FORMER STOMPER RYAN RICHARDSON TO BECOME ALPINE COWBOYS MANAGER FOR 2019 SEASON

SONOMA, Calif.–  The Sonoma Stompers are excited to announce that former pitcher Ryan Richardson will become field manager of the Alpine Cowboys of the PECOS league for the 2019 season. Richardson played for the Cowboys from 2014-2016. “I’m really excited to see baseball from the other side of the ball, I’ve always been intrigued on how managers go about their grind everyday. It should be fun,” said Ryan Richardson.

The former Campbellsville University alumnus spent three seasons with the Sonoma Stompers from 2016-2018, including the 2016 championship season. “Being around two managers like Takashi Miyoshi and Zack Pace in Sonoma helped me see how a ball club should be run,” said Richardson. In 2018, Richardson was a key contributor in the Stompers bullpen contributing a 3-1 record with a 2.94 ERA in 30 appearances. More impressively was Richardson’s 43 to 6 strikeout to walk ratio.

Ryan Richardson celebrating for the Alpine Cowboys. Photo provided by Alpine Cowboys.

Ryan Richardson celebrating for the Alpine Cowboys. Photo provided by Alpine Cowboys.

“Ryan is very deserving of his new position with Alpine. I’m excited for him, and know he’ll be a valuable asset to their organization,” said General Manager Brett Creamer.

Over Richardson’s six year professional career, he’s compiled a 12-9 record that includes a 3.17 ERA and 21 saves. The right-handed pitcher has thrown 221.1 innings while striking out 213 batters to just 48 walks.

The 2019 season will be Richardson’s first as a field manager. “I’ve always wanted to do something with baseball after I done throwing,” said Richardson. The 29-year-old has spent time in the Pecos and Frontier league before playing in the Pacific Association with the Sonoma Stompers. Richardson also spent a year in Japan for the Kagawa Olive Guyners of the Shikoku Island League in 2017-18.

The Alpine Cowboys are one of the three remaining charter organizations of the Pecos league and have a career record of 348-209 with a winning percentage of (.624%). The Cowboys are scheduled to play 64 regular season games that will run from May 30th to August 3rd. In 2018, Alpine held a 47-15 record which earned them first place in the Mountain division before being defeated in the championship to the Bakersfield Train Robbers.

STOMPERS TO HAVE FOUR PLAYERS PROMOTED THIS OFF SEASON

SONOMA, Calif.–  The Sonoma Stompers have now had four players this off season promoted to higher levels of Independent League baseball. During the course of their 57-23 record breaking season, the Stompers promoted catcher of the year Daniel Comstock, outfielder Miles Williams, and pitcher Dominic Toopozian.

This off season, rookie of the year winner Kenny Meimerstorf has signed with the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association. Meimerstorf had a rookie best 23 home runs and 74 runs batted in to compliment his .283 batting average.

Reliever of the year Jacob Cox has signed with the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League. In 2018, Cox set the league record in saves with 26 and tied his career high in strikeouts with 37.

Pitcher Kenny Mathews has also signed with the Windy City Thunderbolts of the Frontier League. The former Indians farmhand dazzled all season with a 4-2 record while holding a 3.86 ERA. Mathews also had a career high 52 strikeouts. “Mathews was a vital member of our rotation this season, and contributed in many ways,” said General Manager Brett Creamer. Also joining the Thunderbolts was late season addition Niko Pacheco. After finishing his 2018 senior season at Loyola Marymount University the Stompers signed Pacheco for their playoff run. In 12 games, Pacheco had his first two professional home runs and provided depth at the catcher and first base position.

Niko Pacheco hitting a home run against the San Rafael Pacifics, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Niko Pacheco hitting a home run against the San Rafael Pacifics, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Sonoma Stompers catcher of the year Daniel Comstock has also been signed by Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the American Association. Former Stompers Brennan Metzger, Derrick Fox, and 2014 league MVP Jayce Ray are also currently listed on their roster as well.

