mound to start for the River Cats and after a leadoff walk to Jermaine Mitchell, he struck out four without allowing a hit in his two innings of work before the path from the Sacramento bullpen to the mound starting getting worn down. Cedrick Bowers struck out one in a perfect third inning, Michael Benacka tossed a perfect fourth inning, and Marcus McBeth pitched a perfect fifth inning with one strikeout.
Fernando Hernandez took the mound for Sacramento in the sixth inning and walked two batters in-between recording two outs before the sixth inning was ended without a third out being recorded. Jonathan Hunton struck-out one in a perfect seventh inning before handing the ball off to Henry Rodriguez, who also struck out one in a perfect eighth inning while hitting 95 on the stadium radar gun.
While the Ports’ offense left plenty to be disappointed about, their pitching left plenty to be excited about, as Trey Barham had a strikeout in a perfect inning of work, Scott Hodson struck-out the side in the seventh and Daniel Sattler struck-out two and allowed just a walk in the ninth.
Sacramento scored the game’s final run in the eighth inning when Wimberly reached on a wild pitch after striking out. He would eventually score on a sacrifice-fly to centerfield by Carter.
With Stockton looking for a hit in their final at-bat, it was Stockton's Jose Pina (wearing a Ports’ uniform) who took the mound for the River Cats in the bottom of the ninth inning looking to close out the no-hitter.
After Michael Spina fouled out to the catcher and Barfield struck out looking, it was Tyler Ladendorf who finally was able to put a hit on the board for the Ports with two outs in the final inning. Ladendorf took a 3-1 pitch deep to left field and off the wall for a double. Kala Ka’aihue would follow with a strikeout to end the game and Pina joined the River Cats for the post-game victory high fives.
In total, the seven River Cats pitchers combined to record 23 outs while not allowing a hit, walking just three and striking out nine. Marcus McBeth, who pitched the fifth inning, would be credited with the win if this was an official game while Ramirez would take the loss for the Ports.
Sacramento and Stockton square-off again on Wednesday for a final tune-up before the regular season begins on Thursday. That scrimmage will be at Raley Field in Sacramento.