Stockton Notebook: Ports' Offense Cooking

The Stockton Ports' (36-34) first baseman Daric Barton and starting pitcher Trent Peterson gave their dads an outstanding performance for a Father's Day treat as they led the team to victory on Sunday afternoon, beating the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (28-41) 11-3 in front of a crowd of 3,562.

Peterson (4-6) recorded the victory on the Father's Day afternoon game, the Ports final home game of the first half.

"I haven't called my dad to wish him a happy fathers day yet," starting pitcher Trent Peterson said after Sunday's game. "He'd much rather have me concentrate on the game and then call him. He knew I was starting today, so this was a nice little present for him."

Peterson gave the fans a scare when the first three batters of the game all flied out to the warning track, but after the first few innings he seemed to settle down.

"Every time the ball goes in the air, especially in a ballpark like this, you get a little bit nervous," Peterson said. "But once I was out of that inning you just have to put it behind me and forget about it."

First baseman Daric Barton started things off with a RBI single off the Quakes starting pitcher Bill Edwards, scoring left fielder Danny Putnam from second.

It seemed Ports Manager Todd Steverson wanted to spend his Father's Day in the clubhouse after getting ejected for arguing questionable infield single call in the top of the second. The next batter after the ejection, Quake third baseman Matt Brown, hit a two run shot into the stands giving Rancho Cucamonga the 2-1 lead.

The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the fifth when the Ports regained the lead with a two-run double off the hot bat of Daric Barton. The double sent Quake starting pitcher Bill Edwards out of the game. He gave up three runs on six hits in four and two-thirds innings.

Quake left-fielder Matt Pali quickly retaliated with a solo shot to the right field grass in the top of the sixth that tied the game, 3-3.

The Ports offense continued to excel in their next at-bat in the bottom of the sixth when RHP Aaron MacKenzie, who replaced Edwards, gave up a leadoff double to right fielder Richie Robnett, a walk to DH John McCurdy, an unsuccessful fielders choice bunt by Eddie Cornejo that loaded the bases, and a RBI walk to Putnam.

After giving up a bases loaded walk to make the score 4-3, MacKenzie (0-1), who recorded the loss, was replaced by RHP Richard Thompson. Third baseman Vasili Spanos then welcomed Thompson by hitting a two-run single up the middle. The next batter, Barton, collected his fourth RBI of the day with a single to right, giving the Ports a 7-3 lead over the Quakes.

With a four-run lead, the Ports newly appointed coach for the day, Scott Emerson, sent Peterson to the showers and replaced him with RHP Conner Robertson in the top of the seventh. Peterson gave up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk in six innings.

"I felt pretty good, just went out there and tried to establish my fastball and the changeup" Peterson said. "When we go out there and score four or five runs in an inning like that it takes a lot of pressure off and I could relax."

Stockton received some insurance runs in the eighth when Fredric DeLoizaga-Carney came into pitch and gave up three runs and five walks in just two-thirds inning pitched. Barton got one of the RBIs when he smashed a hard hit single to righ,t giving him his fifth RBI of the day.

"It was just a good game to play today," Barton said. "I was just trying to hit the ball and make contact, and the ball just fell for me."

The Ports scored an additional run in the eighth when the Quakes replaced DeLoizaga-Carney with left fielder Matt Pali. Pali walked the first batter he faced with the bases loaded, sealing the deal for the Ports, 11-3.

The Ports had 10 hits on 11 runs for the day. Barton led the offense, going 4-5 with 5 RBI. Putnam went 1-2 with 3 walks, an RBI, and 3 runs scored. The red hot Ports offense has scored 41 runs in the past four games.

"Our offense is coming along quite a bit," Barton said.

The Ports hope their offense will continue to succeed when they start a six game road trip on Monday against Inland Empire and Rancho Cucamonga to finish up the first half.

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