Sonoma Stompers Fall Just Short of 2017 Pacific Association Championship in 11-8 Loss to Vallejo Admirals

Derrick Fox went 3 for 6 in Friday's Pacific Association Championship Game at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Derrick Fox went 3 for 6 in Friday's Pacific Association Championship Game at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Hayley M. Slye / Media Director

SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, fell just short of the 2017 Pacific Association championship in Friday’s one-game playoff against the Vallejo Admirals on Friday. 

“Anything goes in a one-game playoff,” said center fielder Matt Hibbert. “It doesn’t take anything away from the season we had or the guys in the clubhouse.”

The Admirals plated a seemingly-insurmountable five runs off of Sonoma starter Ty’Relle Harris and reliever Logan Gillaspie in the fourth to take a 9-1 lead. By the eighth, the Stompers had cut an eight-run lead to one.

“It’s just a testament to the guys we have in the clubhouse and in the dugout. There’s never any quit in our mind. We were down 9-1, I knew we just had to start chipping away. We got pretty close but just came up a little bit short. That’s the game of baseball sometimes,” Hibbert said.

Sonoma starter Ty’Relle Harris allowed six earned runs through three and a third innings, but the Stompers did not give up. Taking advantage of a handful of singles and using some small ball, Sonoma responded with four runs in the fifth and continued to snip at the lead.

Sonoma scored another run in the sixth, making the score 9-7. GIllaspie dealt in the two middle innings, retiring the Admirals in order. In the seventh, Pugh lead off with a single off of Gillaspie. Gillaspie responded with three straight strikeouts.

“He just goes out there and competes,” Hibbert said. “He kind of kept us in the game and kept them from scoring any more runs. Kid’s got a bright future for sure.”

A solo home run from Chris Fornaci in the eighth put the Admirals up 10-8 and knocked Gillaspie out of the game, but the 20-year-old struck out seven in four innings.

Vallejo plated another run in the ninth on a sac fly, putting the Stompers down three runs in the ninth.

Five different Stompers recorded multiple hits in the game. Derrick Fox went 3 for 5, driving in two. Fox was at the plate in the last at bat of the game, working Diaz for nine pitches and battling to keep the game alive. Diaz won the battle.

“We never gave up. It shows me what type of team we are. I’m just so proud of my team and my players,” said manager Takashi Miyoshi.

The Stompers end the season having set a Pacific Association record for wins in a season at 52-26. They also reached several other milestones, including manager Takashi MIyoshi earning his 100th since being named manager midway through 2015. Joel Carranza set the Pacific Association record for career home runs. Stacy Piagno became one of just three women to record a win in an American men’s professional baseball league since the 1950’s.

“This season, we have done a great job. It comes down to a one-game playoff and it can go either way,” Miyoshi said. “We have nothing to be ashamed of… I just want to say thank you to everybody”

Sonoma Stompers Defeat Pittsburg Diamonds 5-4, Look Forward to One-Game Championship Playoff on Friday in Sonoma

Attached photo caption and credit: Scott Plaza pitched seven strong innings in Thursday’s 5-4 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds at Winter Chevrolet Stadium. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Attached photo caption and credit: Scott Plaza pitched seven strong innings in Thursday’s 5-4 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds at Winter Chevrolet Stadium. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Hayley M. Slye / Director of Media Relations

PITTSBURG, Calif.– Under the lights at Winter Chevrolet Stadium in Pittsburg, the Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, played with partial control of their own destiny. The fate of the 2017 Pacific Association season depended on the outcome of the Vallejo Admirals’ matchup with the San Rafael Pacifics a few cities away.

The Stompers defeated the Pittsburg Diamonds, molding a solid start from Scott Plaza into a 5-4 victory. Meanwhile, the Admirals littered the Pacifics with runs en route to a 12-5 victory–remaining tied with the Stompers at the top of the standings and solidifying plans for a Championship Game on Friday at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark.

Sonoma improves to 52-26, ending the regular season having set a Pacific Association record for wins in a season.

