Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
The Stompers found themselves in a 5-1 hole after the top of the fourth inning against a team that had given them a lot of trouble this season. A nervous hush fell over the ballpark as the Pacifics continued to pile on the runs and looked to be on their way to another win against the Stompers. But Sonoma found a way to flip the script Tuesday in an 8-6 win against the Pacifics.
Caleb Bryson began the season as one of the strongest players in the Stompers order knocking the ball all over the park. However, he had come on tough times in recent weeks and saw some of his playing time diminish. He showed a sign of turning things around with a single in his first at bat, and approached the plate in the fifth with Daniel Baptista on base. Bryson got a pitch on the inside from Pacifics starter Patrick Conroy, and he did not miss it. He launched his ninth homer of the season into left and it did not come down until it landed on the roof of the Veteran’s Building over the top of the bleachers.
Sonoma took an 6-5 lead on Bryson’s homer, and battled in the late innings to pick up a game 1 win over the Pacifics. Bryson found his swing again going 2 for 4 but gave credit to his teammates in a great team win.
“I have to give credit to Baptista for getting on in front of me. I saw a different sequence of pitches with a runner on base. Conroy tried to jam me with a cutter on the inside and I was able to cover it. This was a great team win with everybody hitting through the order,” said Bryson.
Sonoma’s offense slugged 12 hits including homers by Bryson, and Joel Carranza to erase the early 4 run deficit. The 5 through 7 hitters in the order provided a lot of the offense as they went 5 for 11 with 2 RBIs and 4 run scored. Mason Morioka was 2 for 3, and Eddie Mora-Loera also finished 2 for 3 behind Bryson. But the difference maker in this game was the Stompers ability to take advantage of the Pacifics mistakes.
The Pacifics tied the game at 6 in the eighth inning on a solo home run by Michael McClellan. But the Stompers kept the pressure on the Pacifics in the bottom half of the inning by putting two runners aboard. Yuki Yasuda stepped to the plate with two outs and hit a ball out to centerfield. Zach Pace patrols center field for the Pacifics and is one of the Pacific Association’s best outfielders. But against all odds, Pace misplayed the ball and the ball landed in safely for a double. Both Stompers runners raced home and to give the Stompers an 8-6 lead.
Jose Flores came in and finished things off in the ninth to record his second save, and continued his success in his new late inning role. He has looked like a new pitcher since being moved he has become the Stompers closer.
“I just try to bottle up all of the energy I would use in a start and give it all I got for one inning as a closer," Flores said. "I only have one chance so I have to make sure that I pitch a perfect inning.”
The Stompers (27-22) look to keep the momentum going Wednesday night at People’s Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field against the Pacifics (28-21). Oliver Garcia will get the start for the Stompers and will look to improve upon his last outing on July 19. Garcia struggled to find the strike zone at Albert Park in San Rafael.
Tickets for upcoming Stompers home games are available on StompersBaseball.com. Fan gear, and tickets are also available inside The Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information on the team, contact the Stompers at email@example.com.