Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
2-out runs are always talked about as the most important runs a team can get, mainly because the team that gets them takes what could be a negative (In this case, the end of the inning) and turns it into a positive.
So when a team scores 11 of them in a game, well, maybe it's just time you tip your cap and move on to the next one.
That's exactly what happened to the Sonoma Stompers Friday night, as the San Rafael Pacifics scored all 11 of their runs with two outs to cruise to an 11-4 victory in the opening game of the team's weekend series at Albert Park in San Rafael.
The exclamation point for San Rafael (3-4 2nd half, 22-23 overall) came in the eighth inning as Matt Chavez hit his 20th home run of the season, breaking the single-season record for the Pacific Association of 19 set by Sonoma's (4-3, 30-13) Joel Carranza in 2014.
The three-run blast off Jon Rand, Jr. was the third home run in four games against the Stompers this week for Chavez, who broke the record with 33 games left to play in the season. Should he stick around the entire season, he could obliterate the record much like Carranza did last season, when Carranza broke the old league record of 11.
Sonoma had the initial lead at 2-0, but with two outs in the second, San Rafael took the lead for good with a three-run burst against starter Eric Schwieger (5-2). They repeated the effort in the third with three more runs, and the rout was on from there.
The Stompers offense that had been so proficient at Arnold Field (They scored 31 runs in the series and outscored the Pacifics by six runs) was held in check by Nick DeBarr (3-4) Friday night. After the initial burst, DeBarr settled down and retired 12 straight batters through the first four innings, giving his offense ample opportunities to take care of business.
There was some controversy after the play that ended the third inning. On a David Kiriakos single, Johnny Bekakis was thrown out at home on a great throw by Taylor Eads, but San Rafael manager Ryan Kavanaugh thought that Wenrich had blocked the plate as he was going for the ball. The home plate umpire disagreed and Stompers catcher Isaac Wenrich got into an argument with Kavanaugh, were teammates from both sides held their respective teammates back as they headed to the dugouts.
When Wenrich led off the fifth inning, he was plunked by DeBarr with the first pitch, seemingly a retaliation for the argument that occurred earlier. Words were exchanged between Wenrich and DeBarr as Wenrich went to first, but it was nothing more than that. Later that inning, DeBarr also hit leadoff man Brennan Metzger, and while it didn't look intentional, a warning was issued nonetheless to curb any ideas of escalating the situation further. No other issues occurred the rest of the game.
Sonoma's offense got a good night from Gered Mochizuki, who went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Carranza hit a solo home run in the sixth, his team-leading seventh home run of the season.
The Stompers will return to Albert Park on Saturday for game two of the weekend series, as Gregory Paulino is set to take the mound for Sonoma. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. with the radio broadcast beginning at 4:50 on both StompersBaseball.com and the TuneIn mobile app.