Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistan
After three months and 78 games of grinding, the 2016 season came to an end Sunday afternoon at Albert Park. This game had a much different feel than most games do as pitchers had the opportunity to get at bats on both sides. Players playing in their final games as professionals like Pacifics centerfielder Zack Pace also got a proper send off in their final game. The result on the field did not go the Stompers way in a 3-2 loss to the Pacifics, but it takes nothing away from the fabulous journey that this team went on.
Pat Lemmo had his best outing in his third start pitching seven innings strong. Lemmo allowed two runs on six hits and walked only one batter in those innings. Evan Neiser came in to relive Lemmo and made one mistake to Chase Tucker in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth that lead to a walk off home run. The loss ended an eight game win streak against the Pacifics on the final day of the regular season. These two teams had their battles in 2016 but it was clear after the game that these two teams had a lot of respect for each other.
Both teams came on the field after the game greeted each other on the field. It did not matter that these two teams have played in so many battles over the year, they all came together united. They all had one thing in common after all, and that is their love for baseball. These players may not have multi-million dollar salaries but work hard every day playing the game they love. The Pacifics and Stompers came together as true professionals of the game of baseball. The actions of these players unite these Northern California communities and give them something they can all cheer about.
As this journey of the 2016 season comes to a close, it is a little hard to believe. It seems like Sean Conroy was just announced as the opening day starter for the game on May 31 in Vallejo. What a journey it was in 2016. It had a little bit of everything ranging from a 10 inning complete game, to an all female battery to shatter barriers in the game of baseball. No matter where the Stompers franchise goes from here, they will always have this season as a fond memory. It is not every day that a team can bring a community together on a championship drive. Every member of this team is now a member of the Stomper family and will be united as brothers and sisters on the diamond forever. The 2016 Stompers truly were the boys, and girls of summer in the wine country.