Stockton Ports take series finale, 6-2

Varsho homers, Stapler tosses career-best seven innings

By Vinnie Longo
Rawhide Baseball

VISALIA – The Ports jumped on the board early on Monday night and, despite a late rally, held on to beat the Rawhide 6-2 in Visalia’s final regular season home game of the season.

Stockton (72-60/29-33) scored first in the third when Edwin Diaz doubled and Santiago Chavez put a line drive into right. In the first of a series of bizarre plays during the afternoon, Stephen Smith gunned down Chavez at first. The Ports led 1-0 and never gave it up.

Diaz doubled twice and scored twice and Viosergy Rosa put up a pair of hits for the Ports. Stockton scored twice more in the fifth, once in the sixth, and twice more in the eighth on a two-run single by Greg Deichmann to put the game out of reach.

Visalia (66-67/29-33) rallied for a run in the bottom of the fifth on a single by Camden Duzenack, then Daulton Varsho hit a solo home run off the foul pole in the sixth.

Trailing 4-2 into the seventh, The Rawhide put the tying run on second with one out, but Will Gilbert (SV, 1) got out of the jam unhurt by striking out Adam Walton and getting a groundout by Duzenack. He faced the minimum over the final two innings to secure the win.

Cole Stapler (L, 0-7) tossed a career-high seven innings and was tagged for four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. Erbert Gonzalez took over for the eighth and gave up a pair of runs on two hits and two walks. Carlos Bustamante took over for Gonzalez with two runners on and retired all four men that he faced.

Xavier Altamirano (W, 5-5) held the Rawhide to just two runs on eight hits over six innings with one strikeouts. Will Gilbert tossed three innings to pick up the save.

Varsho and Walton both picked up multi-hit games. Duzenack had the lone RBIs for the Rawhide

With the loss, the Rawhide and the Ports are now tied for first with seven games left. If Modesto wins against San Jose later tonight, they will make a three-way tie for first place.

The Rawhide hit the road for the final seven games of the season, starting with a crucial three-game set at Modesto Tuesday night, Aug. 28. RHP Riley Smith (8-5, 3.41) will toe the rubber against RHP Darren McCaughan (6-10, 3.09). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. and the live radio broadcast will be available on rawhidebaseball.com.

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