Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
Coming into Sunday, the San Rafael Pacifics had a one game lead over the Stompers in the Pacific Association. However, a loss earlier in the afternoon by the Pacifics gave the Stompers an opportunity to tie for the lead in the second half with a win. The Diamonds took a little wind out of the Stompers sails early scoring four runs in the first four innings to jump out in front. But the home team had a comeback in them. The Stompers rallied from a three run deficit, winning the game in the bottom of the ninth by a score of 5-4 over the Diamonds.
The Stompers trailed by one heading to the bottom of the ninth with flame thrower Joe Mello on the mound trying to close things out. Mello came into the game having had a lot of success with 33 strikeouts in only 22 1/3 innings pitched. However, Mello had issues in the past with control, and struggled to find the strike zone Sunday.
After Joel Carranza hit an RBI single to tie the game, Mello walked the next two hitters with the second one being with the bases loaded. Eddie Mora-Loera flipped the his bat in the air and trotted to first as Derrick Fox crossed home plate scoring the winning run to take the series. It was the second walk off win the Stompers have had this season.
The offense was silent in the early going for the Stompers as Ricky Schafer had a solid outing in six innings pitched. The only run that scored off Schafer was on a solo home run by Joel Carranza in the first inning. It was Carranza’s 13th home run of the season. Carranza is now tied with Jake Taylor of the Pacifics for the most home runs in the Pacific Association.
Erik Gonsalves was a key component to the win by keeping his team in the ballgame. Starter Gregory Paulino did not make it out of the fourth, allowing 8 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Gonsalves entered the game and shut out the Diamonds for the rest of the game, allowing only two hits with six strikeouts to pick up the win.
“This team through the entire season has played with a never die mentality. They fight till the very end and do not give up until that final out is recorded,” said bench coach Chris Matthews.
The Stompers (39-27, 16-11 second half) are 10-2 over their last 12 games and finished 5-1 for the second consecutive week. With 12 games remaining on the regular season slate, the Stompers and Pacifics are tied atop the Pacific Association. The next challenge for Sonoma will be presented by a team they have not faced in over a month in the Vallejo Admirals (27-39, 12-15 second half). The Stompers have played well against the Admirals this season, and have yet to lose a series against them. The Stompers will play six of their final twelve games against the Admirals to end the season.
Tickets for upcoming Stompers home games are available on StompersBaseball.com. Tickets and fan merchandise is also available for purchase inside The Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. For more information about the team, contact the Stompers at firstname.lastname@example.org.