Nicholas Badders to be the 2018 voice of the Sonoma Stompers

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SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers are pleased to announce Nicholas Badders as the team’s new Broadcaster for the 2018 season. The Bay Area native is President of the Walter Cronkite Sports Network at Arizona State University, where he is studying sports journalism.

“I love calling games because every time I go on the air, there is a chance I have someone listening to the sport for the first time,” Badders said. “I have the opportunity to show someone the love I have for the sport.”

Badders works for Pac-12 Plus network, where he lends his voice to play-by-play of digital streams of ASU baseball, softball, and soccer games. He is also a part of Blaze Radio, Arizona State’s student radio station where play-by-play broadcasting of hockey, softball, and baseball takes place.

“The chance to join the Sonoma Stompers organization is one I am incredibly excited for, with the high level of play they put on the field every single season and the impact they make not only on the local community, but the national baseball community as well,” Badders said.

“There’s no place I would rather spend my summer, I’m very excited for the season to start.”

STOMPERS TICKETS

The 2018 season of Stompers baseball is approaching! Find our schedule and buy tickets online at stompersbaseball.com. For more information or if you are interested in partnering with the Stompers, please to call us at (707) 938-7277.

Two-Time Pitcher of the Year Patrick Conroy to Join Sonoma Stompers

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SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers are proud to welcome two-time Pacific Association Pitcher of the Year Patrick Conroy to the team for 2018. He will bolster the Stompers pitching staff as well as serve as pitching coach under manager Zack Pace. 

Conroy spent two years in the Kansas City Royals organization before earning his league honors with the San Rafael Pacifics, where he has played since 2014. 

“The awards themselves were definitely an honor. I think it's a reflection of what I've learned from the Pacifics and my teammates,” Conroy said. "I think I learned just as much, maybe even more after the Royals. It's definitely a reflection on the quality of coaching and baseball that we have in this league."

The San Rafael native is also the pitching coach at College of Marin and previously held the same position at Terra Linda High School.

“Patrick has great knowledge of the game from his experience playing and coaching at high school and junior college,” Pace said. “He is a huge asset to the organization as a coach and as a player. I feel confident having Patrick lead our pitching staff to be successful.”

Pace, who Conroy calls a “great baseball mind and person,” was teammates with Conroy on the Pacifics from 2014 to 2016. The Pacifics won two championships in that span. 

Conroy says there “will be emotion there” when he faces the Pacifics in a Stompers uniform, but he’ll treat it like any other game. Instead, he wants to focus on his performance on the mound and helping his teammates. 

“Playing against the Stompers in the past, I've had the utmost respect for everybody and I thought the community was great,” Conroy said. “We were rivals, but being a Stomper now, I'm excited for my coaching and pitching career.”

STOMPERS TICKETS

The 2018 season of Stompers baseball is here! Tickets are available now at stompersbaseball.com. For more information or if you are interested in partnering with the Stompers, please to call us at (707) 938-7277.

 

Joel Carranza, Ryan Richardson sign with Japanese independent team

 Photo via Kagawa Olive Guyners on Twitter

Photo via Kagawa Olive Guyners on Twitter

SONOMA, Calif.– Former Sonoma Stompers star Joel Carranza will spend the 2018 season with the Kagawa Olive Guyners, an independent team in the Shikoku Island League. Carranza joins former teammate Ryan Richardson, who ascended from the Stompers to the Olive Guyners in mid-2017.

Carranza won the Pacific Association Most Valuable Player award in 2016, slugging 15 home runs in 78 games and leading the league with a .316 average. Carranza’s play helped earn the Stompers their first-ever Pacific Association championship.

“We’re thrilled to send players from our organization to higher levels of baseball,” said Stompers General Manager Brett Creamer. “They’ll be missed in Sonoma, but I’m excited for the opportunity Ryan and Joel have been given.”

In 2017, Richardson notched a 3.46 ERA in 26 innings. He also contributed to the 2016 championship team, throwing a scoreless outing in eight of nine appearances.

Established in 2005, the Olive Guyners and have won five Shikoku Island League Championships, most recently in 2012.

 

STOMPERS TICKETS

The 2018 season of Stompers baseball is approaching! Find schedule updates, season ticket and flex plan information at stompersbaseball.com. For more information or if you are interested in partnering with the Stompers, please to call us at (707) 938-7277.

