Hayley M. Slye / Director of Media Relations
SONOMA, Calif.– The Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, presented by Virginia Dare Winery, squandered a strong start from Juan Espinosa in Sunday’s 4-0 loss to the Vallejo Admirals. The defeat gave the the Stompers their first series lost to Vallejo and was the first time Sonoma has been shut out all season.
The Stompers managed just three hits against Vallejo starter Marquis Hutchinson, who kept Sonoma scoreless in eight strong innings. Before loading the bases in the eighth, Eddie Mora-Loera’s two walks on the night were the Stompers’ most substantial offense while Hutchinson was on the mound.
“I was just focusing in on a couple pitches. That’s what I was looking for, that’s what my timing was and I just let it happen,” Mora-Loera said.
With the bases loaded in the eighth, Isaac Wenrich hit a hard fly ball to deep left that landed in the glove of the Admirals’ left fielder. Mora-Loera made noise again in the ninth with a hard base hit to left, but nothing came of the effort.
On the Stompers’ side, Juan Espinosa delivered his 4th excellent start in a row. Espinosa struck out eight in eight and one-thirds innings, only allowing three first-inning runs and retiring the Admirals in order six times. At one point, Espinosa retired 16 Admirals in a row.
“Especially here at home, (Espinosa) mixes up his pitches really well, keeps guys off balance, their timing off,” Mora-Loera said.
Dominic Topoozian made his professional debut Sunday night. Signed to the Stompers the same day, Toopozian issued a walk and recorded a strikeout.
With the Pittsburg Diamonds’ victory earlier in the day, the Sonoma’s magic number to clinch the first half becomes four. The Stompers (23-10) head to Pittsburg (20-13) Tuesday for a three-game set before hosting the Diamonds at home over the weekend.
“I think it only feels like a losing skid because we’ve won so many games,” Mora-Loera said. “I think with baseball, if we keep playing hard it’s going to come our way. There’s no time to panic, really.”
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