MODESTO — The Modesto Nuts finally broke out the bubbly Saturday night.
The Nuts clinched a second-half California League North championship with a 5-3 victory over the Stockton Ports at John Thurman Field.
Modesto jumped out to a big lead then held on to secure the victory.
With two runners on and one out and after having batting coach Jonathan Stone ejected for arguing with umpire Luke Engen Jared Simon blasted a three-run homer that put the Nuts up 3-0 . Modesto added single runs in the second and third innings to build a 5-1 lead. Stockton wasnt done, though, scratching together single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to pull within 5-3. But the Modesto bullpen shut the Ports down the rest of the way, with Bruce Kern closing out the win to record his second save.
Chris Jensen (5-8) got his first home win of the season, going six innings and allowing two runs.
Modesto went 42-26 in the second half to claim the title.
The Nuts have the home-field edge for their three-game series with Visalia.
The teams open at Visalia on Wednesday, with Games 2 and 3 slated for Modesto on Thursday and Friday.