The Stompers will be attending the California Winter League showcase held in Palm Springs this February. “Baseball season is right around the corner. Pace, Eddie, and myself are ready to recruit to try and find the best players possible to represent the Stompers,” said Creamer. Stompers management and staff will also be attending the Western League tryout in February. The tryouts will be held at Sam Lynn Ballpark in Bakersfield.

STOMPERS PARTNER WITH CPA JEFF SPENCER

SONOMA, Calif.–  The Sonoma Stompers are thrilled to announce their partnership with CPA Jeff Spencer in Association with H&R Block. Among other sponsorship elements, Spencer will be sponsoring the Sonoma Stompers batting helmet. “We’re excited to partner with Jeff Spencer and are counting down the days until the season opener. Now we’re able to provide our players with new official game batting helmets that’ll help our players look good on the field and stay safe ” said General Manager Brett Creamer.

The Stompers will be featuring an orange “S” on the front of their batting helmet with a CPA Jeff Spencer logo on the back of the helmet.

stompers_S_plain orange.png


The Sonoma Stompers are currently seeking a partnership that includes uniform advertisement. For the 2019 season the Stompers plan to produce three sets of uniform tops, including a navy alternate top.

Uniform design by Uniform Express

Uniform design by Uniform Express

Uniform design by Uniform Express

Uniform design by Uniform Express

On-field promotion and other advertising is currently available as well. For more information e-mail Brett@stompersbaseball.com or call 707-938-722

STOMPERS TO ATTEND DON LYONS SKILLS CAMP

SONOMA, Calif.–  The Sonoma Stompers are excited to announce they will be partnering with the Sonoma Valley High School Baseball Program during the Don Lyons Sonoma Little League Skills Camp. Stompers players and front office members will join with Sonoma Valley High School coaches to lead Little League players through the camp. The camp is set to take place on January 5th and 6th at Hughes Field, Sonoma, CA at 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.    

Former Stomper player and current Assistant General Manager Eddie Mora-Loera will also be conducting a coaches clinic at the end of the month for the Sonoma Little League. “I think this is good for all organizations involved, our goal is to have a stronger presence in the community and youth of Sonoma,” said Mora-Loera.

Eddie Mora-Loera catching a ball against the the Vallejo Admirals in, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Eddie Mora-Loera catching a ball against the the Vallejo Admirals in, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

The baseball camp is held to honor Don Lyons, who coached for the Sonoma Valley High School Varisty baseball team. After being drafted four consecutive years in the Major League Baseball Draft, Lyons signed with the California Angels in 1976. In Lyons’ first season of processional baseball he was assigned to their Rookie Ball affiliate in Idaho Falls where he held a .326 batting average. Throughout his career, Lyons advanced to the Angles AA-affiliate before a career ending injury in 1979. Lyons then joined the San Francisco Fire Department from 1979 to 2000 before retiring. His son Tommy, played for the Stompers from 2014 to 2017.

“I’m excited for our organization to give back and to have our players share their techniques, playing experiences, and dreams. This is a great way for the youth of Sonoma to play baseball and pick the minds of our professional athletes,” said General Manager Brett Creamer.

Registration for the Don Lyons fundamental skills camp and Sonoma Little League can be found at www.sonomalittleleague.com

Brett Creamer Named Executive of the Year

SONOMA, Calif.– General Manager Brett Creamer was named Executive of the Year for the 2018 season. Creamer was the youngest General Manager in all of Professional Baseball during the 2018 season at 25 years old.

 “I am thrilled to be recognized for the Executive of the Year Award,” Creamer said. “This season would not have been possible without my incredible front office staff Hayley Slye, Joey Samuelson and Manager Zack Pace. Our entire front office, coaching staff, players, interns, volunteers, day of game and Palooza staff were vital in making this record breaking year possible,” Creamer said.

The Petaluma native joined the Sonoma Stompers during the 2014 inaugural 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. He also gained Major League Baseball experience in the ticketing department for the Oakland Athletics before returning to the Stompers as Assistant General Manager in 2017. 

