Category Archives: ROAD TRIPS


The Lake Elsinore Storm got four runs in the second inning and held off a ninth-inning rally to beat the Visalia Rawhide by a score of 5-3 on Tuesday night at Valley Strong Ballpark. LHP Luis Gutierrez (W, 1-1) allowed just one unearned run over five innings and Romeo Sanabria belted his eighth home run of the season as the Storm (32-30) clinched the South division first-half title and a berth in the 2024 playoffs.

After a scoreless first inning, the visitors took a 4-0 lead with a second-inning rally aided by a pair of walks. A single and two free passes loaded the bases with one out for C J.D. Gonzalez, who brought in the first run with a sacrifice fly.

With two outs, 2B Chase Valentine singled in a run and LF Wyatt Hoffman doubled in two more to put Lake Elsinore up 4-0.

Gutierrez kept the Rawhide off the scoreboard until the fifth inning when they pushed across a run on a throwing error by 3B Rosman Verdugo with two outs. Visalia RF Angel Ortiz doubled before LF Jefferson Pena grounded sharply to Verdugo, who threw high past first base allowing Ortiz to come around and score to make it 4-1 Storm.

Gutierrez allowed just the one unearned run on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts over five innings. The 20-year old from Venezuela threw 71 pitches, 48 for strikes.

Sanabria’s eighth-inning solo shot made it 5-1, Lake Elsinore, until the Rawhide came up in the bottom of the ninth. A Ruben Santana single and a walk to Ortiz put two on with one out for Visalia. An out later, Cristofer Torin singled to load the bases before Jansel Luis singled in a pair to cut the lead to 5-3 with two outs.

RHP Thomas Balboni Jr. got Demetrio Crisantes to strike out to end the game and earn Balboni Jr. his second save of the season.

It was a thrilling, but disappointing, end to the game for the 1,368 in attendance.

Visalia starter RHP Casey Anderson (L, 2-4) went six innings and allowed four runs on five hits and two walks with six Ks in taking the loss. Outside of the second inning, where he hurt himself with two walks along with two singles and a double, Anderson was efficient in keeping the Storm off of the scoreboard.

Game two of the six-game series goes Wednesday night at 6:30 PM.


The defending California League champions got off to a hot start to the 2024 season, averaging more than 7 1/2 runs per game in winning two of three from the Stockton Ports at Banner Island Ballpark on opening weekend. With a lineup stacked at the top by four of the Seattle Mariners’ top nine prospects, Modesto’s bats came up big in the two wins.

Colt Emerson –

Game one on Friday went to Modesto, 7-2, with the Nuts pulling away late. Colt Emerson (Mariners #3 prospect) came up with one out in the top of the first and turned one around for a home run to put the Nuts up 1-0. The Ports got even in the fourth when Nate Nankill singled in Luke Mann, who had led off the inning with an infield single.

The Nuts put three runs on the board in the seventh and ninth innings to pull away for the win. DH Charlie Pagliarini hit his first home run of the year in the ninth inning, a two-run shot. RHP Tyler Gough started and went four innings for Modesto, allowing a run on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts.

Stockton C Cole Conn had three hits and an RBI to lead the offense. RHP Jackson Finley went four innings and allowed just the one run on Emerson’s homerun, with two walks and six strikeouts.


For Saturday’s game I rode the rails up to Stockton for my first road trip of the season. The Ports came back with a 4-2 victory that saw them keep the potent Modesto bats off the scoreboard until the sixth inning, ultimately surrendering just two runs on five hits.

Nankill was back at it with a two-run double in the first inning to put the Ports up for good. SS Myles Naylor ( #8 prospect) launched a two-run shot in the fifth inning to cap Stockton’s scoring and give the home team a 4-0 lead.

LHP Will Johnston went 4 2/3 scoreless innings for Stockton and left without having given up a hit. Johnston walked four and struck out eight, throwing 80 pitches, 49 for strikes. RHP Corey Avant got the last out in the fifth and ultimately got the win (1-0) for his 1/3 inning of work.

