Sierra Heil / Sonoma Stompers
SONOMA, Calif.– Presented by Virginia Dare Winery, the Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, were defeated 7-2 by the San Rafael Pacifics in Friday’s matchup despite Juan Espinosa’s forceful performance.
Espinosa tied his season-high in strikeouts with nine, giving up only two runs over seven and one-third innings pitched.
“I was just attacking the hitters’ weaknesses. That’s what’s been helping us out. We know these guys and we face them a lot," Espinosa said. "We just need to keep pounding whatever their weaknesses are.. That’s what the game comes down to."
The Pacifics jumped on Sonoma early with a two-run homer from Juan Herrera in the second inning, but failed to score through the following five. Herrera also sealed the Pacifics’ lead with his second home run of the night, a grand slam.
“The guy was feeling it today. The ball runs into his swing path and he hits it out. It hurts us… It’s very deflating to come back after that,” Espinosa said.
Newly-signed left fielder Derrick Fox singled and doubled in the game, bringing in the first run of the night. Fox returns to Sonoma after playing for the Stompers in 2016, spending time in the American Association.
“The city of Sonoma has always been a great atmosphere every time I’ve been out here. It’s always easy to come out here and be comfortable, play hard, and have fun,” Fox said, “I was a little nervous, but I made a few adjustments and was seeing the ball well so I just put a good swing on it and hoped for the best.”
“That’s ‘D. Fox’ power right there. We’re happy to have him back. We missed him and he’s definitely a big asset to our team, especially in this last second-half run. We need him big-time,” Espinosa said.
San Rafael starter Nick DeBarr gave up one earned run through seven innings, backing the Pacifics’ offensive attack.
“DeBarr had a great game. He kept us off balance and was mixing it up really well and keeping the ball down. He executed better than we did,” Espinosa said.
In a late comeback attempt, Daniel Baptista went deep to left in the eighth with an RBI-double to give the Stompers a second run.
“This whole game we were close. It was just two pitches that changed the game. That’s the game we play. That’s baseball. We just need to execute when we have to, especially in those crucial moments with bases loaded. It’s tough. It’s not easy,” Espinosa said.
The Stompers drop to 36-13 on the season, while the Pacifics improve to 22-27. Looking for redemption, Sonoma will look to take control of the series tomorrow in another 6 o’clock game at People’s Home Equity Ballpark in Sonoma.
“We just have to put a better effort together as an offense tomorrow as a team and hopefully tomorrow we’ll get that win,” Fox said.
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 email@example.com.