The former Bowling Green State University Sport Management Graduate was named General Manager this past November. “I was given a great opportunity from our owner Jon Sebastiani, and never looked back,” said Creamer.

The clubs attendance rose to 17,501 which was up over 70% from the previous season. Creamer also formed a partnership with Palooza Brewery and Gastropub from Kenwood which provided the first restaurant dining experience in Pacific Association history.

“Brett set the character of the Stompers family. He lead with good communication and positive outlook toward our goals. It was a pleasure to see him lead the Stompers in 2018,” said Pace.

Pace and Creamer helped lead the Stompers to the best record in Pacific Association history. Their 57 wins marks the most since the 2013 season where the San Rafael Pacifics had 54 wins.

“Brett has always made me feel wanted while playing here in Sonoma. This can be difficult with such a high turnover rate for players in Independent league baseball. Now that I have transitioned into the office, I am able to see the changes Brett has made that have improved the finances of the Sonoma Stompers,” said former player and current Assistant General Manager Eddie Mora-Loera.

This is the second time the Stompers have won the Executive of the Year award. Theo Fightmaster, who hired Creamer in 2014 won the award for his accomplishments during the 2016 season. “Theo is a great mentor of mine, and I’m excited to be working with him again,” Creamer said. Fightmaster is the newly appointment Pacific Association commissioner for the 2019 season.

The Pacific Association Most Valuable Player Award will be announced Wednesday December 12th.


ZACK PACE SECURES MANAGER OF THE YEAR

SONOMA, Calif.–  Zack Pace is the 2018 Pacific Association Manager of the Year, which was voted on by executives, coaches, and broadcasters. The Pacific Association has given Manager of the Year awards since 2014.

Pace led the Stompers to a league best 57-23 record and a championship appearance. This was Pace’s first season with the Stompers, and first professionally.

“I am thankful for the whole Stompers family. From Brett and the front office, host families, sponsors, fans, players, and everyone else involved. With great communication, we all worked hard towards our goals and doing the right thing. It was a pleasure to see a positive atmosphere daily created by everyone on the Stompers family,” said Manager Zack Pace.

Following a successful career of 11 years and 853 games played across the American Association, Frontier League and Pacific Association. Pace played five seasons for the San Rafael Pacifics and won three Pacific Association Championships with San Rafael, including the 2014 season in which he hit .321. Pace had a career .268 average, 810 hits in 3,019 at-bats. He stole 214 bases and finished with a lifetime on-base percentage of .402. The lefty attended college at Sonoma State and most recently coached at his alma mater under head coach John Goelz in 2007 and from 2014 to 2018.

Pace and the Stompers set the Pacific Association single season win total with 57, and an impressive .713 win percentage. “Zack and I shared the same vision from day one. We were able to execute our plans effectively and promote players to higher leagues as well… he exceeded my expectations, and is truly a vital asset of the Sonoma Stompers. From his on field demeanor to his off the field upbeat personality, he embodies the Sonoma culture,” said General Manager Brett Creamer.  

Manager Zack Pace congratulating Marcus Bradley in a home game, 2018 in Sonoma, (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Manager Zack Pace congratulating Marcus Bradley in a home game, 2018 in Sonoma, (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Assisting Pace was Sonoma Stompers pitching coach Mike Nunes.  Nunes played at Sonoma State in 2004 and was a graduate assistant in 2005, when current Stompers manager Zack Pace joined the Seawolves. After finishing his time as a GA, he pitched in 26 games for the Mesa Miners of the Golden Baseball League, recording a 3.83 ERA. Mike spent 2006 and 2007 with the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association, including the 2006 season with Pace. Since 2015, Nunes has been an assistant coach at Sonoma State, where he assists in coaching the pitching staff.

Wes Phillips rounded out the coaching staff for the 2018 season. Across four years of Division 1 and Junior College baseball, Phillips was a career .292 hitter with five home runs and 57 RBIs. The Wichita native spent 19 games with the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association in 2017, where he collected nine hits and four runs scored. Phillips coached first base and played in two games with the Stompers during the 2018 season.