“From day one we stuck with our strengths, we know what type of team we are,” Miyoshi said. “All the credit goes to the team. I just want to thank everybody.”

Plaza dazzled until being pulled in the sixth, allowing the Diamonds’ first hit of the game in the fourth. A shower of singles in the third scored two to bolster Plaza’s effort.

“I had the ball at the end of the first half when we clinched in Pittsburg, I had it again tonight and I had it in college (at Division III University of Wisconsin Whitewater) when we won the National Championship,” Plaza said. “That’s what you dream of.”

Solid defense punctuated the game, with Yuki Yasuda and Derrick Fox making long throws to hold up a streak of 11 batters in a row retired. After the Stompers added a run in the top of the sixth, the Diamonds tied it up in the bottom of the frame.

The Stompers regained the lead in the seventh, ignited by a Brennan Metzger double. RBI singles from Yasuda and Matt LoCoco followed, putting Sonoma up 5-3.

“When your defense makes plays like that, it gives you a lot of confidence to keep throwing strikes because you feel like no matter where it’s hit, it’s going to be an out,” Plaza said. “Knowing that we have the best offense in the league, they’re going to give me support even if I do give up three in one inning, they bounce back right away."

Plaza responded by recording two strikeouts in the bottom of the frame for his fifth 1-2-3 inning of the game. He pitched seven strong, striking out seven and allowing three runs on just four hits.

All but two Stompers recorded a hit on Thursday while Yasuda and Scott David recorded two. Catcher Daniel Comstock also drove in two runs. On the Diamonds side, Vinny Guglietti broke the Pacific Association record for hits in a season.

Starter Ty’Relle Harris will take the mound for Sonoma at 7:05 p.m. at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field on Friday. His last time out, Harris pitched five and one third strong innings and picked up the win against Vallejo.

Tickets for the Championship Game and merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.

Sonoma Stompers Maintain First-Place Tie, Defeat Pittsburg Diamonds 7-1 Behind Taylor Thurber's Strong Effort

Taylor Thurber pitched six and two-thirds innings of one-run, three-hit ball in the Sonoma Stompers' 7-1 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds at Winter Chevrolet Stadium on Wednesday. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Taylor Thurber pitched six and two-thirds innings of one-run, three-hit ball in the Sonoma Stompers' 7-1 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds at Winter Chevrolet Stadium on Wednesday. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

PITTSBURG, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, stayed atop the Pacific Association standings with a 7-1 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds on Wednesday.

Bolstered by three Stompers runs in the top of the first, Sonoma starter Taylor Thurber pitched five shutout innings, allowing just two hits in that span.

“We’re trying to come out with a lot of momentum and when your team explodes with three runs in the first inning, you’ve got to come out with that same intensity,” Thurber said.

Thurber’s only blemish was a solo home run by Wes Wallace in the sixth, the Diamonds’ only run on the night and the third hit on Thurber’s watch. Through six, the Stompers out-hit the Diamonds 13-3.

“(Thurber) brought a great effort tonight, he kept us in the game. We had complete comfort when he went out there today that he was going to get us outs and get us a W today,” said shortstop Derrick Fox.

Fox recorded a hit in each of his first three at bats, one of those being a fourth-inning home run. He and Joel Carranza went back to back in that frame, knocking two balls over the fence to start the inning. Scott David also delivered on offense, recording three hits and driving in a run.

While the Stompers remained in solid control of the game at Winter Chevrolet Stadium, the Vallejo Admirals took an early 5-1 lead over the San Rafael Pacifics and never relinquished it.

With Vallejo and Sonoma remaining tied at first in the Pacific Association standings, a potential one-game playoff depends on the outcome of Thursday’s game. If the two teams finish tied for first, the Admirals win the second half due to a better head-to-head second half record.

“There’s always the possibility we could lock it down tomorrow so we of course want to come in with a lot of intensity, lots of energy, finish strong and then if it goes to the one-game playoff get us a victory to keep us rolling into it and keep that momentum,” Thurber said.