Sonoma Stompers name Zack Pace as new manager

 Zack Pace settles into the dugout at Arnold Field, where he'll spend 2018 managing the Sonoma Stompers. 

Zack Pace settles into the dugout at Arnold Field, where he'll spend 2018 managing the Sonoma Stompers. 

SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club is proud to announce Zack Pace as the team’s new field manager. Pace, a Sonoma State alumnus and Bay Area native, brings 11 seasons of independent baseball experience to his new role.

"I love the grind," Pace said. "You have to go out there every day and give it your best shot and try to get better that day."

After playing in independent leagues all over the Midwest, including one that played all 96 games on the road, Pace returned to Northern California in 2012 and became one of the first players signed to the San Rafael Pacifics. Now, his focus is on the Stompers organization.

“Zack and I share the same vision for the Stompers,” said Stompers General Manager Brett Creamer. “I know Zack will recruit a competitive team that is eager to compete day-in and day-out for a Pacific Association championship.”

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I want to be a class-act team and do things the right way. Not everything is going to go exactly how we want, but let’s create a positive atmosphere.
— Pace

Pace is no stranger to championships. He won three Pacific Association Championships with the Pacifics, hitting .321 in 74 games en route to their 2014 title. Before that, his high school team won the North Coast Section CIF Championships in 2002 and got to dogpile at the Oakland Coliseum. 

“I know the competitive edge he brings to the Stompers, and that will take us a long way.  His positive mentality and eager work ethic consistently impress me,” Creamer said. 

After retiring in 2016, Pace began coaching at his alma mater under legendary head coach John Goelz. His love of the game is what drives Pace, and informs his coaching philosophies. 

"You're constantly learning. And when you have to teach the game, I think you have to learn a little bit more,” Pace said. "I love coaching. I just love seeing the improvement and I love seeing guys get it.”

He cherishes the relationships he’s built over the course of his career, and says being part of a team means "attacking the everyday struggles in life–facing other teams, in a sense–with your family."

"I want to be a class-act team and do things the right way. Not everything is going to go exactly how we want, but let's create a positive atmosphere," Pace said.

Former manager Takashi Miyoshi left the Stompers to coach in the Minnesota Twins organization. 

The Stompers begin the 2018 season in Martinez on May 31. A league-wide open tryout will be held in San Rafael on April 21. 

STOMPERS TICKETS

The 2018 season of Stompers baseball is approaching! Find schedule updates, season tickets and flex plans online at stompersbaseball.com. For more information or if you are interested in partnering with the Stompers, please call us at (707) 938-7277.
 

Takashi Miyoshi Advances to Affiliated Ball to Coach in Minnesota Twins Organization

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SONOMA, Calif.–  Former Sonoma Stompers manager Takashi Miyoshi is headed to affiliated ball. Miyoshi, who lead the Stompers to a Pacific Association all-time best 52-26 record last season, will spend 2018 coaching in the Minnesota Twins organization.

“I’m officially with the Minnesota Twins organization now, but I will always have a special place in my heart for the Stompers. I wish them the best of luck and will always be rooting for the Stompers wherever I am,” Miyoshi said.

The Tokyo native will join the Elizabethton Twins, Minnesota’s rookie-ball affiliate in the Appalachian League in Tennessee. During his Stompers tenure, "Yoshi" lead his team to three first-half titles and two Championship games, taking the trophy home outright in 2016.

“Yoshi has had an enormous impact on the Sonoma Stompers and the Pacific Association. His advancement to affiliated baseball is exactly what this league is all about,” said Stompers General Manager Brett Creamer. “His professionalism and attitude is second to none. Sonoma wishes him nothing but the best as he continues to pursue his dreams in affiliated baseball with the Elizabethton Twins.”

Miyoshi’s record-setting 2017 season was just one of his career milestones in Sonoma. He reached his 100th managerial win in July, after taking the helm midway through the 2015 season. When he took over as manager, he became one of the first Japanese-born managers in professional baseball. 

“I’m trying to get better, just like the players. I’m trying to prepare every day that I can. I’m not a ‘great’ yet, but I’m just trying to be,” Miyoshi said after clinching the first-half title last season.