The Stompers have now won three of the past four Manager of the Year awards. Former Stomper skipper Takashi Miyoshi won the award in 2016, and shared the title with Vallejo Admirals Manager P.J. Phillips in 2017. Miyoshi spent the 2018 season as a bench coach with the Minnesota Twins Rookie affiliate where they won the Appalachian League championship.



COX CLAIMS RELIEVER OF THE YEAR

SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers are excited to announce that pitcher Jacob Cox has won the 2018 Pacific Association Reliever of the Year award. “This award means a lot, it shows what a long season of consistent hard work can achieve. However, I definitely couldn’t have gotten it without my team. They’re the ones who always gave me the opportunity to come in and do my job,” said pitcher Jacob Cox.

The former Cal State University Monterey Bay alumnus set the Pacific Association saves record in 2018 with 26 saves, breaking former Houston Astros pitcher Sammy Gervacio’s 2017 record of 18. “The past three years playing for Sonoma have prepared me for the next level by showing me what professional baseball is compared to collegiate ball. The level of competition is much higher and the margin for error is almost non existent,” said Cox.

Since the end of the 2018 season with Sonoma, Cox has been promoted to the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League. “This does not come to a surprise to me. He’s been dedicated to his progression since day one. His mindset to not stay complacent and remain persistent of moving up were vital to his success, I believe,” said General Manager Brett Creamer. “I’m most looking forward to the new experiences and the continual growth of my game to become the player I want to be,” said Cox.

Jacob Cox pitching against the Martinez Clippers, 2018 in Martinez, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Jacob Cox pitching against the Martinez Clippers, 2018 in Martinez, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

The Stompers were second in the league with a 4.65 Earned Run Average, and first in saves with 28. “The bullpen was a strong point of our team, and Cox was the backbone of the pen. He’s a great competitor with great tools, I look forward to seeing Cox continue success in his career,” said Manager Zack Pace.

Cox finished his spectacular 2018 season with a 4-0 record and an impressive 2.62 ERA in 37.2 innings pitched. “He’s the real deal, and he took advantage of every opportunity that was given to him this past season,” said Creamer. Cox currently holds the Sonoma Stompers record in games pitched (70) and saves (32).

Sonoma Stompers pitcher D.J. Sharabi placed fifth in reliever of the year voting. The San Jose State alumnus finished the season at 8-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 47.2 innings pitched. “Sharabi was a key contributor out of the bullpen for us and was essential to our success as a team,” said Creamer. Sharabi struck out a career high 51 to just 37 hits allowed.

The Manager of the Year and Pitcher of the Year winners will be revealed on Dec. 10. The Executive of the Year will be announced on Dec. 11, and the 2018 Pacific Association MVP will be announced Dec. 12.



MEIMERSTORF EARNS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR HONORS!

SONOMA, Calif.– Kenny Meimerstorf takes home the 2018 Pacific Association Rookie of Year title. “This award is incredibly meaningful to me. Going into my first professional season I didn’t know what to expect,” said Meimerstorf. The Nevada native attended Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas where he spent four years on varsity hitting for a .406 average, 41 home runs, 188 RBIs, and 163 runs scored in 157 games. Kenny’s stellar 2013 Senior season earned him 2nd-team High School All-American.

After Kenny’s spectacular High School stint, he attended and played at the University of Arizona for the 2014 season. Kenny then transferred to the College of Southern Nevada, where he hit .282 in 63 games. Meimerstorf finished his college career at Florida International University.

For the Golden Panthers, Meimerstorf drove in 70 runs, hitting 13 home runs and totaling 38 extra-base hits over his two seasons. Battling a labrum injury in 2017 as a senior Meimerstorf performed at a high level hitting .324 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs, slugging .498.

