Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
The Stompers got some good news that had nothing to do with the game they were playing early Sunday evening at People’s Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field. The San Rafael Pacifics lost to the Diamonds on a walk off three run homer in the tenth inning by Mike Taylor. The loss by the Pacifics meant that the Stompers could put themselves in great position to win the first half pennant in the Pacific Association with a win at home Sunday against the Admirals.
Sonoma had beaten Vallejo in five straight contests at home, and was looking for their second straight home sweep of the Admirals. However, a loss on Sunday would make things very interesting, as Sonoma finishes the first half with four games against Pittsburg. The Diamonds are the only other team in the league that has a mathematical shot for the first half pennant.
Sonoma went into extra innings for the third time in a week after tying the game at 2 in the ninth on an error by Gadiel Baez that scored Yuki Yasuda. As demoralizing as that must have been for the Admirals, they were able to bounce back their next time to the plate.
Stompers newcomer Mike Volpe had a rough 10th inning as four runs were charged to the right-hander in only 1/3 of an inning pitched. He allowed three hits and also walked 2 before being pulled out of the game. The biggest blow was a two run homer by Wilfredo Petit that soared over the scoreboard in right center. When the dust settled, the Admirals led 6-2, which would be how the game ended as the Stompers fell in the series finale.
Even though the Stompers found a way to tie the game in the ninth inning, Sonoma cannot feel good about their overall performance at the plate. Sonoma stranded 16 batters on base in the game, and did not have a good approach at the plate. They helped the Admirals staff out a lot by swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. Marquis Hutchinson used this to his advantage in his six innings of work by striking out nine batters. Pedro Perez got credit for his first win for the Admirals even though he blew a save in the ninth.
Mike Jackson Jr. was the highlight for Sonoma as the veteran right-hander turned in a fantastic effort against the Admirals. With his team trailing for the majority of the night, Jackson kept his team in the game by allowing only two runs. The charter member of the Stompers made it all the way through nine complete innings, allowing seven hits while walking only two batters. He had good control all night with his slider, and was not afraid to throw it in any count. Even with such a terrific performance, he did not factor in the decision.
Sonoma (20-15) begins that pivotal stretch stretch at home against the Pittsburg Diamonds on Tuesday that will decide the champion of the first half in the Pacific Association. Sonoma will play in two games Tuesday with the first game being the continuation of a game that was suspended because of the July 4 fireworks display. The game is tied at 3-3 heading into the 10th inning.
The Diamonds (18-17) trail the Stompers by two games in the standings. Sonoma can guarantee itself at least a tie for first in the Pacific Association with one win, and can win it outright with two wins. Sonoma is 6-5 overall against Pittsburg this season. It is worth noting that all 11 of those games were played on the road at City Park Field.
Fans who have tickets from the July 4 suspended game can redeem them for entry into the ballpark for the games on Tuesday, July 10 at People’s Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field. It will be a special start time as the suspended game will resume at 5:30. First pitch of the regularly scheduled game will take place a half hour after the first game ends.
Tickets for future Stompers games will be available on StomperBaseball.com. Fan Merchandise, and tickets are also available inside The Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information, contact the Stompers front office at firstname.lastname@example.org.