Geoff Safford, Director of Broadcasting & Operations Assistant
SONOMA, Calif. The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club faced a familiar foe Sunday in an exhibition matchup at Petersen Field. Sonoma faced the visiting San Rafael Pacifics for the first time since the two teams met on the final day of the 2016 regular season. Although both teams have some new faces, a strong core of veteran standouts still remain from both squads. A solid performance from the Stompers’ pitching staff was key in an encouraging 8-2 victory. Manager Takashi Miyoshi was pleased with team’s performance to this point in spring training.
“We set the tone for what kind of team we want to be this season on the very first day of spring training,” said Miyoshi. “We already have a great winning culture from last season because of the returning players we have. That has made our camp much more organized. I am satisfied by how we have performed so far in camp and the team’s performance today against San Rafael illustrated where we are.”
Mike Jackson Jr. set the tone early Sunday with three shutout innings to start the game. The seven-year professional allowed two base runners while striking out five. The charter member of the Stompers had his best season in 2016, which lead to his promotion to the Atlantic League on August 14. He was 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA in his final five starts in Sonoma. Miyoshi believes his experiences from last season will benefit him in the coming year.
“I think he is in a much better place this season compared to last,” Miyoshi said. “When he went to the Atlantic League he was around players with a lot of affiliated experience and this made him a much better player. He knows exactly how to approach things on the mound. He seems much more professional.”
The remaining four pitchers followed suit with solid performances of their own, keeping the Pacifics off the board until the eighth inning. Newcomer Scott Plaza impressed with two scoreless innings. The University of Wisconsin at Whitewater product struck out two batters while allowing only one hit.
The offense used some timely hitting to take advantage of walks surrendered by the Pacifics pitching staff. First-year professional Kevin Farley delivered in the first inning with a two-run single that gave the Stompers a 3-0 lead. Sonoma never looked back and scored the game’s first seven runs.
The Stompers will continue their spring training slate Monday with a meeting with the East Bay Lumberjacks before once again facing the Pacifics in an exhibition matchup on Tuesday May 30. Spring training will conclude on Wednesday in preparation for their season opening contest against the Diamonds in Pittsburg, Calif.
Tickets for the upcoming season are now available on stompersbaseball.com. Opening Day in Sonoma is scheduled for Tuesday June 13 and tickets are available now. Use the online promo code OPENINGDAY to receive 15 percent off tickets to opening day when buying online. Tickets are also available at the Fan Shop located at 234 W Napa Street, or at the box office on game days at Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold Field. For more information contact the front office at 707.938.7277.