Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
Sonoma was in a good position headed into the bottom of eighth. Sonoma had tied the game thanks to a two out rally in the seventh, and had Taylor Thurber on the mound. Sonoma needed a win to stay in first place in the Pacific Association, a place that Sonoma has been for the majority of the season. Thurber had been one of the strongest arms out of the pen this season. But three straight singles by San Rafael with two outs in the eighth ended up being the difference.
Sonoma did well to fight back in this game after falling behind 4-2, but critical errors were also a big issue for the Stompers. Sonoma made two errors in the game, with the most costly error was the error made in the fourth to lead off the inning. San Rafael ended up scoring two in that inning off of Sean Conroy. In the series, Sonoma committed eight errors as a team in all, meaning the defense will have to find a way to tighten up to find more success against the Pacifcs. Defense mistakes were huge in the series, which led to Thursday’s 5-4 loss.
Michael Ormseth was dominant at times for San Rafael in his 6 1/3 innings to give San Rafael two straight good starts in the series. He allowed five hits while striking out 11 in the start. He allowed four runs, but none were earned.
Baptista works as hard as anyone in the batting cages, and on the field during batting practice. He has struggled to find his swing so far, but the hard work finally paid off on a breakout night for the first baseman. Baptista was 3 for 3, with the highlight 2-run homer into one of the deepest parks of the ballpark in right center to give Sonoma a 2-1 lead.
Sonoma's late rally in the seventh to tie the game featured a near grand slam from Baptista, but the slugger had to settle for a sacrifice fly.
Sean Conroy ran into some bad luck in his five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) while allowing seven baserunners with two strikeouts.
With the loss, Sonoma (14-12) fell out first place as the Pacifics (15-11) took a one game lead in the standings. The good news for Sonoma is that they are headed home after a grueling season-long nine game road trip, and they will have another shot at the Pacifics. San Rafael will begin a three game series at People’s Home Equity Ballpark on Friday. They will also play one seven-inning game Sunday at Albert Park to make up a game that was cancelled due to a light malfunction. This weekend will probably be the deciding factor when looking at who will win the first half in the Pacific Association.
Friday night will be a historic occasion at People’s Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field as two female players will be in action for Sonoma. 17-year-old Kelsie Whitmore will start in the outfield, and 25-year-old Stacy Piagno will start on the hill in the game against the Pacifics. It will be a truly special night at the ballpark, as the Stompers will break another barrier in the baseball world. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Tickets for tomorrow’s historic occasion are still available on StompersBaseball.com. Fan merchandise, and tickets are also available at The Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, contact the Stompers at firstname.lastname@example.org.