 After a successful 2017 senior season, Meimerstorf signed with the Sonoma Stompers for the 2018 season. For the Stompers, the outfielder homered in eight of his first 20 games as a professional. “Half way through the season when I started to reminisce on how far we’ve come as a team and as a player was truly inspiring. The whole year my goal was to win a championship at the end of the year, but Rookie of The Year was always my second goal. After a year of hard work and dedication I am so happy to receive this award and I’m feeling more driven to work harder for the next season,” said Memierstorf. On June 16th, Meimerstorf hit go ahead grand slam off of former MLB veteran J.P. Howell of the San Rafael Pacifics in a 5-3 victory.

 “Kenny showed us a lot of grit this season. Based on his successful track record, we knew what he was capable of. This season was no different,” said General Manager Brett Creamer. The Bishop Gorman product finished second in the Pacific Association in both runs batted in (74) and home runs (23) while playing in 78 of the 80 games.

“His outstanding work ethic on a daily basis showed with his results. Kenny is well deserved for his award and I look forward to watching him grow throughout his career,” said Manager Zack Pace

Kenny Meimerstorf hitting a home run against the San Rafael Pacifics, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Kenny Meimerstorf hitting a home run against the San Rafael Pacifics, 2018 in Sonoma, Calif. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

The 2017 Pacific Association Rookie of the Year winner was Michael Rizzitello of the San Rafael Pacifics who most recently played for the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League in 2018. Meimerstorf is the first Stomper to win the award since Mark Hurley in 2015. “We had such an amazing squad and we were a family on and off the field. We had a great group of guys that loved to compete day in and day out. We constantly pushed each other to be better everyday and that’s why we were the best team that has ever been in the Pacific Association… I am beyond blessed to be a part of the Stompers family,” said Meimerstorf.

Meimerstorf also helped the Stompers walk off twice during the 2018 season. Most notably on July 6th vs. The Napa Silverados where Kenny sent a towering fly ball to left field for his second home run of the game. The post game interview can be found here. “In the upcoming 2019 season my goal is to win a memorable championship and to show up with a winning mentality. I hope to move on to a top tier league to compete for a spot and ultimately move on to affiliated baseball to continue chasing my dreams,” said Meimerstorf.

Sonoma Stompers standout pitcher Tyler Sharp finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting. Sharp’s rookie season consisted of a 6-2 record and a league leading 2.90 ERA. In 80.2 innings pitched, he struck out 79 batters to just 68 hits allowed. The Antelope Valley College alumnus also collected 2 saves.

COMSTOCK WINS GILDED GLOVE!

SONOMA, Calif.– Daniel Comstock took Gilded Glove honors for the 2018 Pacific Association season at the catcher position. The former Arizona Diamondbacks 2015 18th round draft pick played in 49 games for Sonoma, hitting .362 with nine home runs and 50 runs batted in before getting called up to the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League. “Getting catcher of the year is an honor… achieving this award is a milestone in my career that I will never forget,” said Comstock.  Comstock proceeded former catcher Isaac Wenrich who won the award in 2017.

 “Being apart of the Sonoma Stompers family has been a huge blessing in my baseball career and my life. I had the opportunity to play professional baseball in my backyard,” said Comstock. The Petaluma native attended Petaluma High School where he hit .433 in four years of Varsity baseball.

 The righty then attended Menlo College where he held a .355 career batting average with 27 home runs in three seasons before getting drafted with the Diamondbacks.

 “Comstock had an outstanding year, he’s a very knowledgeable and talented player. Comstock was the heart of the team, his character and work ethic helped create the teams identity,” said Manager Zack Pace. Comstock’s 2018 success began on opening night vs. the Martinez Clippers where he went 3-5 with two home runs and a career high six runs batted in.

 “Daniel’s positive outlook and leadership tendencies really helped us out throughout the season. He represented himself like a true professional on and off the field,” said General Manager Brett Creamer.

 The Sonoma Stompers also had catchers Ryan Cooper and Mitchell Ho who finished seventh and tenth respectively in Gilded Glove voting. “The Stompers have been a class act organization since day one and everyday I get to wear that Stompers jersey, it is truly an honor,” said Comstock.