#6 Mariners prospect Jonny Farmelo launched his first homerun of the season in the top of the sixth to get Modesto on the board and #9 prospect Michael Arroyo did the same in the eighth to cap the scoring for both teams.

Modesto starter Will Schomberg gave up two runs on four hits and three walks over four innings, striking out seven.

Mann made two dazzling plays at 3B for Stockton in big moments, flashing both a great glove and a strong, accurate arm.

The crowd of 3,182 was the biggest of the weekend and the energy in the park was great. As a life-long Californian who should probably be living near the equator, I say it was COLD, and this is indicative of this first portion of baseball season. The games start off with bringing layers for when the sun goes away, then it transitions into my favorite part of the year when it’s blazing hot during the day and it feels great as it gets dark and cools down.

The park entertainment was great, including a pre-game concert on the concourse. The batting cages down the right-field line give fans an amazing look at these guys getting their swings right there amongst the crowd. The grassy areas beyond the outfield and the views of the river make Banner Island Ballpark a wonderful place to take in a game. Down the left-field line there’s a walk-in freezer where you go inside to get your beer and soda and come out the other side to pay. Pretty slick. Not especially on this night, but when it heats up it’ll be a godsend.


Today the Nuts broke out big for 17 hits and six homeruns as they put up a 14-5 win. Stockton scored twice in the bottom of the first to go up 2-0 before Modesto scored in seven of the next eight innings for the game and series win.

Nate Nankill, yet again, came through in the first inning with a two- run shot to give the Ports the early 2-0 lead. The 2023 seventh-round draft pick out of Cal State Fullerton went 5-for-9 with two walks, two doubles, a homerun and six RBIs over the three-game series.

Modesto got even in the top of the second when C Connor Charping tripled in a pair of runs. Charping was 4-for-9 in two games with three RBIs.

Stockton’s Conn doubled in a run to put the Ports back up briefly at 3-2. Besides Nankill, Conn was another hitting star for Stockton over the weekend, going 7-for-11 with a walk and two doubles.

After that, it was bombs-away for Modesto with longballs from Emerson (2), #4 prospect Lazaro Montes (1), #30 prospect Luis Suisbel, Farmelo (2), and two from Aidan Smith (2).

RHP German Fajardo went three scoreless, hitless inning in relief with one walk and three Ks to pick up the win.

The hitting stars were all over the place for Modesto this weekend. Suisbel was 6-for-12, Montes was 5-for-12 and Smith was 4-for-14 with the two homers.

RHP German Fajardo went three scoreless, hitless innings in relief with one walk and three K’s for the win.

So, that’s it for Opening Weekend, we are definitely back. This coming week I will be going to either Visalia or Modesto, maybe both.


Stockton @ Visalia Gm 5

The Visalia Rawhide stretched their winning streak to four games with an action-packed 9-8 victory over the Stockton Ports on Saturday night at Valley Strong Ballpark. Gavin Logan doubled and homered, one of four Rawhide batters with multi-hit games as the club rapped out 14 hits.

The starting pitcher matchup pitted two highly touted prospects but neither saw the end of the third inning and the offenses ran wild from the first inning. Landon Sims started for Visalia and gave up a first-inning run and left after a scoreless second inning having thrown 43 pitches, 24 for strikes.

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The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes broke open a close game with an eight-run seventh inning and went on to beat the Visalia Rawhide 12-4 on Saturday night at Valley Strong Ballpark. The Quakes (5-3) pounded out 12 hits, including three home runs, with five batters collecting two hits apiece.

C Thayron Liranzo was 2-for-4 and belted this third home run of the season. LF Jorge Puerta had two hits, including his first home run of the season. CF Chris Newell blasted a three-run shot (3) in the big seventh inning.