Tickets and merchandise for a potential Championship Game at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark on Friday at 7:05 are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.

Sonoma Stompers Set League Record For Wins Behind Erik Gonsalves' Gem in 8-0 Victory Over Pittsburg Diamonds, Stay Tied For First

Starter Erik Gonsalves pitched a complete-game, four-hit shut out in the Sonoma Stompers' 8-0 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds at Winter Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Starter Erik Gonsalves pitched a complete-game, four-hit shut out in the Sonoma Stompers' 8-0 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds at Winter Chevrolet Stadium on Tuesday. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Hayley M. Slye / Director of Media Relations

PITTSBURG, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, became the only team in Pacific Association history to reach 50 wins in a season with an 8-0 victory over the Pittsburg Diamonds on Tuesday.

Sonoma starter Erik Gonsalves pitched a complete-game shutout, the first of his career, to ensure a Stompers victory at a critical moment in the season.

“I just tried to get into the seventh and keep it as close as possible for my team to stay in there and win the ballgame,“ Gonsalves said. “I try to just go one pitch at a time.”

With the Vallejo Admirals defeating the San Rafael Pacifics on Tuesday, the Stompers remain tied with Vallejo at the top of the Pacific Association standings with just two regular season games left to play.

“He pitched a hell of a game, saved our bullpen,” said left fielder Brennan Metzger. “We may need them these next couple games to grind out a couple of wins, so for him to come in there and just shut the whole thing down was awesome.”

Metzger also contributed a solo shot to left field, his fourth home run in three games. Coming into Saturday, he had hit just three in 62 games on the season.

“I started watching some video of myself from a couple years ago and just realized what my hand position was and noticed that I’ve been a little bit lower,” Metzger said. “So I tried to go back to the higher hand slot and it’s working out really well.”

A methodical approach at the plate and solid defense also helped the Stompers stay afloat in a game in which they recorded five hits but drew 13 walks.

“That just goes to show our approach. We’re going to be patient at the plate, we’re not going to swing at bad pitches and we’re going to stick to what we do best. We were able to apply pressure without getting hits today so it worked out well,” Metzger said.

Three inning-ending double plays made three quick innings for Gonsalves, who scattered four hits and issued three walks.

“The defense helped me out big time,” Gonsalves said. “Without those outs, I’m probably not even going in the seventh inning.”

With the victory, the Stompers improve to 50-26 on the season, 22-15 in the second half. If the Stompers aren’t in first come Thursday night, a championship game will be held at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark on Friday at 7:05 p.m.

“We know we’re in a battle right now with Vallejo and what they do is out of our control. The only thing we can control is us,” Metzger said. “This was a big one for us to get off on the right foot.”

Tickets for a possible championship game and Stompers merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.

Sonoma Stompers Take Series Against Vallejo Admirals With 6-4 Victory, Move Back Into Tie at First Place

Scott David (left) and Brennan Metzger (right) both homered in Sunday's 6-4 win over the Vallejo Admirals at Wilson Park, putting the Sonoma Stompers in a tie for first place. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Scott David (left) and Brennan Metzger (right) both homered in Sunday's 6-4 win over the Vallejo Admirals at Wilson Park, putting the Sonoma Stompers in a tie for first place. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Hayley M. Slye / Director of Media Relations

SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, took victory in a critical series against the Vallejo Admirals with a 6-4 win Sunday, leaving the weekend tied for first place in the Pacific Association with three games left to play.

Sonoma starter Ty’Relle Harris gave a strong effort, pitching five and one-thirds scoreless innings and allowing just four hits.

“(Catcher Daniel Comstock) was working for me today,” Ninth-year professional Harris said. “I got outs, but you have (center fielder Matt Hibbert) out there running down fly balls, (third baseman Masa Miyadera) making great defensive plays, (left-fielder Brennan Metzger) running down balls for me, you got the guys saving me… I stayed comfortable because of the guy behind the dish.”

His single earned run came on a sac fly after he had been replaced by Logan Gillespie in the sixth. The run was Vallejo’s only one until the eighth.

