Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
Mark Hurley caught a break to put Sonoma in the hit column in the second inning. Hurley hit what looked to be a routine ground ball to the shortstop Raul Navarro and the ball took a hop right over the top of Navarro’s head into left field. The ball hopped up like a basketball on the hardwood and there was nothing Navarro could do about it. This bad bounce would be a sign of things to come.
Entering the bottom of the eighth the game was tied at 2-2, and one of Sonoma’s most reliable bullpen arms was in the game in the late inning situation. Taylor Thurber has been rock solid out of the pen this season, but ran into some trouble in the eighth. Gadiel Baez and Lydell Moseby reached on a walk and a double to put runners at second and third.
Cyle Figueroa came up to the dish next in an interesting situation. He came into the game because of a player ejection earlier in the contest. This was his first at bat of the day and it came with two men on, and two out in the bottom of the eighth in a tie game.
Figueroa hit a ball on the ground just to the left of the first base bag that looked to be playable for first baseman Daniel Baptista. Baptista laid out to make the play, but was victimized by a bad hop and the ball ended up in right field for a hit. Both runners scored and that would be all the Admirals would need as they defeated the Stompers 4-2 Sunday at Wilson Park.
Sonoma struggled to get the big hit offensively as they stranded 11 runners on base during the game. The only RBIs in the game came on a two run blast by Joel Carranza in the sixth inning that at the time tied the game at 2-2. Yuki Yasuda's performance at the plate was the highlight as he finished 2 for 3 with two walks.
Sonoma found themselves in position to put an inning together in the ninth as the first two batters reached. But Yuki Yasuda getting caught trying to steal second base was a huge blow to the inning and the rally ultimately fell short.
Gregory Paulino kept his club in the ballgame by allowing two runs on six hits in five innings of work, and did not have a decision. The offense did not do enough for Paulino to get a win. The Stomper offense has averaged just over 1 run in the last three games that Paulino has started.
Taylor Thurber (1-2) picked up the loss for Sonoma, as the ball literally did not bounce the right way for him in the eighth. Marquis Hutchinson (2-1) got credit for the win out of the pen and Joe Watson (3) picked up the save for Vallejo (10-14).
After a day off Monday, Sonoma will begin a week of play that may decide who will finish on top of the Pacific Association in the first half. Sonoma (13-10) is tied for first with the San Rafael Pacifics, and will face them seven times this week. The slate includes a double-header on July 3 with one of the games being a make-up game from June 16.
Veteran Mike Jackson Jr. (2-2) is scheduled to get the start Tuesday for Sonoma, and will look to bounce back from a sub par outing in his last start against the Diamonds on June 22. Jackson Jr. has faced San Rafael once this season and pitched a good ballgame in a 3-1 loss on June 15. There will be a lot on the line Tuesday at Albert Park as first place in the Pacific Association will be on the line.
Tickets for upcoming Sonoma Stompers home games are available on StompersBaseball.com. Stompers fan Merchandise, and tickets are also available at The Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. Contact the Stompers with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.