Juan Espinosa's Strong Start in 8-4 Victory Helps Secure Sonoma Stompers Sweep of Vallejo Admirals

 Juan Espinosa pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in the Sonoma Stompers’ 8-4 victory over the Vallejo Admirals on Thursday at Wilson Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

Juan Espinosa pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in the Sonoma Stompers’ 8-4 victory over the Vallejo Admirals on Thursday at Wilson Park. (James W. Toy III / Sonoma Stompers)

SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, won 8-4 Thursday to seep the Vallejo Admirals for the second time this season.

The Stompers extend their win streak to five and improve to 8-1 on the season against the Admirals. They remain four and a half games up in first place in the Pacific Association with an overall record of 14-4.

Sonoma starter Juan Espinosa found some redemption Thursday, allowing two hits and one earned run in seven strong innings of work to earn the win. His last time out against the Admirals, Espinosa allowed five runs and seven hits. 

“It’s much needed. I felt really comfortable out there today,” Espinosa said. “I had been using my fastball too much and I finally made the adjustment, used my offspeed more which is my best stuff. And if I get beat with my best stuff, whatever.”

This time, a solo home run in the fourth inning from league-leader Nick Akins was the only real blemish on his record. 

“Juan and I had a really good approach,” said catcher Isaac Wenrich. “It was evident all through his whole start. Every pitch that we had to make it seemed like he would make it.”

Wenrich also went 3 for 5 and drove in two while Marcus Bradley scored three of the Stompers’ eight runs on the night. Bradley hit his first home run as a Stomper Tuesday and has been an offensive force since, driving in six runs and scoring six runs in the series. 

“We understand the game,” said Manager Takashi Miyoshi said. “(Admirals starter Marquis Hutchinson) pitched well the first two innings, then we had to make an adjustment because we couldn’t steal a base… So instead of stealing the bases we put the ball in play, hit and run and it just worked.”

Sonoma has been a force on the basepaths, swiping almost twice as many bags as the next-best San Rafael Pacifics at 50 on the season, partially due to Miyoshi’s signature double-steal play. 

NEXT UP

The Stompers return to Peoples Home Equity Ballpark at Arnold field Friday for a three-game set against the third-place Pacifics. The homestand will feature Little League Night, a Father’s Day celebration and “Out at the Ballpark” LGBTQ Night on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

A portion of the proceeds from the homestand will benefit Sonoma Valley Babe Ruth Baseball. Babe Ruth players in uniform get in free to any game of the homestand accompanied by a parent with a grandstand, Gus the Bus Beer Garden or bleacher ticket. 

Tickets and merchandise are available now either online or at the fan shop at 234 W Napa Street in downtown Sonoma. Tickets will also be available at the box office on game days, beginning 30 minutes prior to the game. 

For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email info@stompersbaseball.com.