“(Ty’Relle) is our guy. I knew, coming into today, especially after last night’s win, we had a good chance to win,” Comstock said.

Brennan Metzger hit his third home run in two days. Coming into the series, Metzger had hit just three on the season. His homer sent three of the runs in a four-run third inning home.

“It’s just amazing. At a time when we need a big hit like that, (Metzger) keeps hitting. Hopefully, he can continue to do that,” said manager Takashi Miyoshi.

In the fifth, Scott David put one over the fence in right to make the score 5-0. David went 4-5 and scored two runs.

The Admirals did not go down quietly. In the eighth, a two-run single from David Kiriakos off of reliever Jacob Cox put the game within two runs. Cox came up with two strikeouts and a groundout to limit the damage.

In the ninth, pinch-hitter Marcus Bradley singled and came around to score an insurance run for the Stompers, breaking a 13-game scoreless streak for Admirals closer Sammy Gervacio. Down to their last three outs, Vallejo faced three different Stompers bullpen arms and scored a run of their own.

In the event of a tie at the end of gameplay Thursday, the Admirals win the second half due to a better head-to-head record. If the Stompers do not win the second half, a championship game will be held in Sonoma on Sept. 1 at 7:05 p.m.

“I just told the boys after the game ended, I’m just going to worry about the next game, one pitch at a time, one player at a time, one at bat at a time,” Miyoshi said. “That’s how we have to play the last three games.”

Tickets for a possible championship game and Stompers merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.

Sonoma Stompers Even Series Against Vallejo Admirals With 9-5 Victory

Brennan Metzger hit two home runs in Saturday’s 9-5 win over the Vallejo Admirals at Wilson Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Brennan Metzger hit two home runs in Saturday’s 9-5 win over the Vallejo Admirals at Wilson Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Hayley M. Slye / Director of Media Relations

Vallejo, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, evened a series against the Vallejo Admirals crucial in deciding the Pacific Association second half with a strong 9-5 victory on Saturday night.

“That team over there, is really good and If we don’t silence them early, they crawl back into ballgames, and that’s what they did,” said catcher Daniel Comstock. “Baseball is a game of momentum and I think we did a good job of keeping it on our side tonight.”

Comstock and Brennan Metzger combined to make a loud statement in the second off of Vallejo starter Brent Adheen, firing a pair of two-run home runs over the outfield fence to put Sonoma up 4-0.  Metzger hit another home run in the fifth, his fifth of the year.

“I was up there and just couldn’t find a way to get the barrel on it and finally I got (the first one) connected and it felt pretty good. It feels good when you hit the ball hard,” Metzger said. “I was watching some video of myself last night and just tried to take some of those things I was watching and bring it into the game today.”

Vallejo answered back with one run in the second and three in the third, tying the game at four. First baseman Graylin Derke collected three RBIs by the third inning off of Sonoma starter Scott Plaza, one a solo shot to right field. Derke’s jack was one of five in the contest.

Plaza went seven innings, keeping the Admirals scoreless in four of them and protecting a Sonoma lead that gained one run in each of the middle innings. RBI base hits from Derke and Nick Akins Sr. made the third the Admirals’ only multi-run inning.

“That was awesome, that’s a real easy situation for a pitcher to just kind of fall and crumble when things aren’t going his way, but he stuck with his stuff and grinded through it and gave us seven great innings tonight,” Metzger said.

The Stompers did not let up. Sonoma worked reliever Alex Fishberg for four straight walks in the sixth. In the eighth, Matt LoCoco hit a leadoff triple, setting the stage for Matt Hibbert to drive him in. An error allowed Sonoma to take a 9-5 lead in the frame. 

Reliever DJ Sharabi came in for plaza in the eighth and sent the remainder of the Admirals back to the dugout in order. Plaza and Sharabi’s efforts were backed by Masa Miyadera’s solid defense at third base. 