Miyoshi also earned consecutive Manager of the Year recognitions in 2016 and 2017 for his leadership. He said he was proud to spend every day working towards a Championship in the Stompers uniform.

“Sonoma is the best city I have ever been to, and where I’ve met best people I’ve ever known. It’s a beautiful city and I now consider it my second hometown," Miyoshi said. 

Miyoshi was featured in the New York Times bestseller "The Only Rule is it Has to Work" of which the Stompers were the subject. He was also manager of the Stompers during many of the team's history-making moments, including Stacy Piagno's seven-inning, one run start in 2017, which earned the Stompers a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame for the third year in a row. 

FULL STATEMENT FROM TAKASHI MIYOSHI

The last three years I’ve spent with the Stompers have been the best ones of my life. I have met great friends, made so many memories and am extremely grateful for everyone who supported me on and off the field.

Thank you to Jon and Carol Sebastiani, as well as Derek Rampone and Eric and Lani Gulotta for allowing me to manage the Stompers. Additionally, thank you to Theo Fightmaster. Without his courage and trust, I would not be where I am today.

Thank you to my coaches and players. I was proud to put on a Stompers uniform every day and work towards a Championship with you.

Thank you to the front office staff, the trainer, the clubhouse manager and every person who is involved with this great team. Every sponsor, fan and season-ticket holder allowed me to do what I love most on this planet.

I’m officially with the Minnesota Twins organization now, but I will always have a special place in my heart for the Stompers. I wish them the best of luck and will always be rooting for them wherever I am.

2018 SEASON

The 2018 season of Stompers baseball is approaching! Find schedule updates, season tickets and flex plans online at stompersbaseball.com. For more information or if you are interested in partnering with the Stompers, please call us at (707) 938-7277.

 

Sonoma Stompers' Top Five Baseball Moments of 2017

Now that the new year is upon us, we'd like to look back on 2017 and discuss our favorite moments. Feel free to share yours in the comments, or email us at info@stompersbaseball.com. Yours could be featured in a future post. 

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5. Matt Hibbert's 10th inning Walk-Off homer

Trailing by two in the tenth inning, veteran Stompers center fielder Matt Hibbert stepped up to the plate. He crushed a three-run shot to start the Stompers' second half 6-0. 

“I just visualized myself doing it before I got up there and made it happen,” Hibbert said. 

 

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4. Chris Matthews Award

2017 marked the debut of the organization's Chris Matthews Award. The award honors those in the clubhouse who exemplify the qualities of generosity, dedication to the team and leadership that Matthews showed with the 2016 Pacific Association championship team.  In addition to presenting the inaugural plaque to the honor's namesake, the team presented veteran right-hander Ty'Relle Harris with the 2017 award. 

“Baseball is a sport that revolves around failure. It's easy to stress out, but it's the right group of girls and guys in the clubhouse that allows you to have success,” Harris said.

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3. First Half Win

Sonoma’s 28 first-half victories set both a league and franchise record. They would go on to set the league and franchise record for wins in a season, at 52-26. In the title game, a tenth inning double-steal play on with two outs gave Sonoma the 6-3 lead. Closer Jacob Cox secured the win in a game where the Stompers faced Pittsburg Diamonds starter and former Major Leaguer Travis Blackley. 

2. League Honors tyler Garkow

Garkow, the league leader in strikeouts (97) and ERA (2.56), received 25 more votes than the next-closest contender. In August, he left the Pacific Association to be called up to the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League. Garkow’s nearly-100 strikeouts came in just 13 starts for Sonoma. In that span, Garkow did not pitch less than five innings in a start. He recorded 10 or more strikeouts three times.

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1. Stacy Piagno Gets the Win

In her first start of the season, Stacy Piagno faced the league's best offense and came out of it with a seven-inning, one run performance en route to the win. 

“It’s always a thought in your mind, especially in our situation coming in here as a female, can I really be successful? Can I go deep in the game? I’m not just out here for a hoax. It proves to myself that yes, all the hard work can pay off and yes, I can be successful out here,” Piagno said. 

In doing so, Piagno became one of just three women to pick up a "W" in a men's professional baseball league since the 1950's. 

Sonoma Stompers Name Brett Creamer as New General Manager

 The Sonoma Stompers announced Petaluma native Brett Creamer as the team's new General Manager Monday. 

