SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, lost their second series of the season with a 6-5 extra-inning loss to the Pittsburg Diamonds on Thursday night.
The series was only the second between the two teams in 2017, as they haven’t faced each other since the Stompers swept Pittsburg in the first series of the season.
“We’ve just got to keep playing our game. It just goes to show that Pittsburg is a much better team than they were the first three games of the season,” said Stompers left fielder Brennan Metzger.
The Stompers’ only runs prior to the tenth came off of the bat of Metzger, who hit a two-run home run in the sixth that hit the top of the press box in left field.
“I got to a 2-0 count and I was sitting there thinking ‘well, he’s probably going to throw me a fastball right now,’” Metzger said. “Sure enough, it just kind of all worked out and I got it.”
Taylor Thurber, a returning Stomper from the 2016 roster signed earlier in July, put up a strong start against ex-MLB player Travis Blackley on the Diamonds’ side. Australian native Blackley played 82 games and made 26 starts in the Major Leagues for five teams including the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants.
“For me, it was kind of fun actually, because he was a former teammate, we played together in the Giants organization,” Metzger said. “I got a triple off of him, so that was fun.”
Blackley allowed five hits and struck out four in five innings of work, keeping the Stompers scoreless in tandem with Skylar Shaw-Fuss out of the bullpen until Metzger’s jack. On the Stompers’ side of the early pitcher’s duel, Thurber stayed in the game through six and allowed just two earned runs.
The Diamonds evened the score in the next frame on a hard, two-RBI double from Kori Melo.
Both teams remained scoreless until the tenth, when the Pacific Association’s tiebreaker rule allowed the Diamonds to strike for four runs off of Ryan Richardson and Zach Wendorf. The Stompers struck back, coming within one run in the top of the ninth, but were unable to get the tying run around to score.
The first-place Stompers fall to 22-8 on the season while the second-place Diamonds improve to 17-13, leaving Sonoma’s magic number to clinch the first half at five.
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