Geoff Safford, Media Relations Assistant
The Stompers offense could not quite get the big hit they were looking for in the first three innings Thursday night in Pittsburg. They were leading by a small margin even though they had six hits in those three innings. However, things would change in a big way for the Stompers in the fourth inning.
The Stompers loaded the bases in the top of the fourth on a hit by Mason Morioka and walks to Matt Hibbert and Derrick Fox, setting the table for Joel Carranza. Carranza went with the location of a pitch on the outer half and launched his 12th home run over the wall in right center field for a grand slam. It was only the beginning of a seven run fourth inning, as 11 batters came to the plate to help Sonoma roll to a 9-2 win over the Diamonds at City Park Field.
Carranza has really locked in recently at the plate, as the grand slam was his s third home run in the last five games. He finished Thursday’s game 3 for 5 with those four big RBIs, and he said that despite being in bases loaded situation, he did not try to do to much as a hitter at the plate. “Whenever I get an at-bat with the bases loaded and less than two outs my number one priority is to get the ball into the outfield,” Carranza said. “If I can get the ball into the outfield, that gets at least one run home. I was looking for a pitch away and got what I was looking for in that situation and was able to execute,” Carranza said.
The offensive output by the Stompers was more than enough for Mike Jackson Jr. as the right hander put together another outstanding outing. Jackson Jr. pitched seven strong innings allowing six hits and only one earned run. Jackson Jr. (7-2) is tied with Dylan Brammer of the Diamonds for the most wins in the Pacific Association. He has now pitched seven straight quality starts, and is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last four starts.
“The performances by Jackson Jr. in his last seven starts has proven why he is one of the best starting pitchers in this league,” Carranza said. “As an offense we know that when he is on the mound we only need to score a few runs and he will win the game for us because of how dominant he has been on the mound,” Carranza said.
Friday will be a new challenge for the Stompers (31-26, 8-10 second half) as they continue the four game slate against Pittsburg (26-31, 7-11 second half.) Friday is set up for a pitchers duel as Taylor Thurber (4-5, 2.74 ERA) is scheduled to go against the tough lefty Chris Cummins (5-5, 3.42 ERA) of the Diamonds. Cummins beat the Stompers his last time out in a 2-1 win for Pittsburg on July 24. But Thurber has done well against the Diamonds, as he threw a complete game in his last start against Pittsburg.
Tickets for upcoming Stompers home games at People’s Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field 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 Stompers, contact the front office at firstname.lastname@example.org.