STOCKTON — As the Ports tried to end their season-worst five-game losing streak Tuesday at Stockton Ballpark, newly promoted outfielder Chase Calabuig did his best to make it happen.
After all, since joining the team Sunday from the Oakland A’s Arizona League rookie team, Calabuig hadn’t won in a Ports uniform. That appeared likely to change as the Ports led San Jose 14-5 in the seventh inning. A final score was not available at press time. For the final score and recap, check recordnet.com/sports.
A crowd of 1,613 fans saw former Delta College product Collin Theroux produce Stockton’s biggest hit with his team-best eighth home run of the year. That three-run homer followed Will Toffey’s solo shot in the fourth inning, giving the Ports (10-9 second half, 54-35 overall) a 4-0 lead.
Nate Mondou also hit a two-run homer in the fifth for a 6-2 lead, while Calabuig earned another two hits to give him five in his first nine at-bats for the Ports.
What Calabuig brings to the team is a quality batting average he has sustained throughout his career. While at Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo he hit for a .315 average, then .350 in the Mountain West Conference while at San Diego State, followed by a whopping .406 average through 16 games with the Arizona League A’s this summer.
Not bad for the 803rd overall pick of the 2018 draft, selected by the Oakland A’s in the 27th round.
“I’ve been able to transfer exactly what I did on the college field on to now the high-A field,” said Calabuig, who majored in kinesiology. “That to me is reassuring to myself that I am good enough to be at these levels.
“Sitting on the couch watching other guys being drafted the last two years, it’s not a matter of hey, they’re better than you,” he said. “Maybe they have some tools that I don’t, but in the long run it’s just who can play the game the best and help their teams win.”
Calabuig has made an impression with the Ports over his first three games. He doubled in his second at-bat Sunday, he collected two hits Monday, and two more Tuesday to raise his batting average to .555.
He first dreamed of playing in the California League while attending games at Lake Elsinore as a 10-year-old. His father, a public defender for the city of Compton, used to take him to the local ballparks to improve his skill-set for hours late into the evening.
“First thing I thought about when I was drafted was the late nights with my dad,” Calabuig said. “I was 12 years old when I really realized (professional baseball) was something I wanted to do. All those little hours of putting in hard work and the sweat, the tears, emotions and the roller coaster. And to get to a point in my life where I did it — accomplished a big dream of mine — words can’t describe the kind of feelings that come with that type of accomplishment.”
After a three-run home run by the Giants’ Jalen Miller in the top of the seventh, Stockton scored six runs of its own. Luis Barrera’s two run single with the bases loaded increased Stockton’s lead to 11-5. Moments later, Mondou’s three-run blast made the score 14-5.