The Gators weren’t able to hang with the Stockton Ports at Banner Island Ballpark, an Oakland Athletics affiliate Single-A team, as they lost 8-1 in an exhibition game on Wednesday before the Ports season opener on Thursday.
Although SF State only scored one run, the coaches were proud of the players and happy with the opportunity the Ports gave to them.
“The ports reached out to us,” Schifano said. “They wanted to get a exhibition game before their season opener.”
Schifano was more than happy to accept the offer, knowing the players were going to be excited playing against the minor league team. The Gators hopes to continue the exhibition games and make it an annual occurrence.
The Ports struck first in the second inning when Mikey White hit an RBI ground to put the Ports up 1-0. But the Gators would answer in the following inning, tying the game at one apiece heading into the third when Ryan Burke scored after opening the inning with a double.
The game wouldn’t stay close for long. The talent disparity between the minor league baseball team and the Division ll college team became apparent in the following innings.
Ports Argenis Raga’s solo home run in the third inning would put the home team back on top for good. In the fifth inning, Ports Joe Bennie added to the lead with a double that knocked in two runs, which stretched the lead to 4-1.
“We competed very well throughout the game,” Schifano said. “We had a couple miscues on defense that lead to some missed runs.”
After nine innings, the Ports had racked up a seven run lead and cruised to a 8-1 victory. Although it was a tough loss, it doesn’t count against the Gators’ record since it was an exhibition game.
Stockton native Brent Montgomery started at pitcher for the Gators in what turned out to be a homecoming for him.
“(Montgomery) grew up in Stockton,” Schifano said. “It was a little bit of a homecoming, so we gave him the start. He had a lot of family there.”
SF State will continue their conference schedule with a weekend series against Cal State San Marcos beginning on April 9.