“Masa playing defense, making fundamental plays every time, that was game-changing. Some of the plays he made tonight saved us,” said manager Takashi Miyoshi. “If we go into a playoff game, defense and pitching always win games. This game to me, was huge, because now I know how to be ready for that one game.”

With the victory, the Stompers improve to 20-15 at one game back in the Pacific Association standings and nullify the chance of Vallejo clinching the second half over the weekend. 

Sonoma sends starter Ty’Relle Harris to the mound Sunday at 1:05 p.m., looking to take the series and move back into a tie for first. 

“Playoff time, we see everyone get intense, everybody trying to do too much, everybody wants to score. But the key to win a playoff game in a time like this, we just have to stay who we are and stick to our strengths,” Miyoshi said.

Tickets for a possible championship game in Sonoma and Stompers merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.

Vallejo Admirals Down Sonoma Stompers 13-8 in Critical Series Opener Despite Late-Inning Surge

Masa Miyadera went 3 for 3, tripling in the ninth inning of Friday’s 13-3 Sonoma Stompers loss to the Vallejo Admirals at Wilson Park.

Masa Miyadera went 3 for 3, tripling in the ninth inning of Friday’s 13-3 Sonoma Stompers loss to the Vallejo Admirals at Wilson Park.

VALLEJO, Calif.–The Sonoma Stompers, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, were downed 13-8 by the Vallejo Admirals in the first of a critical three-game set.

Sonoma loaded the bases to lead off each of the first two frames, but the effort yielded just one run–not enough to keep the Admirals at bay. Vallejo sailed three, four and five-run innings to a two-game lead in the Pacific Association with five games left to play.

Stompers starter Juan Espinosa allowed three runs in four innings, pitching through two errors and six walks. Right-hander Logan Gillaspie was a bright spot on the mound, retiring the Vallejo batters in order after entering for Zach Wendorf in the sixth. Just one batter before, Chevy Clarke hit a bases-clearing double to give the Admirals a 9-3 lead. 

Dominic Topoozian also shined, bouncing back from a rough outing in San Rafael in which he allowed four earned in three innings. On Friday, Topoozian struck out three in one and a third. 

With Topoozian quieting the Admirals, Sonoma made noise in the later innings. 

Trailing 13-3 in the eighth, the Stompers strung together four runs with just one hit in the frame–a single from Daniel Baptista. The Stompers used a ground ball and a pair of bases-loaded walks to score the other three, rattling five walks and a hit by pitch out of Admirals reliever Andin Diaz in the inning. 

Masa Miyadera went 3 for 3 with two walks on the night, the only Stomper to record a multi-hit game. Miyadera lead off the ninth with a triple and came around to score, but the five late-inning runs weren’t enough to weather the storm. 

With the Pittsburg Diamonds losing to the last-place San Rafael Pacifics 4-0 on Friday, the race for the second half title is down to Vallejo and Sonoma. If the Admirals sweep the Stompers with wins on Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1:05 p.m., they are two games closer to clinching the second half. 

Tickets for a possible championship game and Stompers merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.

San Rafael Pacifics Down Sonoma Stompers 12-2 Behind Max Beatty's Near-Complete Game

Derrick Fox drove in one of the Stompers' two runs in Thursday's 12-2 loss to the San Rafael Pacifics at Albert Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Derrick Fox drove in one of the Stompers' two runs in Thursday's 12-2 loss to the San Rafael Pacifics at Albert Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, dropped their last series of the season against the San Rafael Pacifics with a 12-2 loss at Albert Park on Thursday.

The Pacifics got off to a loud start with a Jake Taylor three-run home run in the first. San Rafael continued to add on in the second off of Stompers starter Taylor Thurber, as a red-hot Cameron Monger delivered an RBI double.

The Stompers went to the bullpen in the fourth, calling upon Dominic Topoozian. He proceeded to retire the side and strike out five in three innings.

Pacifics starter Max Beatty twirled a near-complete game, allowing five hits and two runs. Wenrich recorded the first Stompers hit of the night in the fourth, a double to the left-field corner. He also scored the first Stompers run as Derrick Fox singled him home.