PACIFIC ASSOCIATION INTRODUCES NEW COMMISSIONER, THEO FIGHTMASTER

Former Sonoma Stompers GM appointed executive of burgeoning pro league

SAN FRANCISCO — The Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs has formally named Theo Fightmaster the league’s next commissioner. Fightmaster, who began his Pacific Association career as a front office executive with the San Rafael Pacifics in 2011, also served as the general manager of the Sonoma Stompers from 2014 through the 2017 season.

During Fightmaster’s tenure the Stompers were on the cutting edge and garnered national acclaim for the organization’s progressive tactics. After Sonoma’s 2014 inaugural season, the Stompers partnered with former Baseball Prospectus contributors and managing editors, Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller, to bring analytically driven and experimental ideas to the front office and to the field. The story of the 2015 season was chronicled in the New York Times best-selling book “The Only Rule Is It Has to Work.”

Additionally the Stompers signed the game’s first openly gay player, Sean Conroy, in 2015, and partnered with Francis Ford Coppola’s Virginia Dare Winery in 2016 in an effort to create more opportunities for women in professional baseball. The Stompers recruited Kelsie Whitmore and Stacy Piagno in an effort to integrate the game. The Stompers went on to win the Pacific Association championship that season, and enjoyed a better-than .600 winning percentage in the four seasons under Fightmaster.

“Theo Fightmaster is someone who realized years ago, that to make an impact in the sports world, he would need to think outside the box,” said Billy Bean, VP & Special Assistant to the Commissioner MLB. “His ability to bring progressive minded people together that work as a team caught my attention a few years ago. In that time, his name, while being one of the best in pro sports, has started to become synonymous with innovation. I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

Off the field, Fightmaster guided the Stompers through three separate ownership groups and was part of a front office that lead Sonoma to profitability in their third year of operations. Sonoma saw sponsorship revenues grow for four consecutive seasons (2014-’17), and enjoyed increased ticket sales and food and beverage revenues year over year from ’14 to 2016.

Part of his vision for the Pacific Association is to bring new revenues in the form of corporate partnerships. More immediately, to usher in new ownership to San Rafael. The Pacifics, the charter member of the Association and one of independent baseball’s signature franchises is currently up for sale.

“This league means a great deal to me, as do many of the people in it.” Fightmaster said. “I’ve put literal blood, sweat and tears into this, and I hope to see it continue to grow and stabilize as a premier independent league that offers excellent and well-valued entertainment.

“This league has done so many incredible things in such a short period of time; from experimenting with robotic umpires, to five-man infields, re-introducing the idea of the bullpen fireman role and giving opportunities to gifted players regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and I’m eager to see what’s next. We’ve raised a lot of money for great local organizations and causes, and been significant contributors to the local economies where we play.”

A lifelong Sonoma County resident, Fightmaster is a graduate of the Arizona State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. In 2017 he was recognized by the North Bay Business Journal as one of the regions top 40 executives under forty. He resides in Santa Rosa with his wife, who is a teacher, and two sons. They are expecting a baby girl in March 2019. Fightmaster sits on the board of directors for the non-profit Children & Family Circle, which helps provide free day care for parents of children from infancy to 2 years old. He and his wife have also served as foster parents for multiple children.

ABOUT THE PACIFIC ASSOCIATION

Founded in 2013 by four North American Baseball League teams, the Pacific Association now consists of six professional clubs; the Sonoma Stompers, San Rafael Pacifics, Pittsburg Diamonds, Vallejo Admirals, Napa Silverados and the Martinez Clippers. San Rafael has been crowned league champion three times. Both the Silverados and Clippers joined the fold in 2018 as the only independent league on the West Coast grew from four to six clubs.

The league plays approximately an 80-game schedule between the end of May and early Sept. More than 100 players have been promoted from the ranks to higher professional leagues, and nearly a dozen have been signed by Major League Baseball organizations.