The Stompers remain in first place in the Pacific Association at 15-5, five games ahead of the next-best Pittsburg Diamonds (9-9.)
"You don't want to stress too much about the loss. We're still the first-place team, we lost a two-run game in which we didn't play our game at all," said Stompers starter Ty'Relle Harris. "Getting a sweep is always good, but our job is to get the series... We're going to come out very hungry tomorrow"
After a six-game win streak in which it seemed nothing could go wrong for Sonoma, Harris was a bit outside of his usual self early in the game Saturday. Harris walked four batters on the night after walking only three through 20 innings prior.
"After yesterday's game, I saw (the Pacifics) couldn't stay back on the breaking ball. So me and (catcher Daniel Comstock) came up with a game plan to kind of throw more breaking balls and changeups. But that's not going to my strengths, that's more attacking their weaknesses," Harris said. "Once we got into the dugout after about the third inning, we said 'let's go back to what got us here.'"
Pacifics starter Quinn Pippin also struggled to find the zone early, allowing the Stompers to take a 3-0 lead in the first. Ricky Gingras, who has been formidable against Sonoma so far this season, struck for the first San Rafael run with an RBI double in the second.
The major blemish on Harris' start came on a single pitch, which yielded a three-run home run by Mike Rizzitello.
The Stompers evened the score in the fourth off the bat of Yuki Yasuda. Harris found his groove by then, sending 14 Pacifics back to the dugout in order at one point in the middle innings. Through seven and two thirds innings, Harris struck out 11.
"(Harris) just has immense knowledge," said hitting coach and designated hitter Joel Carranza. "He's been at such a high level in Triple A and having him here on this pitching staff is just a benefit because of the knowledge he brings to us and the competitiveness he brings to this organization."
The Pacifics bullpen proved effective against a Sonoma offense that has been explosive in its last several games, keeping the Stompers scoreless in the fifth through ninth innings. Sonoma came into Saturday averaging 8.9 runs per game.
A Stompers error on a single to left put the Sonoma in deeper water and San Rafael up by two, knocking Harris out of the game. DJ Sharabi kept the Pacifics from scoring for the remainder of the contest.
Four out of five Sonoma losses this season have come at the hands of the Pacifics. The Stompers will look to secure the series win in the finale of the three-game set Sunday at 5 p.m.
"It's a competitive series, it's always competitive when we play san Rafael," Carranza said. "As long as we play our game, we'll be alright"
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For more information, please contact the front office at 707-938-7277, or email email@example.com.