The Sonoma Stompers announced Petaluma native Brett Creamer as the team's new General Manager Monday. 

SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club is proud to announce Brett Creamer as the team’s new General Manager. He succeeds Theo Fightmaster, who had been at the helm of the Stompers since the team’s inaugural 2014 season.

“I am thrilled with the incredible opportunity presented to me by ownership. After being a part of this team for two seasons, I am eager to continue building a strong relationship with the community,” Creamer said. “ Armed by my past experience, I am confident in my ability to lead this organization.”

Creamer joined the Stompers during the 2014 season as the Director of Game Day Operations and Community Affairs before working three seasons for the Golden State Warriors in event and arena operations.

The Petaluma native also gained Major League Baseball experience in the ticketing department for the Oakland Athletics before returning to the Stompers as Assistant General Manager for 2017.

During Fightmaster’s tenure, the team reached three championship games, winning once in 2016. He negotiated the deal that made the Stompers the subject of the New York Times-bestselling book “The Only Rule is it Has to Work,” and established inclusive roster-building practices that earned the team national acclaim.

“The past four seasons have been four of the best years of my life, professionally and personally. I've made great friends and countless memories,” Fightmaster said. “I'm so incredibly grateful for every single person who has supported the Stompers since 2014, for every player who's donned our uniform and taken the field, and for each generous host family, sponsor and season ticket holder who, very simply, allowed me to do what I got to do.”

Creamer will oversee all aspects of the Stompers organization. Hayley Slye, formerly the Stompers’ media director, has also been promoted to Director of Marketing.

“I have learned so much from Theo over these few years, and am excited for his next chapter. The rest of the Stompers family and I will miss him,” Creamer said.

FULL STATEMENT FROM THEO FIGHTMASTER:

 Former General Manager Theo Fightmaster presents Ty'Relle Harris with the 2017 Chris Matthews Award for team leadership on Aug. 11 (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Former General Manager Theo Fightmaster presents Ty'Relle Harris with the 2017 Chris Matthews Award for team leadership on Aug. 11 (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

The past four seasons have been four of the best years of my life, professionally as well as personally. I've made great friends and countless memories. I'm so incredibly grateful for every single person who has supported the Stompers since 2014, for every player who's donned our uniform and taken the field, and for each generous host family, sponsor and season ticket holder who, very simply, allowed me to do what I got to do.

But, like all good things, this has come to an end. I feel strongly that It's time for a fresh set of eyes. New vigor, determination and a renewed spirit of enthusiasm is required to help this team continue down a sustainable and long-lasting path.

I want to share a heartfelt thanks to Jon and Carol Sebastiani, as well as the previous owners, Eric and Lani Gullotta and Derek Rampone for allowing me to make a living doing something I love. To our relentlessly hard working manager, Takashi Miyoshi, thank you for making me look smart and being open to new ideas, challenges and helping make social progress in this great game of baseball. And to the Stompers staff this past season, and every season prior who've made the heavy lifting a bit lighter, it's been an honor to work with you to bring Stompers Baseball to life every night at Arnold Field.

While the day-to-day managing of the business of the Stompers is no longer something I can devout the required attention and passion to, the Stompers do and will always occupy a part of my heart, as well as a convenient scapegoat for my depleted hairline.

Thank you, thank you and thank you again. Go Stompers.


PRESS CONTACT: Hayley M. Slye | hayley @stompersbaseball.com | (707) 938-7277

Tyler Garkow Named Pacific Association's 2017 Pitcher of the Year

 Tyler Garkow toes the rubber at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field during the 2017 season. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Tyler Garkow toes the rubber at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field during the 2017 season. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif.– The Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs is proud to announce Sonoma Stompers right-hander Tyler Garkow as the league’s 2017 Pitcher of the Year.

“I am very happy Tyler Garkow is receiving this award. All the hard work pays off on and off the field. Garkow is true professional, so it was a fun watching him every time he pitched for us,” said Stompers manager Takashi Miyoshi.

Garkow, the league leader in strikeouts (97) and ERA (2.56), received 25 more votes than the next-closest contender. In August, he left the Pacific Association to be called up to the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League.

