Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
Thursday’s game did not get off to a great start like the first two games in the series did for the home team. The San Rafael Pacifics jumped out to an early two run lead and had a pitcher on the mound that had never lost against the Sonoma Stompers all season. It was the first time San Rafael had led at any point in the series. But then the bottom of the fourth inning came.
The fourth had been good to the Stompers in the series as they had scored five runs in that inning over each of the first two games. That success continued Thursday as the Stompers rallied for four runs to take the lead and tacked on an insurance run in the seventh to complete a series sweep of the Pacifcs by a score of 6-2. It was the first time Sonoma had swept their bitter rival this season while extending their win streak to seven in the process. They also tied the Pacifics in the second half standings.
The offensive attack was once again balanced Thursday as seven of the nine starters had at least one hit in the game. Joel Carranza had his seventh straight multi-hit game and finished 2 for 4 with two driven in. Carranza is 15 for his last 29 at the plate. Matt Hibbert had a fantastic night as well, capping a fabulous series finishing 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Hibbert has been a catalyst in the leadoff spot over this win streak as he has seven multi-hit games in his last 10 games.
“If I can get things started at the top, it is going to get everybody else going behind me. If I can do my job to get on base in any way that I can it is going to make it easier for my team to score runs. So that is the only thing that I’m trying to do,” said Hibbert.
Taylor Thurber was under the weather Thursday night but showed no sign of it with a solid outing on the mound for the Stompers. Thurber went seven innings strong allowing five hits, a walk, and six strikeouts. Thurber and the rest of the starting pitchers did a phenomenal job in the series with three quality starts. “It doesn’t matter what is going on with a guy like Thurber; when he’s on the field he’s going to compete,” Hibbert said. “Our staff gives the offense a lot of confidence because we feel like if we can score a few runs early then we are going to be okay because the starter is going to shut the other team down.”
The home stand continues Friday for the Stompers (37-26, 14-10 second half) against the Pittsburg Diamonds (25-37, 8-15 second half). Sonoma carries a seven game winning streak into the series and a lot of confidence after a four game sweep of the Diamonds last weekend on the road. Juan Espinosa will get the start to open the series Friday night. Espinosa pitched a complete game in an 8-3 win in Pittsburg on August 6.
Tickets for upcoming Stompers home games are available on stompersbaseball.com. Tickets and fan merchandise are also available inside The Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information about the team, contact the Stompers at email@example.com.