Visalia got on the board first when 1B Gavin Conticello doubled in a run in the second inning. Liranzo’s two-run shot in the fourth gave the Quakes a lead they would never relinquish.

Jorge Puerta touches home after his 6th-inning homer

Puerta made it 4-1 with his sixth-inning two-run shot and Visalia scratched for a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 4-2.

Rancho Cucamonga sent 11 men to the plate in the fateful seventh inning and racked up three hits while benefitting from two walk, a wild pitch and two HBPs. When the dust settled it was 12-2 and the Rawhide would only get two more in the bottom of the ninth.

RHP Jeisson Cabrera (W, 2-0) earned the win with his two innings of relief, allowing one run on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Starter Jerming Rosario threw four strong innings for the Quakes, allowing one run on three hits with a walk and six strikeouts for a no-decision.

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The Visalia Rawhide graciously accepted three errors by Rancho Cucamonga to post a four-run inning in a 4-2 victory over the Quakes on Saturday night at Valley Strong Ballpark. Yilber Diaz (W, 4-2) struck out nine over six innings and combined with two relievers to make the big inning stand up.

Rancho Cucamonga took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a Kenneth Betancourt RBI single. It was the only run Diaz would allow.

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Juan Brito doubled in three runs three runs in the seventh inning to give the Fresno Grizzlies the lead and three relievers made it stand up as they came back to beat San Jose 5-4 on Saturday night at Chukchansi Park. The win put Fresno (9-5) into a first-place tie with Modesto in the North division.

San Jose took a 4-2 lead in the top of the sixth on a Garrette Frechette groundout and a Grant McCray RBI single. Angel Chivilli (W, 1-0) came on to get the last out for Fresno and end the rally.

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The Fresno Grizzlies continued their dominance over the Visalia Rawhide with a 15-5 win on Saturday night at Chukchansi Park. The home team pounded out 15 hits and drew 12 walks while blasting four home runs, including a grand slam by Trevor Boone. With the win, the Grizzlies (37-19) stretched their lead over San Jose in the North division to five games.

Victor Juarez (W, 4-0) had a dominant start, going 6IP with 0 runs allowed on 2 H, 0 BB and 6 K. Juarez leads the California League in ERA (2.41), WHIP (0.92) and Opp Batting Average (.197).

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The Fresno Grizzlies got back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning from Warming Bernabel (6) and Hunter Goodman (14) to come from a run down and win 8-7 at Chukchansi Park on Tuesday night. Yanquiel Fernandez hit a grand slam (4) in the second inning to get the scoring started.

Diomede Sierra started for Visalia and pitched a scoreless first inning but then was touched up for 6 runs (5 ER) in the second. Fresno starter Jarrod Cande had nearly the same experience, throwing two shutout innings before the Rawhide answered with a five-run third inning. Only two of the runs were charged to Cande.

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Inland Empire had a four-run inning to build a lead, then pulled away with a six-run inning as they beat Visalia 11-2 on Saturday night at Valley Strong Ballpark. The 2-5 hitters did plenty of damage with nine RBIs, led by Edgar Quero who homered (5) and Werner Blakely who drove in three.

Quero got the scoring started with a first-inning blast, his third of the series. Visalia answered in the bottom of the first when Wilderd Patino singled, advanced to second on a Deyvison De Los Santos single, stole third and finally came home on a wild pitch.

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Nick Brueser‘s eighth-inning grand slam proved just enough for Stockton to outlast the Fresno Grizzlies in a wildly entertaining game on Saturday night at Chuckchansi Park. Brueser’s blast gave the Ports a late 10-4 lead, but the home team got a slam of its own from Trevor Boone in a long bottom of the ninth inning before falling just short in a 10-8 Stockton win.

The Ports got on the board first in the second inning with a three-run rally started by a Junior Perez single. Back-to-back doubles by T.J. Schofield-Sam and Robert Puason made it 2-0 before Max Muncy made it 3-0 with an RBI single.

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