“We’re all doing the best we can and we’re still fighting and scratching and clawing for that dream. I’m just fortunate enough to be one step closer,” Garkow said after his last start as a Stomper. “It doesn’t mean I’m more deserving than anybody else, I just got the opportunity. I just have to make the most of it.”

Garkow’s nearly-100 strikeouts came in just 13 starts for Sonoma. In that span, Garkow did not pitch less than five innings in a start. He recorded 10 or more strikeouts three times.

“The voters got this one right. Tyler was a tremendous asset for us, and a big reason for so much of our success this season. I’m thrilled we were able to have him as long as we did, and I’m even more proud of what he accomplished, and what is in store for him in the future,” said 2017 Stompers President and General Manager Theo Fightmaster.

Takashi Miyoshi, PJ Phillips Win Dual Manager of the Year Awards

 Manager Takashi Miyoshi speaks with infielder Scott David during a 2017 home game at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Manager Takashi Miyoshi speaks with infielder Scott David during a 2017 home game at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif.– While Sonoma Stompers Manager Takashi Miyoshi set a league record for wins in a season, Vallejo Admirals skipper PJ Phillips lead his team to their first-ever Pacific Association Championship.

“Yoshi is an enormous asset to our organization and to this league. He’s poured his heart and soul into this organization, and the return on that has been great success for our ball club and the players who’ve gone on to higher levels. Additionally, you won’t find a single manager in this league more professional, harder working and more respectful of the game,” said 2017 Stompers President and General Manager Theo Fightmaster.

The two managers tied for the league’s 2017 Manager of the Year award, selected by three members of each Pacific Association team. Miyoshi was also the recipient of last season's Manager of the Year award after leading the Stompers to the 2016 championship. 

"I am extremely humbled and honored to receive this award for second time in my career. I want to thank my players for all of their hard work," Miyoshi said. "Most importantly, I want to thank the fans. Without their support, I would not get this award."

When he was promoted in 2015, Miyoshi became the first Japanese-born manager in American professional baseball. He notched his 100th managerial win in July. 

Miyoshi thanked his coaching staff, the Stompers' ownership and front office as well as a few important members of the Stompers family. 

"I would like to dedicate this award to the legend of (longtime Sonoma Valley High Varsity Baseball Coach) Don Lyons and his family. Being a part of the Sonoma baseball community is special for me," Miyoshi said. "Thank you all for everything you have done for me."

Phillips, the brother of longtime Major Leaguer Brandon Phillips, took his team from a 12-27 record in the first half to a 24-15 record in the second, securing a spot in the Pacific Association Championship game.

While Phillips’ squad lead the league in hits, home runs and doubles, the Stompers scored 74 more runs than their league opponents and recorded the most RBIs.

Three Stompers take Defensive Player of the Year Honors

 Isaac Wenrich, Brennan Metzger and Matt Hibbert (left to right) won league awards for defense at catcher, left field and center field, respectively. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Isaac Wenrich, Brennan Metzger and Matt Hibbert (left to right) won league awards for defense at catcher, left field and center field, respectively. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif.– Three Sonoma Stompers took Defensive Player of the Year honors at their respective positions, the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs announced Monday. The awards were selected based on their ability and performance by three representatives of each Pacific Association team. 

In addition to driving in 52 runs for the Stompers in 2017, catcher Isaac Wenrich owned a fielding percentage of .993 in 68 games played. The team completes a trio of defensive award recipients with center fielder Matt Hibbert and left fielder Brennan Metzger. It is the second time Hibbert has won the award since joining the Stompers in 2014.

“All three of these guys were integral to our amazing success this season. Hibby has been a pillar on this team since he first arrived. And bringing back Isaac and Brennan really added, not just great talent, but veteran leadership too. These awards are well deserved, and hard earned by all three,” said 2017 Stompers President and General Manager Theo Fightmaster.

The league will continue to announce the rest of the end-of-season award winners this week.

 

FULL LIST OF DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Pitcher: Max Beatty (SRF)

Catcher: Issac Wenrich (SON)

First Base: Vinny Guglietti (PIT)

Second Base: Ordomar Valdez-Martinez (PIT)

Third Base: Chris Fornaci (VAL)

Shortstop: Jose Garcia (PIT)

Left Field: Brennan Metzger (SON)

Center Field: Matt Hibbert (SON)

Right Field: Miles Williams (SRF