Hayley M. Slye / Sonoma Stompers
SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, defeated the Pittsburg Diamonds 10-1 on Friday night as center fielder Matt Hibbert put on a show on offense.
“All I’ve been trying to do is just see the ball better and better and I feel like tonight was the night. It also helps when you’ve got your parents coming in from Arizona. I got a little bit of inspiration and just wanted to perform well for them,” Hibbert said.
Hibbert went 4 for 5 in the rout of the Diamonds and hit his second home run of the year, a seventh-inning solo shot that gave the Stompers a 4-1 lead.He also drove in two runs and made an incredible catch in center, diving forward to rob the Diamonds of a base hit in the fifth.
Stompers starter Taylor Thurber pitched a scoreless ballgame until the sixth, allowing the Sonoma offense to flourish behind him. Thurber came into the game having allowed just three runs in 19 innings pitched as a Stomper this year.
“It’s Thurbsday. Any time Thurb is on the mound I know we got a chance. He’s going to compete, battle. He goes right after hitters,” Hibbert said. “I love when that guy pitches and I feel like if we score three or four runs we’re going to have a good chance to win.”
Catcher Isaac Wenrich homered and picked up two RBIs in addition to contributing to the commanding performances of the Stompers pitching staff.
Thurber was also assisted offensively by Matt LoCoco, who drove in the first run of the night. LoCoco has been on fire of late, reaching base in seven of his last eight plate appearances coming into Friday. A six-run eighth inning secured the victory for Sonoma.
After sweeping the the San Rafael Pacifics, the Stompers begin the second half 4-0. The winning start echoes the first half of the season, when the Stompers started 5-0. It was their best start since 2015, when Sonoma began the season 6-0 en route to an 18-3 start.
“It’s a testament to the team we have. We never get too low in a one-run ballgame. We have all the confidence in the world that we’re going to get to that pitcher,” Hibbert said.
VERNON DAVIS NIGHT
The Stompers were inspired by a pre-game speech by Super Bowl Champion and former San Francisco 49ers Pro-Bowler Vernon Davis. Davis reflected on his 11-year National Football League career while the team listened.
“That was awesome to hear that right before the game. (Davis) was talking about his ups and downs in his career and his message was ‘keep going, fight the fight,’” Hibbert said. “Things aren’t going to go your way, but how do you react to those things? That’s what makes you have character and certainly improve as a player.”
Davis was on hand to throw the first pitch and promote his foundation, the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts. Davis’ foundation donated 2,000 dollars to the arts and music programs at the Presentation School in Sonoma.
He stayed to meet with fans and sign autographs for the more than 400 fans in attendance.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.