Hayley M. Slye / Media Relations
SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, secured a dominant 11-3 victory against the San Rafael Pacifics Friday, solidifying its place at the top of the Pacific Association and extending its win streak to six.
Scott Plaza pitched a complete game for Sonoma, allowing three runs and striking out four. It was the first complete game by a Stompers pitcher this season.
The Stompers’ offense has rarely failed to deliver run support to its starters this season.
“I know that no matter what the offense is going to put up at least five runs,” Plaza said. “It gives me confidence to be able to attack the zone a little bit. I know if I give up one, or three, the offense is going to come back and put up 15 a game.”
A double steal play, which has worked well for the Stompers all season, worked again in the third and yielded the first Sonoma run of the game. With Matt LoCoco on first and Marcus Bradley on third, LoCoco took off for second and Bradley raced home on the throw down.
The play cracked the floodgates for Sonoma. They struck for three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to secure what turned out to be an insurmountable seven-run lead.
Three free baserunners (a walk, a catcher’s interference and a hit by pitch) set the stage for Scott David to drive in all three fifth-inning runs. In the sixth, Daniel Comstock hit a ball to the wall in centerfield to put the Stompers up by six.
“I’ve kind of been struggling at the plate for a little bit,” Comstock said. “I’m a hitter, I love hitting. So finally I hit that ball and it felt so good. I think that was the first ball that I barreled since the homer at Vallejo (June 7)”
Sonoma has been a terror on the basepaths all season, but opposing baserunners had to reckon with Comstock Friday.
“I love working with (Comstock.) He gives me confidence to be able to throw stuff in the dirt and then knowing that he’s going to make the plays, throw out a couple guys at second, made the play on the drop third. It’s just a big confidence booster,” Plaza said.
Comstock made an excellent play on a drop third strike early in the game, diving to his left to field a ball that would have skipped away. Then, his strong throw to catch the Pacifics’ Brandon Montalvo stealing turned the tide in an inning that featured three straight base hits prior.
“Our goal is no drops, no passed balls, even no wild pitches, we like to pick our pitchers up,” Comstock said. “I’ve been battling arm issues for like three years now… So it’s nice to finally be able to throw and be healthy and play and have fun again.”
Pacifics starter and reigning Pacific Association Pitcher of the Year Patrick Conroy allowed seven runs on five hits in his five-inning performance. The lone San Rafael runs came off the bat of Brent Gillaspie, who struck first with a solo shot in the second and a two-run bomb in the seventh.
Fittingly, Plaza struck Gillaspie out for the final out of the game.
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.