Timely hits from Fox and Miyadera put Sonoma within two runs in the sixth, but the Pacifics came crashing back in the bottom of the frame. Monger sent a ball from Topoozian over the left field fence for a grand slam, putting San Rafael ahead 8-2.

Monger’s moonshot was the second grand slam at Albert Park in two days, the first one being off the bat of Joel Carranza in the Stompers’ favor. As a team, the Stompers have hit about half as many home runs (41) as the Pacifics (77) on the season.

With the Vallejo Admirals winning, the Stompers fall to second place at 19-14 in the second-half Pacific Association standings. If the Stompers do not win the second half, a championship game will be held at at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field on Sept. 1 at 7:05.

Tickets for a possible championship game and Stompers merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.

Tickets for Possible Championship Game at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark Available NOW!

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SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, are on the hunt to defend their 2016 Pacific Association Championship. With the Vallejo Admirals and Pittsburg Diamonds on the Stompers' tail, the last seven games of the season are sure to be a thrill.

If the Stompers do not come in first in the second half, the 2017 one-game Championship will be held at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field on Friday, Sept. 1 at 7:05 p.m. Ticket sales are now open.

In the event that the Stompers win the second-half title and become the outright champions, all tickets for the game will be refunded.

Season ticket holders will have the option to buy tickets for the Championship Game at a special discount. The KRAVE Klub will be available to Werowocomoco Club season ticket holders. All season ticket holders will have until 3 p.m. on Aug. 28 to purchase their seats before they will be offered to the public.

Tickets and merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.

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Grand Slam Lifts Sonoma Stompers Over San Rafael Pacifics in 10-5 Victory

Joel Carranza (left) hit a grand slam in Wednesday's 10-5 victory over the San Rafael Pacifics at Albert Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Joel Carranza (left) hit a grand slam in Wednesday's 10-5 victory over the San Rafael Pacifics at Albert Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.– A seven-run rogue wave in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 10-5 victory over the San Rafael Pacifics kept the Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, afloat at Albert Park.

“We’re confident in the seventh, eighth, ninth innings that we’re going to battle, we’re going to get guys on base and we’re going to score,” said center fielder Matt Hibbert. “I think just knowing that we’ve done it before just gives us that confidence that we can do it again.”

Sonoma starter Erik Gonsalves did not allow an earned run until the seventh, when San Rafael sailed through a 3-1 Stompers lead. Trailing by two runs, Sonoma answered back with five hits, including a grand slam off the bat of Joel Carranza.

“It feels great to put your team ahead and help your team win. Now, in crunch time, with (the Vallejo Admirals) doing as good as they are, and us doing as good as we are, it’s a big thing to do,” Carranza said.

Earlier this season, Carranza broke the league record for career home runs at Albert Park. His shot on Wednesday was his 13th of the year.

Hibbert was also an offensive force Wednesday, going 4 for 6 and crossing the plate twice and driving in a run.

“We just want to apply pressure in any way. It can come by a hit, it can come by me walking or getting on base somehow, some way. But once I’m on, I feel confident that I can get over to second base and find a way to score,” Hibbert said.

Brennan Metzger and Daniel Baptista also continued to deliver for Sonoma, going 2 for 4 with to RBIs and 1 for 3 with two walks and two runs, respectively.

Through his first six innings, Gonsalves allowed no earned runs, issued no walks and gave up just three hits.

“He’s a veteran. He knows what he can do and what he can’t, and he knows how to go out there and do what he can to the best of his ability,” Carranza said.

Together in relief, newcomer Logan Gillaspie and 2017 stalwart Zach Wendorf allowed no runs.

With the Admirals also taking victory on Wednesday, the two teams remain tied at the top of the Pacific Association standings. The Stompers play the series-deciding game against the Pacifics on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. before heading to Vallejo for a three-game set beginning Friday.

“We control our own destiny,” Hibbert said. “We’re focused on what we have to do, not looking elsewhere.”

Tickets for a possible championship game at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field and Stompers merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.