Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
Sometimes a few mistakes can be all the difference between a win, and a loss in a game of baseball. The Stompers entered the second game of the series against the Admirals with a ton of confidence having won five straight contests. But two powerful swings off the bat by Vallejo ended the streak in an 8-5 loss to the Admirals Wednesday.
Possibly the biggest swing of the night came in the seventh for Vallejo when Joe Hicks launched a three run home run to extend the lead to 8-2. Sonoma rallied for three runs in the bottom half of the seventh but the three run shot by Hicks proved to be the difference in the game. The home run by Hicks was also in a two strike count with two outs off of Jose Flores. The Admirals second home run came in the third on a two run blast by Patrick Moriarty in a three run inning for the Admirals off Juan Espinosa. The home run by Moriarty was also on a two strike pitch. Espinosa did not have his best stuff Wednesday allowing four runs and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.
Despite Vallejo’s good night at the plate, the Stomper offense missed a few opportunities to score more runs than they did. Marquis Hutchinson allowed four runs on six hits and six walks in six innings. But two double play balls killed off Stomper rallies in huge moments to thwart possible rally opportunities. The Stompers also stranded ten runners on base in the game. Derrick Fox and Mark Hurley were the only Stomper hitters to finish with multiple hits. Hurley was 2 for 4, and Fox was 2 for 3 with 2 walks.
For the second consecutive night the Stompers (44-30, 21-14 second half) got a huge lift from the Pittsburg Diamonds as they defeated the San Rafael Pacifics (39-35, 18-17 second half) 4-3. That meant the Stompers retained their three game lead in the second half standings in the Pacific Association. Sonoma would clinch the title tomorrow night with a win, and a San Rafael loss. If the Pacifics win, the champion of the second half will be decided over the weekend when the Stompers take on the Pacifics in a three game series at Albert Park.
The rubber match of the series against the Admirals Thursday will feature a start from Oliver Garcia. Garcia has been effective in his last two starts going 2-0 with 14 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched. They will face Roman Gomez a pitcher the Stompers haven’t faced since July 15. Gomez and Garcia faced off on opening day in Sonoma on June 7 and will go against each other once more in the final game of the regular season at People’s Home Equity Ballpark.
Tickets for the final home game of 2016 are still available on StompersBaseball.com. It will be the finale of Fan Appreciation week, and the Stompers will be giving away big prizes to a few lucky fans in attendance thanks to our friends at Krug Family Hotels. All ticketed fans in the ballpark are eligible to win one of six staycation getaways, three at Sonoma Valley Inn and three at Dry Creek Inn. Each hotel is providing a one night Getaway, a two night Getaway and a three night Getaway at these beautiful wine country properties. Use them yourself, or use them for family members who are coming to visit the area. One Getaway will be drawn each inning for the first six innings. Don't forget to put your name in the drawing box when you enter the ballpark.