Geoff Safford, Director Of Broadcasting
Sonoma, Calif.--The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club Presented by Virginia Dare Winery became stronger this winter with the signing of 3 strong prospects out of the showcase California Winter League in Palm Springs, California. Outfielder Matt LoCoco infielder Alex Sawelson, and pitcher Tyler Garkow will look to bolster a strong group of returners in the Stompers title defense run in 2017.
LoCoco will enter his first season of professional baseball after playing the last two seasons at the University of Hawaii. The Santa Rosa native stood out as one of the best leadoff hitters at the Winter League in his time with the Palm Spring Chill. LoCoco accumulated a .324 batting average in 10 games batting almost exclusively at the top of the order. He excelled using a patient approach at the plate by drawing 13 walks in 34 plate appearances. LoCoco looks forward to having the opportunity to play close to home as a professional.
“Signing a professional contract was an amazing moment for me; I'm excited to get to continue to play the game I love, especially locally in Sonoma,” Said LoCoco. “I’m looking forward to competing every day and contributing to the overall success of this team.”
Sawelson will join his former collegiate teammate LoCoco in his first professional season after a two year career at Hawaii. The Woodland, California product rose eyebrows in Palm Springs with his stellar work at the plate with the Canada As. Sawelson lead the team with a .432 batting average in 10 games. He finished in the top five in batting average at the CWL, and reached base at least once in every game that he played in. The first year professional will look to build on his positive experience in Palm Springs with the Stompers.
“The winter league was awesome experience. I was roommates with my former college teammate Matt [LoCoco]. Having the opportunity to share the field with him again will be incredible,” said Sawelson.
Garkow will enter his third season of professional baseball in 2017 coming off a stint with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League last season. The right hander was one of the strongest pitchers in the league in his time with the Hit King in Palm Springs. Garkow had a 1.81 ERA in 27 innings pitched in a starting pitcher role. Garkow excelled at attacking hitters with exceptional command. Garkow lead the league with 50 strikeouts while only allowing five walks. Garkow hopes that his success in Palm Springs leads to a break-out season in Sonoma.
“I am excited for the opportunity to play in Sonoma this season.” said Garkow. “I have heard nothing but great things about the team. I want to help bring another championship back to Sonoma.”
The Stompers will begin their 82 game regular season on June 2 against the Pittsburg Diamonds. Sonoma will begin its home slate against the Vallejo Admirals on June 13. Season ticket packages are available now on stompersbaseball.com. Tickets and merchandise are also available for purchase at The Fan Shop located at 234 West Napa Street in Sonoma. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707)938-7277.