Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
The Sonoma Stompers (5-3) handled their business tonight, and took game two of their series against the Vallejo Admirals (4-4) by a score of 4-3. Things did get interesting in the late innings as the Admirals once again made a late charge, but the Stompers were able to flip the script from a night ago and hold on for the win. The Stompers will look to win the series against the Admirals in the finale tomorrow night at People’s Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field.
The Stompers got a lot of help in this game from starter Gregory Paulino who threw deeper into the game than any starter has so far this season. He pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, and striking out five. He was very efficient and made quick work of the Admirals at times by inducing a plethora of ground ball outs. Bench coach Chris Matthews stressed the importance of his location when pitching.
“Paulino was able to keep the ball down tonight, and had good command of the zone and the Admirals could not adjust," said Matthews, "That was the key to his success tonight.”
Sonoma was able to give Paulino an early lead in the second inning thanks in part to a familiar face to the Arnold Field crowd. Designated hitter Joel Carranza launched a slider over the left field fence for his first home run of the season. Carranza made his season debut on Tuesday for the Stompers, but has been a part of the team in each of the last two seasons. The home run was his 30th homer in a Stompers uniform.
Multiple other Stompers had good nights at the plate, as the Stompers had 13 hits in total. Left fielder Mark Hurley and catcher Marcus Blackmon were great in the 6 and 7 spots in the order, going a combined 5 for 8 combined with two runs batted in. Second baseman Derrick Fox was also able to bounce back with a 2-for-4 night after going hitless Tuesday night.
Trailing 4-1, the Admirals were able to score two runs in the eighth to cut the deficit to one run. The situation seemed very familiar from the series opener, when the Admirals erased a 4-1 lead in the ninth inning to tie the game to force extra innings. The Admirals won after a run in the tenth.
Thanks to a great relief appearance by Martin Cronin, the Stompers were able to hold on, and sent manager Takashi Miyoshi out a winner on a night that happened to be his 38th birthday. Cronin entered the game when Paulino departed with one out in the eighth and took the game the rest of the way, earning his first save of the year.
Mike Jackson Jr. will look to give the Stompers some momentum before they head east for another weekend road series in Pittsburg against the Diamonds. Jackson Jr. was great in his last start on Friday, tying a franchise record with 12 strikeouts. This will be the first time Jackson Jr. has faced the Admirals this season.
Tickets for the rubber match of the series, or any game this season are available at stompersbaseball.com. You may also purchase tickets at The Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street just off the town square in Sonoma. For more information, please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.