Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
Daniel Baptista did what a veteran leader is supposed to do in his at bat in the eighth inning. He battled from a 1-2 count to draw a walk by staying patient at the plate, and fouling off some tough pitches. This was Baptista’s first game back from the seven day inactive list, and he came back at a perfect time for Sonoma. The Stompers had struggled in the first two games of the series against the Pittsburg Diamonds, but the return of Baptista gave them a moral boost for game three. Baptista’s walk in the eighth was also not the highlight from his return to action.
There seemed to be a black cloud hanging over the Stomper dugout at City Park Field during this series. Everything that could have gone wrong did, and Sonoma had little success during the first two games of the series. However, in baseball you have to have a short memory and not focus on what happened in the recent past. Sonoma did a great job of that and showed great character in a 6-3 win Thursday over the Diamonds to avoid the series sweep.
Sonoma’s dugout finally had something to cheer about in the fifth inning after a slow start. With the Diamonds leading 3-0 going into the inning, things were not looking good for Sonoma. A team that had been humiliated over the past two days was going down a familiar path. Sonoma squandered a few early scoring chances and the Diamonds had an early lead. The Stompers desperately needed a spark, and they got it from one of their strongest leaders.
Daniel Baptista stepped to the plate in the fifth with two aboard and delivered in a big way with a two run triple off the wall in center field to put the Stompers out in front 5-3. You could feel the energy shift as Baptista’s swing of the bat lit up the entire dugout. Baptista finished 2 for 4 in the game with two RBIs. Another key piece to the Stompers lineup was Caleb Bryson, who also had a fine evening as he finished 4 for 5 with an RBI.
Taylor Thurber has been one of the key men out of the bullpen so far this season and did not disappoint on Thursday. He pitched four shutout innings that even impressed the Diamonds broadcast team. They coined the name ‘Taylor the Tasmanian Devil’ to describe his style on the mound.
Thurber’s slider was something to behold as he threw darts on the corners of the plate time after time with the pitch. He used it multiple times as his kill pitch as well on his way to four strikeouts. Thurber got credit for the save, and made sure that starting pitcher Jose Flores would get credit for a win.
Sonoma (11-9) will now head to the second stop on this three-city road trip as they prepare to face the Vallejo Admirals at Wilson Park. Sonoma has faired well against the Admirals as they have won seven of the nine games they have played against them this season. Sean Conroy is scheduled to get the start and will look for an encore to the great performance he had on June 17 in a Stomper win. With the win Thursday, Sonoma stayed tied for first in the Pacific Association headed into the weekend.
Tickets for future Stompers home games are available on StompersBaseball.com. Fan merchandise, and tickets are also available for purchase in The Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street in Sonoma. For more information, contact the Stompers at email@example.com.